Tuesday, September 25, 2007

SHARIA LAW AND THE GREENS

What is going on with the Green NGO's in Indonesia? Unspun is still awaiting a response from a discredited NGO after a rather aptly titled post "WALHI slutting around with Islamic groups?".

As UNSPUN states it's all to do with credibility and it would appear that Greenomics has fallen into the same sad peat pit.

The latest in "green" environmental groups happily discrediting themselves is the NGO Greenomics. Greenomics Executive Director, Elfian Effendi was reported yesterday (Jakarta Post, extract of article at end of this post) as demanding an apology from the Aceh BBR chief Kuntoro for criticising the implementation of Sharia Law in the province.

Now thought I, that's unusual! Greenomics is an environmental group, who solicited donations and support on that basis. So I looked a bit further into the information I had at hand, but couldn't find any extra bits that said "and ardent supporters of Sharia Law". Mmmm A misrepresentation of the truth..or even..........?

Now a quick look at the Greenomics website was in order, lo and behold there is a "mission statement" of sorts and quite a noble one at that:

"Greenomics Indonesia is a policy development institute that is devoted to introducing innovative empirical and field-based economic, financial and policy approaches for the purpose of supporting a move towards good natural resources governance"


Checking ..checking...nope nothing about Sharia Law yet..oh well maybe I have just missed it in the fine print?

Now I don't think that a random supporter of Greenomics and "good natural resources governance" would automatically assume she/he has just become supporter of Sharia Law. It is more than presumptuous for good ol Elfian to speak out like that from his position as the Greenomics executive director. Of course, as a director of anything, your personal views are your own. However, in the spirit of transparency and responsibility so often demanded by various NGO's perhaps a little professionalism would go a long way.

This hi-jacking of an environmental platform into a religious one is a real shame and seemingly increasingly common. "Greenomics" appear to be doing some good and much needed work but you can bet (actually you can't "bet" if you are reading this in a Sharia Law province or you will get a whipping!) this will cost them. It also raises the question of funding. It would be interesting to see how they are funded as (I can't seem to find much on their website).




So until Greenomics clarifies their position its only fair to ask:

Are Greenomics supporters of this?




or this???...




By the way, BBR Chief was right (for once) of course foreign investors and visitors are wary of Sharia Law, by its very nature, it is ill-defined, randomly applied and brutal.


EXTRACT FROM THE POST

BRR sharia comment slammed
National News - September 24, 2007


Ridwan Max Sijabat, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

An Aceh-linked organization that advocates for environmental issues demanded that the Aceh-Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency (BRR) apologize for implicitly blaming the slow reconstruction work on sharia in Aceh province.

Greenomics Indonesia was responding to the statement of BRR chief Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, who on a visit to The Jakarta Post on Thursday said that the implementation of sharia had "hindered" the development programs in the province, which enjoys special autonomy.

"Kuntoro's statement on sharia is intolerable and has offended Acehnese people's religious beliefs. He must withdraw it and make an apology to the Acehnese," Greenomics executive director Elfian Effendi told the Post over the weekend.

6 comments:

Unspun said...

Maybe its because they are "green", the color of Islam. Doesn't make sense? Makes as much sense as an environmental NGO getting mixed up with religion instead of the environment.

oigal said...

I agree it doesn't make any sense, more importantly it seriously damages the organisation.

For me personally, thats two green NGO'S that are so far compromised not worth supporting in any shape or form.

Jakartass said...

Hang on a sec, O.

Don't believe all you read in the blogs, especially ones written by those in the spin doctor business. I've been a little wary of Unspun ever since he started to promote the Newmont boss' son's blog ~ an obviously apologia.

(Incidentally, I'm not taking sides in the recent Newmont legal case ~ It's still subject to appeal and even then I doubt that the whole truth will ever be known. Vested capital interests and government taxes versus a few mercury contaminated fisherfolk?)

But this accusation against the head of WALHI is a smear dreamed up by old Asia hand, John McBeth (possibly - probably more likely - on behalf of Newmont) and published in the Singapore Straits Times. WALHI is demanding an apology. Here's the full article as published in the Jakarta Post.

Walhi continues to demand apology

National News - September 20, 2007
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Local environment group Walhi is continuing its fight with The Straits Times newspaper in Singapore to demand an apology for a misleading report that alleged the group was affiliated with terrorist groups. Note that the Straits Times, whilst not actually apologising, has issued a "clarification".

The reportage by John Mcbeth was published by the Straits Times in April last year and the paper has since published "a clarification" -- but it has not re-interviewed Walhi.

The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) said the Mcbeth's story was "manipulative and not based on facts, because the writer did not confirm anything with Walhi".

Walhi's Executive Director Chalid Muhammad said, "A clarification letter has been published in the daily, but they should apologize as well, because the report has caused wide-spread negative impacts".

"The apology is more about showing the professionalism of a media (organization) after making a mistake," Chalid said.

Mcbeth's Oil Giants Taps The Ground For Smooth Operations said the head of Walhi was a member of Hizbut Tahrir, a hardline Muslim group that claims to be non-violent.

The group however was described as a "conveyer-belt for terrorists".

The article said Chalid took part in a violent rally outside the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, wearing full Islamic robes. Chalid said Macbeth article was quoted by many parties, including an Australian Senator, Ian Macdonald, during a parliamentary session on August 9.

Senator Macdonald said Walhi had connections with the Islamic Forum (FUI), an alliance of Islamic mass organizations including the Indonesian Muslim Assembly (MMI) and Hizbut Tahrir.

"Related to this case, we sent a clarification letter to the senate and they have read it during a parliamentary forum," Chalid said.

"But no apology from them yet. If there's anyone still using this false report, we will take legal action."

In August, Newmont's president Richard Ness allegedly sent a letter to the Friends of the Earth (FoE) in Australia undermining Walhi's reputation as an environmental group. The letter also allegedly charged Walhi had connections with terrorist groups.

But Walhi said the allegations were aimed at stopping the group's environmental movements and its criticism of Newmont's activities.

Heru Hendratmoko, chairman of the Alliance of Independent Journalists, said the article was not based on journalistic ethics, facts or accuracy.

"The impact of the inaccurate report was huge, as it was also quoted by a senator and read in front of a forum," Heru said. "This can be called character assassination."

He also said a right of reply would not fully compensate for the mistake.

"The inaccuracy of a report should be balanced with clarification (from the sources). The paper can interview Chalid directly, so he can give accurate information about the matter."

oigal said...

Sorry J, One retraction (sorry clarification)by the head of discredited green group does not the truth make.

I really don't expect you to come out on side of the miners but really mate, the wallys are a dead smelly horse..

The Newmont case not clear..give me a break it was a scam from the start, the mine was closing and last chance at the gravy train..How many eports did you want? (Mercury? nice emotive try but not used in the process unless you are talking the illegals)

There are gazillion miners doing the wrong thing, mostly dodgy national firms but Newmont and the wallys ..bail whil you can..

By the way, the "clarification" was hard coming, only due to pressure from FOE who could see the international damage these twits were causing...

I 'll post some more soon for you

Jakartass said...

Hang on yourself, O.

Sure, Walhi needs to look at how it manages its PR, but note that the "clarification" was given by the Straits Times and NOT Walhi.

There is no evidence - video, photos etc., which could be easily photoshopped anyway - that Chalid took part in a violent rally outside the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, wearing full Islamic robes.

Also note that while Hizbut Tahrir may be on Bush's hit list, it is legal in the UK, Australia and Indonesia. The BBC reported: "Hizb ut-Tahrir says it is not an extremist organisation: it does not have a paramilitary wing, and has never been charged with violence."

Sure, they are fundamentalist Muslims, but would there be such a fuss if they were fundamentalist Christians? Or Hindus? Or Buddhists say, as in Myanmar/Burma?

Besides, as I noted recently, I too have been involved in a violent demo outside an American embassy, albeit protesting an earlier war started by the 'imperialist yankees'.

All Eric (son of Newmont boss Richard) Ness, Unspun and you are going on is an unsubstantiated statement written by John McBeth who, to my knowledge, was working from unattributable sources. You'll note, I included a link to the Eric Ness blog which lifted the Straits Times article.

We all have varying opinions, but I didn't think you'd thrown away your salt cellar. Try a pinch of that white stuff occasionally and don't believe all you read.
;-)

oigal said...

Hi J,

Your scrambling mate....
Are saying The Walli's (as Walli Wankers) are connected with a fundamenalist religious group or not.

"video, photos etc., which could be easily photoshopped anyway - that Chalid took part in a violent rally outside the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, wearing full Islamic robes."

Jeez,,so what did you want?

"Sure, they are fundamentalist Muslims, but would there be such a fuss if they were fundamentalist Christians? Or Hindus? Or Buddhists say, as in Myanmar/Burma? "

A comment which would only be relevent if you are think THE WALLI's are connected..


"But no apology from them yet. If there's anyone still using this false report, we will take legal action."

Yea sure you will, perhaps in Singapore or Australia..BTW you cannot take legal action for anything said in Parliament in Australia its under what they call " Parliamentary Privledge"


"Heru Hendratmoko, chairman of the Alliance of Independent Journalists, said the article was not based on journalistic ethics, facts or accuracy.

You are not seriously looking to Indonesian Media for statements on journalistic ethics, facts or accuracy.. That's just funny

"Sure, they are fundamentalist Muslims, but would there be such a fuss if they were fundamentalist Christians? Or Hindus? Or Buddhists"

Again, I can only assume now you admit there is a link..and yes they should be such a "FUSS" if a fundamenalist anything is connected to a group that accepts donations from the public without declaring such connections.

The Newmont case was nothing more that a scam based on dodgy (and missing evidence)Reports from any number of reutable organisations refuted everything that WALLIS threw up.

Plenty of green work to be done and WALLI has set things back 20 years.

Perhaps on the reading thing,,it may to do some without the bias googles mate