Tensions between the international NGO Greenpeace and the government of Indonesia have continued to escalate in recent weeks over increasing deforestation practices across the country. Front page articles from the newspaper The Jakarta Globe cite allegations against Greenpeace of unfair treatment; “Critics also have accused Greenpeace of unfairly targeting Indonesian firm Asia Pulp & Paper while ignoring the activities of foreign-owned companies that operate in the country.”
However, two cases of blatant bureaucratic discrimination against the world-famous NGO have surfaced; the first, when entry to Indonesia was denied to Greenpeace’s British boss followed by his immediate deportation. A second incident, when a long time participant already in-country and active in Greenpeace’s campaign against Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) was suddenly deported. Articles on the Greenpeace website suggest that the timing of these incidents may be influenced by local corporations, stating, “From the nature of the timing, there’s a lot to suggest that this is an orchestrated campaign driven by the various interests that don’t want to change their destructive business practices.”
In recent weeks, The Jakarta Post and Antara News, both English language news sources within Indonesia, have been closely following Greenpeace-related incidents. The Jakarta Post has featured articles focused on government accusations against Greenpeace. In the paper, Desmond Junaidi Mahesa of the Greater Indonesia Movement Party, is quoted as saying: “There are reasons to believe that many international NGOs like Greenpeace have been running illegal economic investigations in Indonesia besides their formal missions.” Similarly, The Jakarta Post has reported that Jakarta city authorities are closing down the Indonesian Greenpeace office on the grounds that the building was not being used according to its original purpose, while asking the organization to abide by the city’s regulations and giving it time to move to another site.
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