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Flood victims demand Jakarta governor’s resignation

Detik.com - February 8, 2007

Jakarta – Around 200 residents who said they were flood victims protested at the House of Representatives (DPR) building in South Jakarta demanding that Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso resign from his post.

The majority of the demonstrators were housewives and children from the Jakarta Residents Forum (Fakta). They shouted and gave speeches while holding up sheets of cardboard with the writing “Jakarta is constantly flooding, we’re tired okay”, “Flood Bang Yos [Brother Sutiyoso]” and “Sutiyoso I am your victim”.

“Jakarta floods every five years, it should be able to be anticipated. If [you] are indeed incapable then just resign”, said Fakta coordinator Azas Tigor Nainggolan during a speech behind the DPR building in Senayan on Wednesday February 7.

The protesters said they deplored the slowness of the Jakarta provincial and central governments in assisting flood victims. As a consequence many children have been unable to attend school and have come down with illness. In addition to this they have been unable to obtain food or a suitable place to be evacuated to.

“Our things are all gone, the children’s school uniforms have also gone. Where is the government’s promise to help”, said Halim resident Sri Sulistyowati.

During breaks in the demonstration small children could be seen enjoying the shady and luxurious trees spread across the rear grounds of the DPR. Unlike their parents, the children were instead playing and singing.

After demonstrating for around 30 minutes since 11am, the protesters were finally allowed to enter the DPR complex. They were received by the deputy chairperson of Commission VII from the Democrat Party, Sutan Batoegana from the Justice and Prosperity Party, Ade Daud Nasution from the Reform Star Party and Sonny Keraf from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle.

“Floods are a mutual mistake, because of this it must also be handed jointly”, said Batoegana when he met with the demonstrators. (ndr/nrl)

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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