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Activists demand end to mining project

Say environmental impact analysis of two firms is flawed and inaccurate

Activists demand end to mining project
Activists were welcomed at local parliament office
Fransiskus P. Seran, Atambua

February 14, 2012

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Dozens of activists met with legislators in East Nusa Tenggara province’s Belu district yesterday to demand that manganese exploration work by two mining companies in the area be halted. The activists, who have formed an alliance called the Coalition of Belu People Fighting against Mining, told the lawmakers that the environmental impact analysis conducted by both companies – CV Alam Jaya and PT JAPS Group -- in and around the village of Rafae was flawed and in some instances plainly inaccurate. The environmental impact analysis is fundamentally flawed and underestimates the impact the effect the exploration work has had on villagers, the coalition’s coordinator, Divine Word Father Pieter Dile Bataona, told the legislators. “The exploration work is seriously affecting villagers’ health since it is being conducted very close to where the villagers are living,” said Sister Angela Salome from the Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters. The nun, who is also in charge of the nearby Marianum Catholic Hospital in Halilulik, called on the lawmakers to review the activities of the mining companies  in order to protect the villagers. Responding the coalition’s demands, the head of the legislative body, Simon Guido Seran, pledged to discuss their concerns with other lawmakers. “We will form a special committee to monitor this issue,” he said. Related Reports: Villagers remove mining equipment Priest slams mining ‘irresponsibility’    
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