A number of NGOs and university students will stage a demonstration and read a declaration to express their stance on the ASEAN summit. They will hold the protest in front of the consulate general buildings of the US and Japan in Denpasar, since it is impossible to hold it in Nusa Dua where the summit is taking place, due to tight security.
To prepare the declaration, around 20 local institutions participated in a seminar about “building a sovereign regionalism and opposing the domination of global capitalism” in Denpasar on Wednesday.
At the seminar, which was organized by Udayana University’s Law School, they discussed their stance relating to the ASEAN summit, particularly about what is at stake, and a range of issues about East Asia.
They also discussed the impact of ASEAN upon regional security and the Indonesian people in general, as well as the problems facing agricultural, plantation and fishery sectors in connection to the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
The issue of global capitalism in ASEAN, labor, migrant workers and education were also discussed during the seminar.
M. Teguh Surya from the Indonesian Environment Forum (WALHI) criticized the Master Plan on the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesian Economic Development 2011-2025, which he considered neglected the impact of environmental damage.
“Indonesia, just like other ASEAN countries, has been a supplier of natural resources to global industries, and this is stated in the master plan, but there is no concern regarding the environmental damage resulting from this.”
He said that the document on the acceleration of the economy only favors the interests of advanced countries, such as Japan, Korea and China.
“Indonesia is very prone to natural resource exploitation, which could marginalize 90 percent of its people if there is no protection [from the government].”
He cited the economic acceleration in Bali, which focused on tourism. “Tourism development has caused changes in spatial planning policy, and this is something that could bring the island to collapse. One of the clear examples is the water crisis experienced on the island.”
Bonnie Setiawan, executive director of Alternative to Globalization (RAG) and a researcher with the Institute for Global Justice, said the new regime in ASEAN has allowed neocolonialism to flourish.
“Indonesia, which supplies low-paid laborers and raw materials, is very open to imports and foreign investment from international corporations,” he said.
ASEAN has been part of the global supply chain by “revising their structures, norms and regulations”, he added.#