Activists Set Sights on ExxonMobil for 'Complicity of Silence'
Despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that the largest corporation in the world is implicated in crimes against humanity, this story has yet to be
picked up by the mainstream media!
International Forum for Aceh
(See Appendix A & B in pdf-link provided below, for detailed information about ExxonMobil's activities in Aceh, Indonesia)
May 31, 2001 -- The chairman of Aceh's Student Movement for Reform, Radhi Darmansyah, on Wednesday, presented ExxonMobil shareholders with documentation challenging earlier claims by the corporation that it does not know about the widespread abuses by security forces in the Indonesian province of Aceh, including those providing security to its gas installations.
Speaking to shareholders Wednesday at the company's annual shareholders meeting in Dallas, he accused ExxonMobil of a "complicity of silence" surrounding its security operations at its facilities and installations. He announced his organization was joining others in a worldwide boycott of the corporation.
"As the largest corporation in the world -- No. 1 of Fortune 500 -- ExxonMobil knows what is going on there and has done nothing," Mr. Darmansyah stated.
On March 12, 2001, the embattled Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid, under heavy pressure from the military, gave in to the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) to launch a 'limited security operation' in Aceh. Three days before, ExxonMobil, which oversees operations at the massive Arun gas fields in Aceh, had announced that it was suspending operations because of the security situation. The deployment of thousands of additional troops in Aceh, justified on the pretext of providing security for ExxonMobil, has been widely criticized by international human rights organizations.
ExxonMobil has conducted oil and gas exploration and extraction activities in Aceh since Mobil Corporation, recently merged with Exxon, signed a production-sharing arrangement with the state oil company in 1968. Since then, oil industry analysts estimate that the site, once considered by Mobil to be
'the jewel in the crown' of the company's global operations, has produced $40 billion dollars worth of gas.
Mr. Darmansyah claimed that the Dallas-based corporation's "use of Indonesian armed forces as muscle has had predictable lethal effects on local villagers."
Over a thousand people, most of them unarmed villagers, were killed last year in Aceh and thousands of civilians are estimated to have been murdered between 1989 and 1998. Human Rights Watch in its annual country report on Indonesia documented the targeting of dozens of other activists and local humanitarian aid workers in Aceh last year.
Simmering resentment over the impunity of the Indonesian armed forces and what is seen as Jakarta's theft of resources have provided growing support for
Robert Jereski, the executive director of the International Forum for Aceh, a New York-based human rights organization monitoring conditions there, said
that "most Acehnese support a non-violent resolution to the problems in Aceh." He described two recent massive nonviolent demonstrations which recently
called for an East Timor style referendum for Aceh. He said that "ExxonMobil should listen to the people whose resources it is exploiting".
Additional background on ExxonMobil and Aceh can be found at: http://www.etan.org/etanpdf/pdf2/acehexmob.pdf
- 107 Energy
- 116 Human Rights