Building People’s Sovereignty in South East Asia Region Building People’s Sovereignty in South East Asia Region


Declaration on ASEAN (Bali, 16-18 November 2011)


Building People’s Sovereignty in South East Asia Region

Refuse and Oppose the Domination of Global Capitalism

Denpasar, Bali, 16-18 November 2011


We, Indonesian people, representations of peasants, workers, migrant workers, fisher folk, indigenous people, women, students, urban poor, consumers, human rights activists, gather in Denpasar, Bali from 16-18 November 2011. We organize series of action to express our concerns on Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Bali.


ASEAN has become a free market, rent seeking and natural resources exploitation. The whole exploitation activities, with the interventions of the elites are now becoming official and more dangerous in global communities. With its close historical connection with the US and its allies, ASEAN is continuously used as a tool to implement the global capitalism agenda.


ASEAN has failed to protect and fulfill human rights for its people. Today the world is facing financial, food, energy and environmental crises. Out of these crises, transnational companies, big investors and market speculators gain huge profit and receive bail out from the government. Meanwhile, the people are still suffering from poverty, unemployment, and difficulty to access basic rights for a decent livelihood. Violence, intimidation, criminalization against peasants, labors and indigenous community are repeatedly used as a mean to takeover land and other agrarian resources. Furthermore, conflict and dispute resettlement tend to ignore the injustice situation. In Indonesia, only 0.05 percent of the total population (around 115 thousand people) is the rich—who enjoy the benefits of the system by putting the rest 235 million people as the victims, especially women and children.


In Indonesia, investors and corporates have dominated the state, burdening them with obligations and conditionalities which fell to the shoulders of the people. They are greed and vicious, they dominate land, water and other resources in South East Asia.


Imperialism transcends through ASEAN, with 5 main aspects. First, Indonesia will always be provider of raw materials; Second, Indonesia will always be suppliers for the industry in Europe, US, Japan and other industrial countries; Third, Indonesia will always be market of foreign products; Fourth, Indonesia will always be a site for mega investment, not only from the US, but countries like Singapore, Japan, China and others that have capital oversurplus. Fifth, Indonesia will always be the provider for cheap labor.


Mining corporate from US, Europe, and other countries have been exploiting Indonesia’s natural resources even to the bottom of the ocean. Until October 2011, there are 42 islands in Indonesia identified to suffer from disasters due to mining activities. Once again the people are the most vulnerable to the risks: especially to face pollutions and the disappearance of livelihoods. At least 23 million hectares of Indonesia’s ocean will be polluted and there are no serious efforts from the government to cope with this situation.


In fisheries context, until April 2011, out of 79 imported fishery products, 40 products can be found in domestic market. Imported fisheries lead to economic slump of fisher folk families and worsening fisheries quality for domestic market—and finally, made the sector economically unattractive.


ASEAN is not only actively exploiting the nature and the people–but the association also brings other imperialist countries to take part. Not to mention the intervention from International Financial Institutions (IFIs) like World Bank, ADB, IMF and others through development aid scheme in various sectors. Through programs and projects, these institutions are fully shaping national policies in many countries in the region. It will benefit corporate the most, but putting people’s sovereignty at stake. IFIs intervention is real, seeing through various strategic policies which aim to secure investment and corporate encroachment in ASEAN countries.


Specifically, we would like to bring the upcoming ASEAN economic partnership with the US and Europe that potentially perpetuating Indonesia as raw materials (CPO, coffee, tea and cacao) exporter only. This will affect the national industry, which will never flourish. Even in food and agriculture sector, import surge of horticulture products has been damaging local price and market, hurting small and medium agriculture business in rural areas.


In light of crises, Indonesia is not only in the brink of another food crisis, but also water crisis. For instance, clean water resources has been taken over by European foreign companies (Suez, Nestle, Danone, Coca Cola/Ades). Liberalization from water loan project Water Resources Sector Adjustment Loan (WATSAL) from World Bank lead to water privatization, hindering access to clean and adequate water to people’s consumption and also agriculture area.


The enactment of free trade agreements (FTAs) and investment, followed by pro market policies in the region (which also applied in Indonesia), has been a total disaster! Consequences of free trade agreements in labor sector are the implementation of flexible labor market and union busting—where the workers’ rights are becoming more and more neglected.


From the security aspect, ASEAN and East Asia plays a significant role in the world—especially in the midst of current global capitalism crisis. US will ensure Japan, China and South Korea to steadily become subordinates in the domination scheme through economy, politic, cultural and military intervention.


Specifically to this domination, US is also have military strategy in order assure security to their investment. It can be seen from US military base in South East Asia (Singapore and Thailand) including establishment of the recently-built military base in Darwin, Australia. In current progress, US locate 70.000 military personnel in East Asia and around 100.000 personnel under the Pacific commando (including South East Asia region) USAPCOM, based in Honolulu, Hawaii. The destruction and exploitation by domination of global capitalism, under the leadership of the US, has lead to people’s struggle in various countries in the region. To cope with the struggle, US are trying through its comprehensive strategy called COIN (counterinsurgency) released by the US government in 2009. This scheme combines civil and military aspects in various form and will have consequences to the people’s sovereignty in our region.


With its close character and still learning for democracy, ASEAN support the imperialist cooptation: through weakening mechanisms via corporate and elite. Among of those mechanisms are Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR), implementation of ASEAN GAP (Good Aquaculture Practices) standard, development of South east Asia economic corridor, national program of MP3EI, food estate program (MIFEE) to false solutions in climate change, i.e. carbon trading, REDD, and blue carbon—which do not stand for the sovereignty of the people.


We, Indonesian people understand that all of these are a practice to conquest Indonesia; this is a true new form of colonization! It comes from the hand of the big capitals for the sole purpose of controlling Indonesia’s natural resources and its people.


Therefore, we refuse all form of exploitation in social, economic, politic, or cultural aspects, including free trade regime which has been in ASEAN’s policies and also many other global institutions.


We refuse regionalism that is not based on people’s sovereignty. We also oppose the single market integration in ASEAN, which we consider inconstitutional (contradictory to our 1945 Constitution). We have process this demand on a judicial review of Law No 38/2008 (on ASEAN Charter ratification).


We honor and uphold democracy, unity and solidarity among the people—for the sake of democratic economy, from, by and for the benefit of people and the Planet Earth.


We are working hard for Indonesia that is politically sovereign, economically independent and has a strong cultural identity. We will go hand in hand to develop Indonesia and the region where the people have sovereignty in food, energy and fully have the rights and autonomy to realize sustainability on food production and agriculture, fisheries, rural areas and national industry with local markets that support the people’s economy.


Therefore we are committed and we call for:


  • ASEAN member states to fully uphold people’s sovereignty and its political will against the domination of global capitalism and its monopoly.
  • ASEAN member states are obliged to recognize, to fulfill and to protect human rights of its people.
  • ASEAN member state to stop the grabbing of agrarian resources, work and wages by implementing people’s agenda to achieve food and energy sovereignty.
  • ASEAN member states to assure and implement redistributive agrarian reform.
  • ASEAN member states to immediately settle conflicts among ASEAN members and other states, especially within the borders, with the principle of non intervention, peace and solidarity.
  • ASEAN leaders to demand for ecological and climate debt compensation to industrial countries—and demand compensation and restitution as the basic conditions for climate justice
  • ASEAN member states must assure that its region is free from military bases and interventions of the US and its allies.
  • ASEAN member states must protect the people’s education from big capital intervention—in order to achieve people’s sovereignty on education. Education, along with health and other public sectors are public services—which cannot be commercialized.


And we:


  • Refuse exploitations and barbaric development of Bali through international events and conferences which neglected the environmental supports level and the sovereignty of its people.
  • Demand for tourism and accommodation development moratorium for a sustainable Bali.


Declaration Signatories:

Serikat Petani Indonesia (SPI) l Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (WALHI) | Gabungan Serikat Buruh Independen (GSBI) l Aliansi Petani Indonesia (API) l Pengurus Besar Pergerakan Mahasiswa Islam Indonesia (PB PMII) l Front Mahasiswa Nasional (FMN) l Front Perjuangan Pemuda Indonesia (FPPI) | Asosiasi Tenaga Kerja Indonesia (ATKI) l Serikat Buruh Migran Indonesia (SBMI) l Serikat Nelayan Indonesia (SNI) l Lingkar Studi Aksi untuk Demokrasi Indonesia (LS-ADI) l Frontier – Bali l Pers Kampus Kertha Aksara FH Universitas Udayana l BEM PM Universitas Udayana l FMN Denpasar l l WALHI Bali l KPA Bali l PBHI Bali l Yayasan Wisnu Bali l Sloka Institute l AJI Denpasar| Limas Bali l Mitra Bali l Komunitas Akarumput l The People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice (KIARA) l Koalisi Anti Utang (KAU) l Institute for Global Justice (IGJ) l Bina Desa l Sawit Watch l Institute for National and Democratic Studies (INDIES) l Resistance Alternative to Globalization (RAG) l Indonesian Human Rights Committee for Social Justice (IHCS) l Konsorsium Pembaruan Agraria (KPA) l International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) l Jaringan Advokasi Tambang (JATAM) l Koalisi Rakyat untuk Hak Atas Air (KrUHA) l Foker LSM Papua l Perkumpulan untuk Pembaharuan Hukum Berbasis Masyarakat dan Ekologis (HuMA) l Solidaritas Perempuan (SP) l Jubilee South APMDD

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