1 Sep 2008

Multi-nationals in Papua urged to disclose payment arrangements with TNI

3:41 pm on 1 September 2008

The Australia-based Mineral Policy Institute is urging all multi-national companies which pay for military protection of vital assets in Indonesia's Papua region to be transparent about the arrangements.

The institute has welcomed a US federal court ruling that ExxonMobil has a case to answer in the suit over alleged killings and torture by Indonesian troops protecting the company's gas project in Aceh province.

The Institute's director, Techa Beaumont, says the decision has major implications for international companies like US company Freeport McMoran, which runs the Grasberg mine in Papua.

She says it's commendable that in its annual report, Freeport discloses the millions it pays in support costs to the Indonesian military to protect its operations:

"Freeport disclosing those payments is a positive step in the right direction - if we could get other companies to do that then we'd be raising the bar. But really the ultimate issue is that if you're paying people to secure your infrastructure, you have to accept that you're going to be responsible for the conduct of those individuals."

Techa Beaumont