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Sexy Killers film exposes Indonesia’s coal industry abuses - Report

Coal News - Published on Wed, 24 Apr 2019

Image Source: Human Rights Watch
Asia Times reported that a new documentary showed that the links between Indonesian coal and energy companies and the country’s political elite was released online ahead of the world’s biggest single-day election. Production house WatchDoc Image uploaded “Sexy Killers” to YouTube on April 14, after previously screening the film at more than 470 locations throughout Indonesia. he 86-minute-long documentary is the last in a 12-part series that follows two Indonesian journalists, Dandhy Laksono and Ucok Suparta, on their travels through 20 provinces since 2015 to investigate environmental issues.

“Sexy Killers” opens with an explosion at a coal mine in Indonesian Borneo. The coal is destined for plants that power other islands, mostly Java and Bali. But the environmental, financial and societal damage wrought by the mines and depicted in the film is felt by the locals, including the families of children who continue to drown in the rainwater-filled pits left behind by the mining companies.

The film also shows how these same companies, backed by local and national governments, often seize people’s land and raze the lush forests of Borneo in their pursuit of more coal.

Dandhy and Ucok then follow the coal on barges that move it out of Borneo, often encroaching into conservation areas such as Karimun Java National Park off the northern coast of Java. Here, the barges wreck coral reefs and pollute the marine ecosystem.

Residents living near the massive power plants in Java and Bali also pay a price. The film shows many of them being evicted or relocated to make room for the plants, while those who refuse to leave must deal with the constant pollution from the burning of the coal.

The Bornean province of East Kalimantan is Indonesia’s coal heartland, shipping out more than 200 million tonnes of the fossil fuel in 2011. If it was a country, it would be the world’s eighth-biggest coal producer. The sheer scale of the mining industry has had an indelible impact: the Mahakam River, into which much of the mining waste flows and which serves as the highway for the constant traffic of barges, has suffered widespread pollution. The river is the lifeblood of the region’s rainforests and home to 147 endemic freshwater fish species.

On land, the deforestation and digging associated with coal mining has dramatically increased the risk of flooding and landslides. Between 2010 and 2012, the city of Samarinda, the East Kalimantan provincial capital, recorded 218 floods and is now referred to as “Flood City.”

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 24 Apr 2019
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