oil company drills, mud buries villages

indonesian oil company lapindo brantas was drilling for oil in east java 3 years ago when a mud volcano swallowed 12 villages, almost certainly because of the drilling [wikileaks]

“We want to urge Lapindo to have full responsibility to cover all the loss. On the other hand we want to pressure the government to stand behind the victims, not the company,” he says.

Days after the eruption, public anger forced the government to commission a team of experts to investigate, which cited drilling as the probable cause for the eruption.

Later in 2006 Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Indonesian president, ordered Lapindo to pay for dealing with the mudflow and to buy the land and property beneath it from the victims, despite the fact the company’s responsibility had yet to be determined in court.

Muslimah and seven of her family lost their home in the mudslide The process was overseen by Djoko Kirmanto, the public works minister, who admitted to Al Jazeera that it was “unusual” for a company to pay out before admitting liability.

Lapindo, however, is very keen to showcase the new village it has been building for some of Lusi’s homeless.


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