What now Walhi and Jatam?

Now that the Manado District Court has acquitted Newmont’s Rick Ness of pollution charges it is time for the NGOs like Walhi and Jatam to have a reality check. Walhi has been conspiciously silent of late, primarily because it cannot and will not substiatiantate its charges of pollution against Newmont in Buyat.

The inability to muster facts to support an allegation, however, hasn’t hampered Jatam, which has, unsurprisingly, protested against the court decision. And so it goes.

Perhaps if both of these NGOs want to salvage their credibility it is time for them to start showing more accountability to the public. They can start by posting in this blog a comment as to why they think that the court decision is unjust. They might also want to explain to all and sundry what happened to their allegations of the existence of Minimata disease at Buyat Bay.

6 thoughts on “What now Walhi and Jatam?

  1. I think its very sad, with all that is going on that the various NGO’s chose this as their test case. There are any number of issues both environmental and economic that deserve immediate and grave attention but this was a appeared to be a very weak case right from the start.

    I remain puzzled by what was the true agenda in this issue?

    Will anyone believe anything presented by Walhi in the future?


  2. Generally, the reputation of the local NGOs will be dented by the outcome of this case and more so, with the conspicuous and continuing awkward silence of Walhi. Jatam late and unsubstantiated protest against the court judgement further erodes, if anything at all, the reputation of the NGOs.

    But all is not lost. I am sure there are many local NGOs doing excellent work. What will happen is that allegations by NGOs will now undergo closer scrutiny and there will be less opportunities for emotions to rule the day.

    This may be good and depending on how future events transpire, may be a watershed of sorts for the local NGOs to evolve into more professional and reputable organizations.


  3. Richard: thanks for dropping by and making yourself heard. I assume you’d be willing to engage in a open-to-all discussion about Buyat Bay with Walhi, Jatam and any other NGOs or blog readers out there/

    If so i’d like to extend an open invitation to Walhi and Jatam to debate the issue here. I’ll moderate, and since everyone can access this blog the readers shall be the oversight to make sure that the discussion is fair and the moderator is doing his job.

    Sp what’s it going to be Walhi and Jatam? Open debate and make your views known or lurk in the shadows and snipe at coperations? In the fromer case you have a chance to salvage your reputation, in the latter you’re likely to see all donors and funders shy away from an NGO that isn’t seen to be accountable, responsible and open.


  4. This case is closed now, congrats to Newmont and the Ness Family. Any further discussion should be a bilateral discussion between Newmont reprensented by Ness and the Minahasans in how they could develop and grow the economy of Minahasa regency for the sakes of Minahasan people and Newmont’s profit. No outsiders should be involved.


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