WALHI in bed with Abu Bakar Basyir?

Now this piece of news needs to be verified as it is coming from someone with an ax to grind, probably justifiably, against WALHI.But Eric Ness, the son of Rick who was recently exonerated by the Manado High Court of allegations of polluting Buyat Bay. WALHI and other NGOs were the ones instrumental in bringing these allegations against Rick.

To date WALHI has refused, in spite of invitations and even an offer to let them frame the terms of the discussion( see here, here, here and here), to explain in this blog what became of its allegations that Newmont had caused Minimata Disease in Buyat Bay.

Unspun hopes that anyone planning to contribute funds to WALHI will follow the discussions in this blog that may have a bearing on WALHI’s credibility. It would be dangerous for anyone to fund WALHI if doubts exist whether they had 1. lied about Buyat Bay or 2. Made a mistake about their allegations and then refused to acknowledge that they stuffed up.

Unspun here repeats his offer to WALHI to start a discussion of its role in the whole Buyat Bay incident. C’mon, don’t be shy now. You’ll never know if potential donors and sponsors may be watching.

clipped from www.richardness.org
WALHI’s Strange Bedfellows – 26 Jul 2007

by Eric

In a surprising move, the Indonesian chapter of Friends of the Earth, WALHI, joined forces last week with Form Umat Islam, in an effort to attack Newmont’s environmental performance as well as discredit and disband the Indonesian elite counter-terrorism force, Detachment 88. Detachment 88 has been highly successful in arresting key individuals involved in the Bali, Marriott and Australian Embassy bombings in Indonesia, as well as hundreds of members of Jemaah Islamiya (JI) a Southeast Asian based terrorist network with links to Al-Qaeda.

At a civil court hearing last week dealing with the latest civil case filed by WALHI against Newmont Minahasa Raya, members of WALHI and Umat Islam handed out a flyer [link] with the following message:

Newmont = Bad for the environment
Detachment 88 = Bad for the people
Bush = Bad for the world
Form Umat Islam – WALHI

  blog it

19 thoughts on “WALHI in bed with Abu Bakar Basyir?

  1. Whoa..now there’s a connection most NGO’s would be loath to acknowledge… I stand by my previous comments.

    Is the picture for real and do WALHI really accept this connection?


  2. Oigal: Well, I know that some individuals at WALHI have monitored this blog and they even had discussions about whether to respond to Unspun’s invitation to join in the discussion the last time.

    I only hope that WALHI will act like a NGO in the present century that is savvy about the new media and communications and realize how important it is to be transparent and accountable – the qualities they demand of Businesses , especially when criticising them.

    More importantly I hope they realize that any future donor will probably get on the Net and Google Walhi + responsibility + accountability before they open their wallets.


  3. Merdeka !

    To be fair to Walhi, it’s less of an organization than the NU. Walhi, although it’s an NGO itself, is an umbrella group, heading an alliance of smaller units. Within Walhi there’s a diverse range of opinions, ranging from genuine scientists, to would-be communists and leftists who joined in the ’80s when they couldn’t go anywhere else.

    Recently, radical Islam has definitely been jumping on board. The current chairman of Walhi’s board is a member of Hizbut Tahrir.

    Walhi’s also proven vulnerable to particular groups hijacking its agenda. Like in the Newmont case, which I hear ended up pissing off alot of people on the inside, especially the scientists, who saw it as a shakedown, power grab, and revenge move. Walhi’s not always a coherent group, but it’s also fair to say, the anti-western, anti-corporation, post-colonial resentment serves as a substitute for critical scientific and political thought. They haven’t really had a lot to say about the very real problem of urban pollution or water supply, clear and present dangers for Indonesia’s poor.

    Merdeka !


  4. Oh damn – Oigal – , um, let me compose myself:

    Heh Fren – the biggest problem for Indonesian Environment is the Bule. First he make the colonize then he is make pollute.

    Oke ?


  5. Reading how unspun wrote about Newmont and Buyat case, I was wondering whether Unspun ever worked closely with Newmont, hence receiving a lot of PR fee from the company. Is this blog also a part of your PR work? I thought it was about your personal views and to satisfy your penchant for gossips.


  6. Blindly: You obviously haven’t done your research. Look through previous postings and you will know if Unspun is taking Newmont’s silver, or shlould we say gold. Your question, however, is a diversion from the issue raised in this post: is Walhi in bed and making woopee with Abu Bakar Bashyir. If not, why aren’t they, who champion accountability, openess and transparency, responding?


  7. Unspun,

    What is the point of posting here this ridiculous and unsubstantiated connection between WALHI and Forum Umat Islam? WALHI have issued a statement explaining how this photo came about. See here for the WALHI statement. It just happened that 2 court cases were held on the same day and in the same court room by both organisations. The poster depicted in the photo was produced by the Forum Umat Islam and mentions WALHI’s name without permission. WALHI has requested the organisation cease from doing so in future.

    It’s small minded of you to publish such unsubstatiated rubbish. You would do better to stick to your claim regarding the allegations against Newmont than dirtying the issue with these lies. I’m afraid it’s your credibility that’s under scrutiny now.


  8. Schiller, what has Friends of the Earth funding source to do with the false accusation made by Unspun in his post above?


  9. remondo,

    The funding source for Friends of the Earth is very important. It makes it clear that they’re actually lobbyists, who are paid to lend the appearance of public support for Europe’s trade protectionist policies. This includes “campaigning” against non-European companies around the globe.

    This is dishonest and reprehensible, and now that Friends of the Earth have made common cause with terrorists, it implicates the European Union. The EU should therefore pull the plug on FoE funding.

    The EU and the US should also put a freeze on all FoE assets until an investigation is completed.

    These remarks have nothing to do with any “false accusation” by unspun, however. The accusations were made by Richard Ness, and also by a member of the Australian Senate.


  10. The accusations were false! Did you read my earlier post on this thread? WALHI have explained how this photo came about. Forum Umat Islam used WALHI’s name without their permission. Read the link I provided in my post….

    Now as for the link you posted regarding FoE’s funding source in Europe…

    1. IT’S IRRELEVENT TO THE TOPIC OF THIS THREAD. You are obviously using the emotive title of the thread to get publicity for your own inaccurate views on FoE.

    2. Enough with the ridiculous conspiracy theories claiming FoE only campaign against non-European companies. The link you posted doesn’t mention this at all so why bring it up now? It’s another point that’s irrelevent to this thread. Do you even know anything about FoE’s operations in Europe?

    3. FoE does not exist solely to campaign against companies (whether they be European or not). It’s aim is to protect this planet’s rapidly deteriorating environment no matter who or what is contributing to the destruction. Now it just so happens that companies and governments hold all the power in this struggle so who do you think FoE is going to lobby to try and help save the planet and the millions of lives that will be lost when the earth starts seriously reacting to human abuse. Schiller do you even realize what a perilous situation we are in at this time in history? We have virtually reached the culmination of thousands of years of ignorance about how ecosystems work and our utter reliance on their healthy functioning. Of course FoE is going to lobby the holders of power, whether they be governments or companies. They just aren’t doing enough about this serious situation and more often than not continue to contribute to the destruction.

    4. How can you construe that the fact that FoE lobbies or campaigns against the very governments that funds it as being a bad thing? To me this demonstrates their integrity more than anything else. It shows a lack of fear of speaking the truth despite the potential of losing some major funding.


  11. remondo: Please read the post carefully before you jump to conclusions. The headline is a question, rather than an assertion. The text adopts a skeptical tone of the veracity to Eric Ness’s assertions. On top of that what I did, but did not get aroudn to blogging about it, is to write an e-mail to Walhi asking them if they’d care to comment on these allegations. I was met with silence.

    So please tell me why Walhi, which is supposed to be all for transparency, accountability and apple pies not be responsive to such accusations? And if you are a potential donor, what would your reaction be to funding an NGO that does not bother setting the record straight?

    The issue here is Walhi’s failure to respond to an open offer to clear their name of an allegation that has been made by Eric Ness.


  12. Unspun, for the third time, Walhi has responded. Not to you personally but via a general statement posted on their website. I have already provided a link to this statement in 2 of my previous posts. They cannot possibly reply to everyone questioning Ness’s assertions individually. Is that what you expected?


  13. remondo: “They cannot possibly reply to everyone”. Not everyone I expect. Just one or two will do. Have Walhi ever ventured out of the safety of their own website which, if I am not mistaken, does not allow comments and therefore a conversation to take place.

    If Walhi wants to continue to present themselves as a responsible and responsive organization, don’t you think they should engage in conversations rather than one-way communications through their website? They are no better than newmont in communications savvy if this is the case.

    BTW, do you mind declaring your interest in this issue? Are you afiliated to FoE or Walhi or any environment group? It’s only fair as Unspun is an open book to all and sundry.


  14. I’ll declare my interest if you declare your interest in trying to muddy the reputation of a group that so obviously has it heart in the right place and is trying to do some real good in the world… (even though their actions may on occasion be misguided). So tell me are you affiliated with some company or industry whose toes Walhi has stepped on in the course of it’s attempts to do something positive for this dying planet? If you are my friend, can’t you see that it’s inevitable that companies and whole industries will need to change in major ways if we are to get out of this crisis with minimal damage. Every day of business as usual is currently hurtling us towards possible catastrophies that will make the asian tsunami look like a pleasant day at the beach.


  15. Remondo: You know what they say about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions. Walhi may have the best intentions but if they do not back it up with right actions then it defeats the whole purpose.

    My difficulty with Walhi is that they have been dishonest where Newmont is concerned and when the truth emerges they acted like the most despicable businessmen and buried their heads in the sand instead of accepting responsibility for their mistakes.

    I agree that the environment is important and we should work toward it being people friendly for future generations. I also agree that many businesses have to clean up their act and be more responsive and responsible.

    But lying and manipulating information is not the way to do it and gives environmentalists and other do gooders a bad name.

    The purpose of this blog is, as the name suggests, to unspin things. That’s because I have an aversion to falsehoods and dishonesty – no matter from which quarter it comes from. If you read the postings in these blog regularly you’ll be aware that I’m as hard in unspinning business and government as I am on NGOs and anyone else.

    I can categorically say that I’ve received no money from any quarter for my postings. Like most people, I blog to vent. Not all things in this world have to be accompanied by conspiracy theories. Sometimes, what you see is hat you get and you don’t need to unspin them.


  16. Its all about credibility..Who could seriously believe anything WALHI presents now? It would appear that “Greenomics” are falling for the same trap.

    It is the height of arrogance to assume because I support the environment, I will therefore support a radicial religious or alternative political stand.

    “People in glass houses”


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