Lapindo scandal author still missing
TEMPO Interactive, Surabaya: Coordinator of the Commission of Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) of the East Java branch, Andy Irfan Junaidi, is asking the police to investigate the whereabouts of the author of Lapindo File: SBY-Bakrie Conspiracy, Ali Azhar Akbar, even though his family has not filed a missing person report yet.
"It's a moral responsibility as well as early protection to prevent anything from harming Ali Azhar Akbar," said Andy Irfan in Surabaya on Tuesday.
He further said that Ali was one of the activists who cared about environmental issues, one of which was the Lapindo mudflow. Ali has written two books, namely Conspiracy Behind the Lapindo Mud: From Actor to Dirty Strategy published by GalangPers 2007, and Lapindo File: SBY-Bakrie Conspiracy, published in May 2012 by Indopetro Publishing.
Kontras’ report as collected from statements by friends and Ali’s networks said that Ali met with his lawyer, M. Taufik Budiman on June 15 at a trial on file submission at the Constitutional Court. At the time, Ali said that he was being terrorized via short-texted messages.
Taufik spoke to Ali last on June 19, 2012, where Ali said he was going to Bandung to attend the launching of his book at the ITB campus on June 22, 2012. Book launches were planned for Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bandung, Medan, Makassar and Surabaya. However, two days before the book launch, on June 20, 2012, his lawyer could no longer contact Ali.
His close friend, Zulkifli S. Ekomei, gave the same account. Two days before they lost contact, Ali spoke to him. He told of his experience in Yogya at a review of his book. He said several people had spoken harshly about his writings.
Indopetro Publishing director, Kusairi, said that Ali received a threatening text message, saying, "You must be responsible to the mud victims for your writings. I’ll wait for you in Bandung."
Together with his friends, Tjuk Sukiadi Kasturi and Marine Lieutenant General (Ret.) Suharto of the Lapindo Mud Closing Movement (GMLL) filed a judicial review with the Constitutional Court on Article 18 of the Law on the Revised Budget to the 1945 Constitution that unilaterally on behalf of the state has allocated State Budget money to people in the affected areas. Both Tjuk and Lieutenant General (Ret.) Suharto do not know Ali’s whereabouts.
"There is great possibility that Ali has been killed. We therefore request that Ali’s family immediately provide information about this issue," said Andy. In his book, Ali reveals some irregular facts and data in the field.
The Lapindo mudflow, which occurred on May 26, 2006, was originally thought to be caused by drilling by Lapindo Brantas Incorporated (LBI), but is now referred to as a natural disaster.
By Dini Mawuntyas
25 July 2012