The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has fulfilled an earlier promise to meet cement factory protesters from Mount Kendeng in Rembang, Pati, and Grobogan regencies, Central Java at the State Palace on Tuesday.
Jokowi, accompanied by Presidential Chief of Staff Teten Masduki, received 17 representatives of the community.
Teten told the press that in the meeting Jokowi offered solutions to determine which part of the karst mountain could be exploited and which parts could not.
Currently, the construction of a cement plant by PT Semen Indonesia is 95 percent complete. However, a mining operation will be located 10 kilometers from the plant.
"The mine is included in the area that needs to be assessed through a strategic environmental assessment," Teten said.
Jokowi assigned presidential office staff to lead the strategic environment assessment. Teten asserted that no mining should take place during the assessment.
Last April, nine female protesters from Mount Kendeng cemented their feet to express their objections. The women said they only wanted to be able to farm in peace without being disturbed by cement factories, which they said would diminish the water supply in the area. Karst mountains are known have a large capacity for water retention.
Last week, the Kendeng protesters returned to Jakarta and set up a protest camp near the State Palace. (evi)
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