IBC Want Greenpeace Investigated

The Indonesian Bishops Conference has added its voice to those of other religious-based organizations calling for environmental group Greenpeace to be evicted from the country if it is found to have received funding from gambling, a report says.

Benny Susetyo, head of the conference, also known as the KWI, said the Indonesian government must investigate reports the international nongovernmental organization based in the Netherlands was partially funded through lotteries.

“If it is proven, their activity [in Indonesia] must be stopped,” Benny was quoted by Berita Jakarta as saying.

Greenpeace has recently been making headlines for its concerted campaign against palm oil companies operating in Indonesia, most notably Asian Pulp and Paper, that are widely blamed for contributing to the rampant destruction of Indonesian forests.

Also calling for Greenpeace’s ouster from Indonesia is the Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) and vigilante groups the Betawi Brotherhood Forum (FBR) and Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).

Benny, as quoted by Berita Jakarta, the Jakarta administration’s official news portal, said Indonesia was a nation based on laws and as such, if Greenpeace was found to have breached the law, the government should act “concretely.”

He said it was the government’s responsibility to investigate claims it was funded through lotteries, given the subject was a sensitive issue in the Muslim-majority nation.

Indonesian Protestant Church Union (PGI) secretary general Rev. Gomar Gultom was quoted by the news portal as saying that gambling had a negative impact on people.

MUI chief Amidhan said Greenpeace’s Web site showed the environmental group received funding through state lotteries, including from the Netherlands.

Greenpeace Indonesia has previously denied that any of its funding is sourced from gambling and that it complies with Indonesian law.

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