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October 1, 2016: Slum dwellers in Indonesia have launched a landmark legal case to challenge a decades-old law which has been used to forcibly remove thousands of families, amid a wave of evictions in the country’s capital.
The case comes as authorities ramp up efforts to clear housing along a main river bank in Jakarta, the sprawling capital of 10 million people, to pave the way for an ambitious flood mitigation project.
Local residents have asked the court to declare a law enacted in 1960 as unconstitutional as it “gives the government a great authority to take the land from the people” without due consultation, court documents show.
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“I see more and more people suffering like me. This is wrong, this is inhumane,” said Mansur Daud, who was evicted last year from a slum in west Jakarta to make way for the project.
The 54-year-old hawker launched the legal challenge with two others this week, saying they want justice to be upheld.
“There was no dialogue, no compensation. I have to live at my parents’ house now, my children were traumatized by the eviction, where is the justice?” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Friday.
The 1960 law prohibits the use of land without permission from the rightful owner, but land rights advocates argue it has long been invoked in favor of the authorities.
Lawyer Alldo Fellix Januardy said the law unfairly targets slum dwellers and the poor who cannot provide proof of land ownership, due to a legacy of unclear and overlapping land titles, as well as bureaucracy in Indonesia.
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However, he said, this was exacerbated by the fact that the law does not require the government to provide the same proof of title when it is used to evict the residents.
“The problem with land evictions in Indonesia is that nobody has a [land ownership] certificate,” said Januardy, who specializes in land rights cases and represents the slum dwellers.
“If nobody has a certificate, then the court should be the one to decide whose land it is but the government never sends cases to court, they just evict people because of this law.
“If we win the case, every forced eviction must be decided through the court before it happens,” the lawyer added.
The Constitutional Court has yet to fix a date to start hearing the case.
The Jakarta city government has defended its move and vowed to push ahead with the evictions despite criticism.
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Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama said the project was necessary to prevent annual floods during monsoon season, and alternative housing had been provided to those affected.
According to the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute, which has been helping evicted families, there were 113 forced evictions last year, with each round typically involving many dwellings. A total of 8,145 families and 6,283 small businesses were affected in 2015, the group said.
Another 325 evictions were set to take place this year, the institute said, citing the government’s planning documents.
The latest round of eviction took place Wednesday, which saw bulldozers demolish a waterfront shanty town in Jakarta. It went without protest, but past evictions have sometimes resulted in violence.
In August last year, security forces fired teargas and water cannon after they clashed with residents while clearing a flood-prone area in the capital, with 27 people arrested. (VOA)
Representation of the Swastika on the flag of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Movement.Photo by Flickr.
Keywords: Neeraj Chopra, Olympics, Tokyo2020, Gold medal, javelin, India, Haryana
The emergence of the Industrial Revolution in Victorian England brought with it many apprehensions and fears that translated into a new genre in literature: the gothic. Today, the idea of the gothic does not have to much with literature as much as it is associated with fashion.
The Victorians began to wear black more often during the Industrial Revolution to hide the stains of soot on their clothes. Many of the working class were employed in factories. They were newly introduced to technology, the idea of coal as fuel, and the working of machines to serve a certain purpose. This kind of work was hard and messy. Wearing light colours burdened the tired folk when the stubborn stains did not get washed away.
The steam engine was invented to make locomotion easier for the masses, but it brought fear to the people. They had led quiet and simple lives till now, and suddenly their world was infiltrated with loud noises and smoke. Dark places became synonymous with evil deeds and mysteries. It was from this time that horror gained a place in the imaginations of people and artists.
A man sporting gothic clothes and shock coloured hair Image source: wikimedia commons
The gothics of today are those who have held on to these practices. There is no need to fear smoke and noise anymore, but the goths wear black clothes all the time, paint their skin a pale shade, to contrast their clothes, and wear bright shades of red. The traditional gothics decorated themselves with jewellery bearing religious significances, as the belief in Dracula and vampires emerged in the Victorian period. Today, it is a trend to wear studded crosses, or crosses made of black metal either as neck chokers, or earrings.
Modern goths also wear bright monotones to show their patronage of a certain style or order of the goths. They can be seen in neon shades of green, pink, and yellow, often sporting piercings, and matching hair. Their tastes are metallic, and they have an uncanny love for tattoos.
Designers consistently include gothic tastes and styles in their clothing lines to create inclusivity for this subculture. Being gothic, or identifying with them is somewhat a concern even in today's society, and such people are often stigmatised to the extent that it is considered a mental illness associated with the dark arts. The phenomenon is mostly observed in teenagers, and often phases out when they reach adulthood, depending on their sphere of influence.
Keywords: Gothic, Fashion, Victorian, Black, Jewellery