87 Indonesian Islands Could Disappear

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  • TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Bernard Kent Sondakh has said that he is very worried about the condition of 87 Indonesian islands. The islands could potentially disappear, Sondakh told reporters in Surabaya on Monday (31/1), adding that there are a further 11 islands in a critical condition. Sondakh explained the islands would be sunk because of the smuggling of sand and other natural resources. In order to avoid the islands being sunk, the Indonesian Navy is maintaining patrols and has installed signal flare systems, such as is installed on Pasir Putih Island in the maritime border with Australia. Regarding this, Sondakh said he expected the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make a diplomatic approach, adding that people should live on empty islands. Sondakh restated he would take strict action against foreign ships that steal fish and sand from Indonesian waters. I have said that the Indonesian Navy will take action against crimes in Indonesian waters and will sink ships if necessary. The House of Representatives (DPR) has agreed with it, he said. He said he believed that sinking ships that steal from Indonesian waters was not violating human rights as Australia had often taken such action and no human rights activists had protested. (Adi MawardiTempo News Room)