See More on Facebook

Culture and society, Curiosity

Indonesian pre-teen writes to Trump

Why do you always export your waste to my country.


Written by

Updated: July 15, 2019

A surge of waste imports into cities in East Java has prompted a teenager to write to United States President Donald Trump to protest about the incoming trash.

Aeshnina Azzahra, a 12-year-old from Gresik, East Java, wrote that the river in her neighborhood was “very dirty and smelly” as many factories dispose of their waste carelessly on land and water.

She said she had to write to Trump because the US was among the largest exporters of waste to Indonesia.

“Why do you always export your waste to my country? Why don’t you take care of your own waste,” she wrote in her letter.

Aeshnina also participated in a protest held by environmentalists in front of the United States Consulate General in Surabaya, East Java, on Friday.

She said America’s waste had also polluted Indonesia’s oceans and consumed by marine animals. Expressing her devastation about her neighborhood, Aeshnina hoped that it would one day become clean again.

A letter from Aeshnina Azzahra, 12, from Gresik, East Java, to United States President Donald Trump, expressing her devastation about waste flooding her neighborhood.

A letter from Aeshnina Azzahra, 12, from Gresik, East Java, to United States President Donald Trump, expressing her devastation about waste flooding her neighborhood. (Courtesy of Bracsip/-)

The Brantas River Coalition (Bracsip), the group that rallied in front of to the Consulate General’s office, delivered Aeshnina’s letter along with its own statement.

Bracsip coordinator Prigi Arisandi said the group had encouraged East Java residents to speak up about how imported trash had deteriorated their neighborhoods.

According to Bracsip, the US exported 150,186 tons of used paper to Indonesia in 2018, six times the size sent a year earlier. It suspected that the overwhelming increase in waste imports was due to the lower prices offered by Indonesian firms compared to other countries.

Read also: Indonesia sends more toxic waste, trash back to US, Europe, Australia

East Java itself is known as a hub for paper and cardboard producers, with the residents of some villages in Surabaya, Gresik and Mojokerto working as sorters of garbage for the companies.

But the East Java neighborhoods receiving the garbage do not have a proper waste treatment system.

To put an end to the crisis, the government has cracked down ports in Surabaya and Batam, Riau Islands, to stop containers filled with unsorted plastic and paper scraps that have been mixed with toxic and hazardous materials, such as electronic waste.

On Tuesday, the Customs and Excise Office at Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya announced that it would return eight containers of paper waste from Australia after finding them contaminated with dangerous materials.

Read also: After plastic, Indonesia now also returns contaminated paper waste to Australia

Prigi said the office had sent a letter in March to the US embassy but had yet to receive a response.

“At this point, the President [of Indonesia] should send a notification to [the US embassy]” Prigi said. “Indonesia doesn’t accept household waste; we only take paper waste as it could be a source of economy for factories here.”



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Jakarta Post
About the Author: The Jakarta Post is one of Indonesia's leading English-language daily newspapers.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Culture and society, Curiosity

Modi defends citizenship decision

PM Modi says it has nothing to do with Indian Muslims. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, that unity in diversity is integral to India while addressing ‘Aabhar Rally’ at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan today to kick start Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi Assembly Elections campaign slated for early next year, amid protests in Delhi and all over the country against the contentious Citizenship Act and the National Register of Citizenship(NRC). Modi raised slogan of ‘vividhta me ekta, Bharat ki visheshta’ (Unity in diversity is India’s speciality). PM Modi while giving his party and government’s view on CAA and NRC said, “Muslims being misled, I have always ensured that documents will never come in way of development schemes and their beneficiaries.” Citizenship law and NRC have nothing to do with Indian Muslims or with Indian citizens, he clarified. “We have never asked


By The Statesman
December 23, 2019

Culture and society, Curiosity

The Chinese version

Muhammad Amir Rana asks what is the Chinese version of Islam.  TENSIONS between China and the US have escalated after the House of Representative’s Uighur Human Rights Policy Act, 2019. The move is of a piece with the allegations of many international media and human rights organisations that China is persecuting the Uighur community and violating their rights — allegations that Beijing has denied. Calling the US action a political move aimed at damaging its international image, China says it is running a deradicalisation programme to mainstream its communities. Read: Amid global outcry, China defends internment camps of minorities in Xinjiang The Chinese claim has not been verified by independent sources and mystery shrouds its deradicalisation or re-education programme. China needs to demonstra


By Asia News Network
December 16, 2019

Culture and society, Curiosity

India under Modi is moving systematically with a supremacist agenda, says PM Imran

Imran Khan made the comments after India passed a controversial citizenship requirement. Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been moving systematically with a Hindu supremacist agenda. The prime minister was referencing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill passed by India’s upper house amid protests on Wednesday. The bill will let the Indian government grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants who entered India from three neighbouring countries before 2015 — but not if they are Muslim. Modi’s government — re-elected in May and under pressure over a slowing economy — says Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are excluded from the legislation because they do not face discrimination in those countries. Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister I


By Asia News Network
December 13, 2019

Culture and society, Curiosity

Nepal moves up in Human Development Index but still lags behind in South Asia

Nepal’s human development index of 0,579 indicates that people are living longer, are more educated and have greater incomes, according to the Human Development Report. Despite global progress in tackling poverty, hunger and disease, a ‘new generation of inequalities’ indicates that many societies are not working as they should and Nepal is not an exception, according to a new human development report released on Tuesday. The old inequalities were based on access to health services and education whereas the new generation of inequalities is based on technology, education and the climate, according to the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report. “Previously, we talked about wealth as a major driver for inequality. Now, countries like Nepal are in another inequality trap and that concerns


By The Kathmandu Post
December 12, 2019

Culture and society, Curiosity

Taiwan among top 10 study destinations for U.S. students

Thailand and Singapore among other Asian destinations. China welcomed the highest number of U.S. students last year, followed by Japan and India in second and third places, respectively, according to a recent survey about exchange students in Asia. South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, and Indonesia rounded up the top 10 list of the most popular Asian countries among U.S. students. According to AsiaExchange, “The high level of education, low exposure to crime, economic freedom and good healthcare system are a few examples of why Taiwan is ranked 2nd on the annual Global Peace Index.” It’s also very safe to live in Taiwan, as crime rates are low, the Website stressed, noting that Taiwan’s focus on human rights, gender equality and freedom of speech has made it a top destination for education. Taiwan, whose institutions are strong and reliable, has remained la


By Warren Fernandez
December 12, 2019

Culture and society, Curiosity

Relentless against child marriage

Farida Yesmin wins an award for her work to prevent child marriage. It was a rainy day in July 2018. As the evening fell, someone called Farida Yesmin, upazila nirbahi officer of Netrakona’s Barhatta, over her phone and informed her that a child marriage was about to take place in Kawrashi, a remote village in the upazila near the Bangladesh-India border. Farida immediately called the police and left for the village in the dark of the night amid rain and thunderstorms. The road was so bad that at one point, the UNO and her team had to leave their vehicles. They walked about two kilometres to find the girl’s home. “As we reached the spot, a local leader tried to stop us. But despite all these hurdles, we were able to prevent the marriage,” Farida said while recalling how she and her team stopped a staggering 59 child marriages after she joined as the Barhatta UNO on May 9, 2017. She


By Daily Star
December 2, 2019