INDONESIA ENVIRONMENT MINISTER: STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT HAZE

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Indonesia's Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar told foreign countries that while she has noted the complaints raised by foreign countries about the yearly haze caused by land and forest fires in Indonesia, the government is not acting on the haze because of "pressure by other countries".

"All outsiders should withhold unnecessary comments but see the efforts which are systematically and seriously being carried out by the government of Indonesia," she said today in an official statement.

She says Indonesia is already putting patrol teams on the ground and taking strong legal action against those who set fires. The number of hot spots has fallen by 75% for the same period last year, she boasted, and added that 30 companies have been slapped with "administrative sanctions" over last year's fires, including strong warnings and suspension of licences.

She also claimed that civil suits are in process against 10 companies, although she declined to name the companies involved.

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