RI appoints lawyer to settle Komodo dispute

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February, 6'2011

The government appointed noted lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis to settle its recent dispute with new 7Wonders Foundation, which has said it may suspend Indonesia's Komodo National Park from the New & Wonders of Nature finalist list next week.

The Culture and Tourism Ministry announced the appointment before a number of local public figures, who had compaigned for Komodo Park, including celebrities Olga Lidya and Marcella Zalianty.

The Ministry's director general for marketing Sapta Nirwandar asked them to continue their campaigns despite the possible suspension.

"We want justice. The voting has been done since 2008; they cannot just dismiss us because we don't want to stage (the event to declare the winner's). Not only Indonesian's, people from other countries also take part in the voting,"Sapta said, as quoted Saturday by Kompas.com.

He said there was a clause saying New 7 Wonders had a right to eliminate participants in a deal Indonesia had agreed on while registering Komodo in the voting. "But, that is if we commit a sin. Now what sin have we committed?" Sapta said.He reiterated that Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik's statements saying the possible suspension was a threat due to Indonesia's refusal to host the declaration of the vote winners because it was too costly.

Sapta also said although New 7 Wonders was said to have signed a contract with a private consortium in the country regarding the hosting of the declaration event, the ministry had heard nothing about that.

New 7 Wonders has said in the response to Jero's statements that it has "never asked" the [Indonesian] governments to pay anything".