Jakarta, Indonesia – The militant peasant group Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) demanded to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) to stop mining operations and land grabbing in Indonesia.
On July 31, the Alliansi Gerakan Reforma Agraria (AGRA) and SEKBER PHRH, took to the streets and condemned the killing of Angga bin Darmawan , a 12-year old son of a farmer, who was shot by the Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) of South Sumatera on July 27, 2012. The group also denounced the violence against the people in the villages in PT Perusahaan Negara (PTPN) VII and other regions in the country.
“We demand to stop harassment and violence against the rural people in Ogan Ilir regency, South Sumatra and other regions in Indonesia. What is called ‘development project’ by the Indonesia government is land grabbing to farmers. Mining expansion projects go hand in hand with state violence perpetrated by the Indonesian military and police,” remarked Rahmat Ajiguna, AGRA secretary general and APC deputy secretary general.
The peasant leader said, “Land grabbing and violence is being implemented by the SBY administration to support the expansion of plantations and mining in Indonesia. The latest incident in Limbung Jaya, South Sumatra, where Annga was killed and four others injured was a clear example.”
The peasant leader stated, “On July 26, the South Sumatra Brimob, ransacked homes in the villages around the state-owned firm PTPN VII Cinta Manis. Fifteen (15) police trucks arrived in Sri Bandung villages and arrested a number of residents who are accused for looting fertilizer from PTPN VII.”
The APC also criticized the Indonesian President’s plan to increase the personnel of the Indonesian Police Force to 10,000 this year and to 25,000 next year. The APC believes the people resisting land grabbing will suffer from this action.
Rahmat added, “The violence that took place on July 27 is the result of the land conflict that started more than three months ago, when people in the villages of PTPN VII demanded to return 20,000 hectares of land used by PTPN VII Cinta Msnis. The land covered six districts (Payaraman, Stone,Lubuk, Lubuk Keliat, South Indralaya, Indralaya Parent and Tanjung Raja) in Ogan Ilir regency in South Sumatra. In the certificate of the National Land Agency (BPN), the PTPN VII has the rights to 6,512 hectares only. This proves that the state through PTPN VII is the major land grabber in the country.”
The APC and AGRA demands for the following:
1. Return the 20,000 hectares of land to the people of Ogan Ilir land grabbed by state-owned plantation firm PTPN VII;
2. Prosecute the perpetrators on the violence and shooting incident that took place in the PTPN VII Cinta manis, South Sumatra;
3. Immediate removal of the military and the police in agrarian related areas such as in Ogan Ilir regency, South Sumatra and other regions in Indonesia;
4. Stop the violence against the people resisting land grabbing; and
5. Implement genuine agrarian reform in Indonesia. ##