Sumatra

 

Down to Earth No. 48, February 2001


As huge oil and gas developments continue in Indonesia, communities in areas where these industries operate are becoming more vocal in demanding a stop to pollution and fair compensation.

Communities in Riau, East Kalimantan, Aceh, and Java are engaged in an unequal struggle with some of the world's most powerful transnational companies.

Down to Earth No 48 February 2001

CIFOR researcher's body found in Aceh mass grave

A mass grave, containing 14 bodies was uncovered in Terbangan, Kluet Selatan, South Aceh in January. One has been identified as a researcher with the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) Bandung.

Three young researchers from CIFOR and a member of the Gunung Leuser national park management, disappeared in September 1999. The corpses of three women from Medan in neighbouring North Sumatra province were also found in the grave.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

On 25 August 2000, police shot indiscriminately into a crowd of people gathered outside the factory gates of oil palm company PT Permata Hijau Sawit (PT PHS) in Mananti village, Sosa sub-district, South Tapanuli, killing eighteen year old Febriadi Nasution. Thirty-three people were later arrested, 15 of whom are currently standing trial, charged with various criminal damage offences.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

Twenty three people were injured when police moved in to break up a protest blockade at Unocal's oil and gas terminal in East Kalimantan.

Seven protesters were injured by bullet wounds and a further sixteen were seriously injured when beaten and kicked by police, who broke up the protest on October 8th.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

Natural resources are one of the main factors underlying the independence struggle in Aceh, but decades of plunder have left them severely depleted.

The brutal murder of the internationally known Acehnese human rights activist, Jafar Siddiq Hamzah, reminded the world in September that the northern-most tip of Sumatra remains a dangerous place. Despite a 'humanitarian pause' signed by Indonesia and Acehnese independence leaders in June this year, the murders, disappearances and torture have continued.

Down to Earth No. 46, August 2000

The idea of devolving authority to regional centres has been around for a long time. Indeed, incipient movements for autonomy and regional independence were strong in the first years of after independence, but clumsy CIA support triggered the centralist policies of the Sukarno regime. (Kahin, A.R. and Kahin, G.McT., 1995. Subversion as Foreign Policy: the Secret Eisenhower and Dulles Debacle in Indonesia. The New Press, New York).