Human rights

Down to Earth No. 55, November 2002


A bitter dispute between the Lore Lindu National Park authorities in Central Sulawesi and local communities has resulted in the deaths of a local man and a forest ranger.

On 8th October, a forest patrol clashed with illegal loggers near Kalukubula. A local man was shot dead by a forest ranger and a ranger suffered serious knife wounds in the incident. The following day, hundreds of Dongi-dongi people burnt a park information office, rangers' posts and park staff housing.

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002


Peasant farmers across Indonesia are protesting against government policies which deprive them of land and livelihood. They are demanding a new, pro-poor approach to national development which promotes peasants' rights. In the meantime, violence and intimidation of peasants involved in land disputes continues.

Hundreds of peasant farmers from West Java tore down the gates to Indonesia's national parliament in Jakarta in September, during a protest to mark Farmers Day 2002.

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002

Kotopanjang dam victims to get compensation?

Over four thousand families forced to resettle on barren land due to a Japan-funded dam have become "developmental refugees" according to a Japanese newspaper report. The Kotopanjang dam in Riau, Sumatra was built on protected forest and the adat (customary) land of local communities in 1997 at a cost of 36.4 billion Yen, almost all of which was a Japanese government loan.

Down to Earth No 51 November 2001

Communities who depend upon coastal resources for their livelihoods are being pushed aside - sometimes by violent means - as entrepreneurs rush to maximise profits from the seas.

Down to Earth No 51 November 2001

Stop Exxon Mobil! Free Kautsar!

The Aceh Community Democratic Resistance Front (FPDRA) is circulating a petition to free an Acehnese activist detained for speaking out against the US-based oil and gas multinational, Exxon Mobil. The petition also calls for a halt to Exxon's operations in Aceh.

Kautsar was arrested on July 11th by the local Aceh police force when he was on his way to a demonstration organised by a coalition of 13 organizations known as KARA (Aceh Community Action Coalition).

Down to Earth No 50 August 2001

Violations of community rights are still continuing as companies and regional governments try to maximise income from the country's mineral resources. At the same time, mining companies are complaining about the "legal vacuum" hampering their operations in Indonesia.

Large-scale mining in Indonesia is in 'legal limbo', as the protesting companies see it, because their contracts, signed during the Suharto era, are being nibbled away by the demands of local governments newly empowered by regional autonomy.

Down to Earth No. 48, February 2001


Indigenous people living on ancestral lands in Rawa Aopa Watumohai National Park, Southeast Sulawesi, were forcibly evicted from their homes in November by a security team including police and military personnel.