Land and food security

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


Newmont, the US-based mining company, has again come under fire at both its operations in Indonesia.

In North Sulawesi PT Newmont Minahasa Raya (80% owned by US mining giant Newmont) was forced to shut down operations at its Ratatotok gold mine three times in as many months. Former land-owners mounted a series of blockades an demanded compensation for land taken over by the company.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000


The past months have seen unprecedented direct action by local people and mine workers protesting against injustice at Rio Tinto's PT KEM and Kaltim Prima mines.

In April and May this year, Rio Tinto's Kelian gold mine was forced to shut down after negotiations with local community representatives were broken off. Hundreds of Dayak villagers blockaded access to the mine, preventing supplies of lime (used to treat acid waste) and diesel fuel oil getting through to the mine site on the Kelian river.

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

In a recent article outlining the history of decentralisation in Indonesia, Trevor Buising states that the changes to be introduced by Law 22 "are not as great as imagined".

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).

Down to Earth No. 45, May 2000

Environmental NGOs JATAM and WALHI have exposed the long-running problems of pollution near the site of US-based Unocal's oil and gas terminal.

On February 11th heavy rains caused a spillage from the company's waste facility at Tanjungsantan on the East Kalimantan coast.