Sumatra

 

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002


The following is translated from 'Patih 'Pak Garang' Laman', an article by Edi Petebang, Kalimantan Review no. 55/March 2000

Patih Laman is a traditional leader of a Talang Mamak community - an indigenous people who live in the forests of Riau and Jambi, Sumatra. Some, but not all of the Talang Mamak's customary forests lie within Bukit Tiga Puluh National Park. The Talang Mamak follow a traditional way of life, practising rotational use of the forests.

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 53-54  August 2002


The world's biggest oil company is fighting a human rights lawsuit by claiming that the case will upset US relations with Indonesia.

Exxon described Indonesia as "a place where al-Quaeda-trained fighters are residing" at an April hearing of International Labor Rights Fund's lawsuit against the company.

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002


Choking smoke from fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan has caused respiratory health problems and disrupted transport services in several cities in western Indonesia over the past weeks.

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002

The following is a summary of recent legal action against companies accused of setting fires in their concessions.

 

Only 5 of the 176 plantation and timber companies accused of burning to clear concession land in 1997 were ever taken to court and only one was found guilty, according to former environment minister Sonny Keraf, speaking in March 2000.1

A coalition of 13 NGOs and community groups from North Sumatra took legal action against a number of national timber industry associations and thei

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002


The Indorayon pulp mill - one of Indonesia's most notorious polluters - was shut down in 1998 following years of protests from the local communities suffering the impacts. The company was renamed PT Toba Pulp Lestari and recently won government approval for reopening its pulp mill in Porsea, North Sumatra.

Down to Earth No. 52, February 2002


The pattern of human rights violations arising from land conflicts during the Suharto era still persists today, more than three years since the dictator was forced to resign.

The high incidence of land conflicts and the persistent pattern of violence against peasants and activists defending peasants' rights shows that there has been little change in the way the government handles land conflicts since the Suharto days.