Sumatra

 

Down to Earth No 62  August 2004

NGOs have stepped up their campaign to halt construction of the Ladia Galaska road project which cuts through the Leuser Ecosystem in Aceh - one of world's richest areas of tropical rainforest.

Floods hit four districts in Aceh on May 7-8, in the western area downstream of the Ladia Galaska road project, leaving one person dead, sweeping away four houses and forcing thousands to leave their flooded homes.

Down to Earth No 61 May 2004

A recent visit by DTE staff to South Sumatra illustrates the realities of Indonesia's deforestation and the tensions between local communities and the authorities over the use of 'forest lands' in a rapidly changing environment

"Why are you going to South Sumatra to find out about sustainable forest use? There is no forest there!", said people in Jakarta. Even in the provincial capital, Palembang, staff at the South Sumatra branch of the environmental NGO WALHI were gloomy.

Down to Earth No 61  May 2004

Bestari Raden, a well-known environmentalist and indigenous activist, was arrested by the military in Aceh in March, while on a government mission to review the controversial Ladia Galaska road scheme.

Military personnel from the 0108 Southeast Aceh District Command (Kodim) arrested Bestari Raden on March 23rd. After being held at the military command in Kutacane, where he was interrogated by the command's intelligence chief, Bestari was handed over to the Southeast Aceh police at Tapak Tuan.

Down to Earth No 60  February 2004

By Novi Siti Julaeha*

"When people are deprived of their rights, then it is natural to resist. And when injustice is purported to become law, then resistance is justified and it becomes their duty"(1)

Indonesia has a population of 201,241,999 people according to the 2000 census. The fourth largest country in the world after China, India, and the US, Indonesia is also a multi-ethnic society with 1,072 ethnic and sub ethnic groups(2).

Down to Earth No 58  August 2003


Two dead in Lonsum plantation dispute

On July 21, one 30-year old man was killed and another was reported to be in a critical condition after police shot at villagers in Bulukumba, South Sulawesi. Four of the injured were suffering from gun-shot wounds, according to media reports. Another man died on July 25th, during surgery to remove a bullet from his leg.

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


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.