PT Medco refuses to pay compensation for Papuan land used for three years

[COMMENT: Here is a major company bemoaning its fate if required to pay compensation for Papuan land, without acknowledging that its operations have certainly led to the devastation of the livelihoods of the people whose land it has been using for three years. How does one weigh the demise of a company against the lives and livelihoods of indigenous Papuan people who are bereft of the land that is the very heart and soul of their physical and spiritual beings?  This is the first time we have read reports  about the absence of any compensation for Papuan people. It sums up a problem besetting Papuan people across the length and breadth of West Papua. TAPOL]JUBI, 21 April 2011

The inhabitants of Sanggase kampung, district  of Okaba, district of Merauke, have submitted a demand for compensation of sixty-five billion rupiahs from PT Medco for their operations in the kampung for the past three years, but they have had no response from the company.

In other words, the company has simply washed its hands and is not prepared to pay any compensation.

At a meeting held on Thursday this week with the district chief (bupati) of Merauke which was also attended by representatives of the local administration and military chiefs, as well as a number of local people, the representative of PT Medco in Papua Aradea Arifin,  said that paying compensation  of sixty-billion rupiahs  would mean that the company would not be able to function any more.

He said that the land being used by the company is 2,800 hectares. Should such a large amount of money be paid in a case like this?. ‘It simply means asking us to close down our company,’ he said. ‘So it is quite impossible for us to pay the community such a huge amount of money.’

He claimed that during the years of its operations in Kampung Boepe, the company had  given assistance to the local people in the form of building houses, building a church, provided motor cycles and so on which he claimed meant that the company  had acknowledged the problems confronted by the people there

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