December 13, 2012
The Malind indigenous people from Domande and Kaiburse villages are continuing to raise complaints and accusations against two subsidiaries of the Rajawali Group, PT Karyabumi Papua and PT Cenderawasih Jaya Mandiri, which are currently developing sugarcane plantations in Malind and Kurik districts, Merauke, West Papua.
The company has already been operating in Domande village since 2011, and has built a road and cut down the forest to develop their plantation and factory infrastructure.
“At the beginning, the company promised they would recruit local people as their labour force, but that turned out to be untrue. Many of the workers came from outside the village, which left local people feeling let down”, said Hubertus, a young person from Domande.
The company had made a list of ten promises which the people of Domande had agreed to, sweet-sounding promises about building facilities and infrastructure and recruiting local labour. But then when the people would demand their rights, the company would often refuse to meet those promises.
Tired of waiting for the company to give compensation for the trees they had already felled, villagers and holders of traditional land rights blockaded the road in November 2012. The company managed to reach an agreement with local community leaders that they would meet their demands and pay compensation for the trees at the beginning of December 2012, but there have still been no signs that the company will meet the obligations which it agreed to.
“The company just decieves us all the time”, said Hubertus, irritated.
In Kaiburze village, the head of the LMA (Lembaga Masyarakat Adat = Customary People’s Organisation), Ursus B. Samkakai, has sent letters to the government and the company, making clear that they did not consider as legitimate any permits or agreements with investors made without the knowledge or agreement of the local people and the LMA.
Paulus Samkakai, LMA’s secretary in Kaiburse, related how villagers from Kaiburse, together with the Malind LMA at the Merauke Regency level, have asked the Papua branch of the National Human Rights Commission to issue a letter of recommendation to the local government and the Rajawali company. They want them to conduct a meeting to discuss compensation and the opinion of the Domande people who reject investment plans in the Kaiburse area.
The Kaiburze people reject the company because they no longer have access to much land. Most of their customary land is now taken over by transmigrant villages, covering a area of 40,000 hectares.
The problem is that government and transmigrants, who have arrived from outside the area, often take over, use or sell this customary land, without the permission of the Kaiburse villagers or clans who hold the rights to that land. That includes giving it to the companies.
The people hope that through its policy and support the local government will protect the Malind people’s customary rights.
English version: https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=297
- Rajawali Group opens 10,000 ha for sugar beet in Paniai (westpapuamedia.info)
- An Agribusiness Attack in West Papua: Unravelling the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (westpapuamedia.info)
- MIFEE: The Stealthy Face of Conflict in West Papua (westpapuamedia.info)
- PRD Merauke Secretary badly beaten by TNI 755 Btn (westpapuamedia.info)