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Smallholders Protested to the Office of Astra Agro, Jardine Matheson in London to Get Back Their Areas



Special doc./The representatives of Central Sulawesi Province and Friends of the Earth (FOE) Netherland and United Kingdom did protest in the headquarter of Astra International in London.
Smallholders Protested to the Office of Astra Agro, Jardine Matheson in London to Get Back Their Areas

InfoSAWIT, LONDON – The representatives of Central Sulawesi Province and Friends of the Earth (FOE) in Netherland and United Kingdom (UK) did protest in the headquarter of Astra International and Mandarin Oriental. The two companies belong to Jardine Matheson. It was about to protest him and should return the villagers’ plantations in 13 villages in South Sulawesi and West Sulawesi Province that four subsidiaries of Astra International have been seized. They are, PT Mamuang, PT Lestari Tani Teladan, PT Agro Nusa Abadi, and PT Sawit Jaya Abadi 2.

As in the official statement released by Wahana Lingkungan Hidup (WALHI) by the late of April 2024, 2.485 families got the impacts with the total area conflict that laid about 5.856 hectares. Of the numbers, 26% of business rights of PT Lestari Tani Teladan and PT Mamuang where the villagers needed to get back. While PT Agro Nusa Abadi that might be illegally operating in seven villages in Regency of Morowali Utara that laid about 19.675 hectares, the villagers wanted to get back 5,7% of plantations that the company may illegally cultivate. PT Sawit Jaya Abadi 2 was forced to return the villagers areas 8,8% of the company cultivated that laid about 8.500 hectares.

Besides the land plunder, the subsidiaries of Jardine Matheson did intimidation, violence, and even crime to the villagers. Until now, 36 men are threatened, 28 men got criminal punishment, and one should come to an end because of trauma from the crim. The police officers were the most the actors in the crime and intimidation, the right hand of the companies and also army officers.

When directly delivering their protests and complaint, the representatives of the villagers also met some UK Parliament members and asked for their support. Uli Arta boru Siagian, WALHI Plantation and Forest Campaigner Manager said that the cases in the subsidiaries of PT Astra Agro Lestari Tbk., (AALI) were protested in UK to get the government and parliament’s responsibility for the bad cultivation and implementation that AALI did in Indonesia. Some international scale – brand decided to cut off purchasing oil from AALI as the evidence that the company negatively did cultivate its palm oil plantations.

The protest was about to get responsibility of the multi-national scale company for the villagers and environment where they operated, urging the government to get solution of the conflict, and delivering sanction for the companies that illegally operated and had something to do with deforestation.

Meanwhile, PT AALI re-emphasized that the company and its subsidiaries, such as, PT Mamuang, PT Lestari Tani Teladan, PT Agro Nusa Abadi, and PT Sawit Jaya Abadi 2 (PTSJA-2) never conducted crimes, had not authority and did crime or other threat to the villagers.

“In Indonesia, everyone has the same rights before the law and every violence would be processed legally. If the sentence (from the court) was not delivering satisfaction, there would be appeal until a sentence is inkcraht (the sentence has no more appeal as the final one),” AALI noted as in the official statement on Tuesday (7/5/2024).

The company also clarified what WALHI protested PT Lestari Tani Teladan, PT Mamuang, and PT Agro Nusa Abadi. Everything has been clarified transparently by the third independent party, EcoNusantara.

In specific about PTSJA-2, AALI clarified that it did not cultivate 8.500 hectares because PTSJA-2 got izin penyelenggaraan transmigrasi (lPT) through the Decision of Minister of Villages, Disadvantaged Village Development and Transmigration Number 9 / 2019.

In the execution, PTSJA-2 developed plasma plantation with the terms and condition in IPT. The villagers that got the plasma program were selected and determined by the government.

“The decision about the names of the villagers that would get the plasma pogram was not the decision of AALI but the government. The areas (plantations) belong to the government. Any claim about it should be asked to the government,” AALI officially noted. (T2)

 


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