[Marxism] Solidarity Needed: A Toddler Died as Indonesian Police And Thugs Terrorised Farmers and Burned Down Their Houses

Data Brainanta data.brainanta at gmail.com
Sat Dec 20 07:05:40 MST 2008

To evict the residents of Solok Bongkal village who hold the legal
customary land ownership, PT Arara Abadi, a supplier of pulpwood, sent
hundreds of police and thugs to herd them by force, while two
helicopters burned their abandoned houses and heavy machineries were
brought in after to clear the rubble and level the ground. Dozens of
peasants (Riau Peasant Union), including a leftist legislative
candidate (Antony Fitra) to contest in the 2009 election were
arrested. The police and thugs are still hunting down peasants and
activist. This incident was suppressed by the Indonesian media.

There is also a cause in facebook
(http://apps.facebook.com/causes/178783?m=7bf7bab2) to support the
villagers, which might be useful to track the development, especially
if you're on fb.

Thank you for your attention.



Indonesia: LMND (National Students' League for Democracy) Condemn
Police Burning 700 Citizens' Houses
in Bengkalis, Riau

On Thursday (18/12/08), two helicopters flew in circle and used
napalm, the kind used by the US troops in Vietnam, against farmers'
settlement in Dusun Solok Bongkal, Beringin Village, Sub-District
Pinggir, Bengkalis, Riau. In seconds, about 700 citizens' houses were
burnt down, along with the farming lands, productive tools, and
furniture that could not be saved by their owners. Furthermore, about
a thousand thugs and five hundreds armed police personnel were
deployed to evict the citizens. Police opened fire not only to scare
the citizens, but also aimed at them, so that two citizens were shot.
Ironically, a toddler named Fitri (2 y.o.) was so frightened that she
fell into a well and died. During the incident, about 200 citizens
were arrested and detained at Mandau Police station, and about 400
more are hiding in the forest of Kampung Dalam, while surrounded by
hundreds of police and thugs who hunt them like outlaws. Apparently,
the Indonesian Police
cooperation with the US military results in the former's use of napalm
in a scorched earth against people's houses.

This inhuman and brutal act was carried out by the state apparatus,
that is the The Police of the Republic of Indonesia, whose shoelaces
were bought by money from the people. In the meantime, the police and
a thousand of thugs evicted citizens without carrying any court's
order, only an order (obviously with bribes) by a company, PT Arara
Abadi. How can police serve the Law, if they easily ignore the Law to
please big businesses?

According to the permit given by the government, PT Arara Abadi only
holds management right, instead of ownership right, of the forest in
the location. But in the development, PT Arara Abadi claimed ownership
of the land, while the government turned a blind eye; therefore the
affiliate of Sinar Mas Group has tried to evict the citizens many
times, including sending thugs to do it. In reality, the five thousand
hectares of land is under the settlers' customary/indigenous right
(tanah ulayat), which historically has been recorded in formal
documents; the majority of citizens own the proves of ownership of
that land.

It is an unwritten law in this country that the government will always
serve big businesses, and its apparatus (the Police and the Court)
will be the protector aka uniformed thugs of their corporations.
Similar incidents have happened for a long period of time in almost
the entire country, but there has been no will by the parliament (DPR)
or any other institution to investigate them.

With the incident in Bengkalis, Riau, we affirm that anti-thug
campaign being promoted by the new Police Chief is simply a lie. It is
impossible to eradicate thuggery (premanisme) if it is so closely
attached to the existing police institution. Police's slogan "the
protector, nurturer, at the service of the society" has been
translated into a number of acts of violences against the civilians.
The people do not see the Police as their protector but instead the
enemy that violate their political and democratic rights, as well as
their right to live.

Therefore, the National Executives of the National Students' League
for Democracy (EN-LMND) declared

1. To condemn the Indonesian Police (POLRI) that have committed acts
of violence through the use of napalm to burn down settlements, shot
and arrested hundreds of Bongkal Suluk citizens. We demand that the
Police Chief shows his consistency in fighting thuggery and improves
the image of the Indonesian Police by dismissing, bringing to court
and imposing severe punishment to all his personnel involved in the

2. To demand the national Police Chief to dismiss Riau Regional Police
Chief and bring Alex Mandalika - Riau Police Reskrim - to the Human
Rights Court for leading the act of violence.

3. Freeze PT Arara Abadi activities by cancelling its business permit,
and arresting and bringing to court the company's management; Revoke
the Ministry of Forestry Decision Letter (SK no.743/Kpts-II/1996)

4. Return the entire land that belongs to Suluk Bongkal Citizens'
customary rights; rehabilitate their houses and provide compensation
to all losses of their productive tools and farming lands.

5. Release without condition 200 detained activists and citizens;

6. Demand that the National Human Right Commission (Komnas HAM)
conducted field investigation on the gross violation of Human Rights
carried out by the Police and PT Arara Abadi;

Democracy and welfare, now!

Jakarta, 19 December 2008

Form Students' Council, Fight for Genuine Democracy

Lalu Hilman Afriandi

Agus Priyanto
Secretary General

** Please Send your protest letter to:

- Alex Mandalika ( Dir Reksrim Polda Riau )
by text message/SMS
+62 812 - 6201 -962.

- Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri
Chief of National Police
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3
Jakarta Selatan
Fax: +62 21 720 7277
Tel: +62 21 721 8012
Email: polri at polri.go.id

- Mr. Ifdhal Kasim
KOMNAS HAM (National Human Rights Commission)
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4B Menteng
Jakarta Pusat 10310
Fax: +62 21 3151042/3925227
Tel: +62 21 3925230
E-mail: info at komnasham.or.id.

- Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudoyono
Republic of Indonesia
Presidential Palace
Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara
Jakarta Pusat 10010
Fax: + 62 21 231 41 38, 345 2685, 345 7782
Tel: + 62 21 3845627 ext 1003
E-mail: presiden at ri.go.id


Jln. Tebet Dalam IIG No. 1, Jakarta Selatan, 12820.Indonesia.
Phone/Fax: +62-21-8354513. Email: papernas at yahoo.com.
Blog/Website: http://papernas-international.blogspot.com/

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