In the News (Indonesia): Thousands of villagers reclaim, cultivate land

The Jakarta Post, 01/11/2010

Disappointed by a protracted land dispute, thousands of villagers in South Sumatra have reclaimed plantation land managed by state-owned plantation company PTPN VII Cinta Manis.

The residents of Rengas village, Payaraman district, Ogan Ilir regency, placed poles along the disputed land and planted pineapple and rubber trees on the land on Saturday.

Similarly, residents in neighboring Lubuk Bandung and Betung villages also reclaimed land managed by the plantation company.

The dispute over 1,529 hectares of land had triggered a shooting incident recently. Police mobile brigade officers shot protesters, injuring dozens of villagers. Eleven of the residents were treated at hospital for their wounds.

The residents’ efforts to reclaim their land was supported by several NGOs, including the Palembang Legal Aid Institute (LBH), the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), the Indonesian Farmers Union and the Agrarian Reform Consortium.

Read the full story at The Jakarta Post



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