March 2011

 

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Calls for Solidarity for Displaced Villagers in Indonesia

Friends of the Earth International


Let us express solidarity with the residents of the villages affected by the construction of the PLTA Poso II, Sulewana Hydropower Project, of PT. Poso Energy in Indonesia. PT. Hadji Kalla and PT. Bukaka Hydropower Engineering and Consulting Co., firms owned by Indonesia’s former vice president, M. Jusuf Kalla, are implementing this project despite the objections of the affected residents.

The manhandling of the protesting residents by Indonesian security forces on March 2, 2011, is a blatant violation of the inhabitants’ human rights. We hold accountable not only the security forces but also the local officials who are supposed to serve and protect the people but have chosen instead to act in favor of corporate interests.

The Sulewana Hydropower Project, which will erect high voltage electric towers in the area, violates the economic, social and cultural rights of the community, among which is their right to free, prior and informed consent. The project inevitably results in land-grabbing and consequently the loss of livelihood and social dislocation of thousands of people from Sulewana to Mangkutana, which spans 136 kilometers.

The compensation of 3,000 rupiahs (US$.34) per square meter offered by the government and private companies is clearly inadequate to compensate for the social costs of the project. Furthermore, it is an injustice to the residents who are being uprooted from their communities.

The PLTA Poso II, Sulewana Hydropower Project, is a manifestation of the dangerous fusion of the State’s incoherent laws, the private sector’s thirst for profit and the security forces’ misplaced loyalty to politicians and the business sector. It is patterned after the build-own-operate (BOO) scheme being promoted by multilateral institutions, such as the World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The Indonesian government and the major of the Poso district government should respect and uphold human and environmental rights. We demand that the security forces involved in the harassment of the villagers be severely punished for their transgression. Lastly, we demand state authorities to work for the interests of the affected communities instead of the local elite.

* Please send your solidarity statement and support for the struggle against injustice in Poso Regency by visiting this internet link: <http://www.foei.org/en/get-involved/take-action/halt-the-poso-ii-mega-dam >.