Sunday, 21 December 2008

Indonesian police napalm village!

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 incident;

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 any 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

- Mr. Ifdhal Kasim
KOMNAS HAM (National Human Rights Commission)
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4B Menteng
Jakarta Pusat 10310

- 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
Fax: +62 21 3151042/3925227
Tel: +62 21 3925230


Jln. Tebet Dalam IIG No. 1, Jakarta Selatan, 12820.Indonesia.
Phone/Fax: +62-21-8354513. Email:

Arara Abadi attacks Mandi angin village, July 2008

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