Three Thousands Bulukumba Peasants Occupy Loncum Ltd. Agricultural Plantation

More than 3.000 peasants from ten villages with their organisation, AGRA (Aliansi Gerakan Reforma Agraria – Alliance of Agrarian Reform Movement) Bulukumba, occupy Lonsum Ltd rubber agricultural plantation since 12th of August. The occupy is a struggle to reclaim peasants’ rights of lands which is being grabbed by Lonsum Ltd. since tens of years ago.

Previously on 12th of August, thousands of these peasants held protest in front of Bulukumba Regent’s Office demanding a settlement of the conflict. The masses met Head of Bulukumba Land Division and Local Government Welfare and Development which acts on behalf on Bulukumba Regent.

In the meeting, one of the protest leader, Amiruddin, demanded an effort to settle the land dispute between the peasants with Lonsum Ltd. In the press release he said, “We want a mediation that being directly led by South Sulawesi Governor and being conducted in the conflict area”.

Responding to that protest, representation of Bulukumba Local Government, through Head of Land Dicision promised to deliver the peasants’ demands to South Sulawesi Governor so mediation process can be started immediately.

After leaving Regent’s office in the afternoon, thousands of these peasants continued  their action by building 40 tents in the rubber plantation. “We will continue to occupy this field until we receive clear guarantee from South Sulawesi Governor to solve this case immediately,” Amiruddian said.

In the meantime, Zulkarnain Yusuf, WALHI (Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia, Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Friends of the Earth, Indonesia) ) South Sulawesi Branch, who participated in the protest deliver their support to the peasants. He explained that this case has been going on for tens of years, “The peasants have lost their lands and burdened from long suferings. This is the time to be determined to solve the conflict and return the peasants’ land that have been taken away from them”, said Zulkarnain.

Further he said, everyone and every organisation should help the peasants’ struggle in Bulukumba as a form of resistance against all form of land grabbing in South Sulawesi. “We have to build strong consolidation to support the peasants in Bulukumba”, he added.

Until today (17th of August), the occupation still continues condusively. Thousands of peasants remains in the field and agricultural plantation. There is also presence of police and military apparatus there.

Amiruddin stated, the occupation have no intention to make destruction or any violent attempt. “We want to show seriousness in the struggle to solve the conflict and so the authorities can’t mess around in this matters. We have suffered from such a long time. We are the victims not criminals.” Amir stated.

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Translated from Indonesian writing entitled “3 Ribu Petani Bulukumba Duduki Perkebunan PT Lonsum” published originaly in Warta Timur. Translated into English and republished via Earth of People.

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