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Magda Hassan
12-20-2008, 09:30 AM
LMND National Executives 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 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
Chairperson

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
INDONESIA
Fax: +62 21 720 7277
Tel: +62 21 721 8012
Email: polri@polri.go.id

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

- Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudoyono
President
Republic of Indonesia
Presidential Palace
Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara
Jakarta Pusat 10010
INDONESIA
Fax: + 62 21 231 41 38, 345 2685, 345 7782
Tel: + 62 21 3845627 ext 1003
E-mail: presiden@ri.go.id
Fax: +62 21 3151042/3925227
Tel: +62 21 3925230
E-mail: info@komnasham.or.id.