An online petition calling for the protection of the rights of the Suku Anak Dalam tribe has drawn support from 1,500 netizens just a day after being launched.
Via the petition, initiator Wobal Kincai, who is a member of an association of indigenous Jambi people, urged Jambi Governor Hasan Basri Agus to stop taking the Suku Anak Dalam's ancestral land.
The governor was also urged to take action against palm oil plantation company PT Asiatic Persada for alleged violence against the Suku Anak Dalam.
'Since the 1980s, their customary forests have been exploited. The government developed infrastructure that trespassed on their territory. Even on behalf of industrial timber plantation ( HTI ) commodities, it has been very easy for the government to issue permits for production forest concessions ( HPH ) to exploit their customary forests,' said Wobal in explaining his petition change.org/SukuAnakDalam.
He further stated that the Suku Anak Dalam had been subjected to intimidation and discrimination.
Many HTI companies have been accused of forcing the Suku Anak Dalam off ancestral land on which they had lived for generations and exploiting it for their own benefit.
'Such land grabbing seems to have received approval from local officials and religious leaders. It has happened systematically for dozens of years,' said Wobal.
Change.org Indonesia founder, Usman Hamid, said the expulsion of the Suku Anak Dalam violated their rights.
'The petition initiated by Wobal Kincai to support the Suku Anak Dalam to get justice needs to be supported,' he said in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post on Saturday. ( ebf )