Acknowledgment of indigenous rights only ‘symbolic,’ commissioner says
The Jakarta Post
The government has only acknowledged Indonesia's indigenous cultural diversity through "symbolic" activities while at the same, it has failed to fully protect indigenous communities across the country, a rights advocate said on Wednesday.
National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) commissioner Sandrayati Moniaga said one of the ‘symbolic’ activities staged by the current administration was Indonesia’s 72nd Independence Day celebration held at the State Palace in Jakarta on Aug.17, during which President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, his Cabinet ministers and all participants wore traditional attire from the archipelago.
However, when it comes to its responsibilities to provide administrative and legal acknowledgment of indigenous people in Indonesia, the government’s efforts have been "minimal," Sandrayati said.
“Criminalization has become a logical consequence of the state’s attitude toward indigenous people, in which it has not yet acknowledged their presence and their rights, especially their land," Sandrayati told a press conference held by the Alliance of Indigenous People of the Archipelago (AMAN).
Komnas HAM last year launched an national investigation into the condition of indigenous people living in forests in Indonesia. The investigation revealed the numerous human rights violations they had suffered from a long time.
Sandrayati said indigenous communities had long been denied access to their own customary boundaries, creating long-standing economic and social problems as a result of their lack of freedom to harness natural resources.
She said the problems stemmed from the designation of customary forests as state land by the Suharto administration in the 70s to 80s, paving the way for the massive expansion of forestry, mining and plantation businesses. (ebf)
- Anger at Singapore ads offering Indonesian maids for sale
- Creator of 3-D printed guns flies to Taiwan amid US sex assault accusation
- Balinale set to return with award-winning movies, guests
- Malaysia ex-PM faces 21 new charges over 1MDB scandal
- Here are 10 of the most populated cities in the world
- Jokowi imposes moratorium on palm oil plantations
- US sanctions Chinese military unit for buying Russian jets, missiles
- Tourism Ministry declares five dishes national food
- BTS to appear on ‘America’s Got Talent’
- BMKG warns of heavy rains, high waves as Typhoon Mangkhut ends