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Jakarta Post

Mesuji, land conflict and legal pluralism

Jakarta   /   Thu, December 22 2011   /  09:38 am

We are shocked by the reports of violence in Mesuji, which borders Lampung and South Sumatra. Controversy, however, has shrouded the case, after video footage depicting heinous mass killings were played before the House of Representatives, some parts of which turned out to be taken in the rebellious south Thailand region of Pattani, according to CBS News.

Whether or not the controversial video footage is really associated with the Mesuji killings, violence occurred in the area as a result of a land conflict between local people and an oil palm plantation company, as emphasized by human rights group Kontras (The Jakarta Post, Dec. 12, 2011). As investigations to find the root cause of the violence are under way, a land dispute as the trigger of the conflict should be taken into consideration.

Land affairs are governed under Law No. 5/1960, which is popularly known as the Ind...