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Jakarta Post

Tanjung Sari evictees seek refuge in mosques, fish market

  • Ruslan Sangadji

    The Jakarta Post

Palu, Central Sulawesi   /   Thu, March 22, 2018   /   06:46 am
Tanjung Sari evictees seek refuge in mosques, fish market Protesters rally to support the evicted residents of Tanjung Sari, Banggai regency, Central Sulawesi, on March 20. (Antara/Mohamad Hamzah)

“I’m homeless now. My children sleep in the mosque,” Marlina said on Tuesday after her home was demolished as part of a land repossession that turned violent in Banggai regency, Central Sulawesi.

Hundreds of Tanjung Sari residents in Luwuk were forced out of their homes as ordered by the Luwuk District Court following a years-long land dispute.

 Read also: Residents clash with police and military personnel in land execution in C. Sulawesi

Those lucky enough to have family members living outside the kampung are now staying with relatives, but many have had no choice but to settle on the debris of their former homes. At night, the children and elderly sleep in two nearby mosques, while adult men and women sleep on the streets.

Residents maintain that the land on which Tanjung Sari was built was theirs and they had the ownership certificates to prove it.

Activist Eva Susanti Bande, who has been assisting the residents in their fight to keep their homes, said that 67 families are currently staying in two mosques, while five families have sought refuge at a fish market and four families at a port.

The Central Sulawesi Council’s deputy head of Commission III, Muhamad Masykur, said he supported the establishment of a special team to investigate the repossession.

“We want to know the details; it looked a lot like forced eviction,” he said.

Read also: Lawyer, lecturer, residents arrested after land skirmish

The residents’ lawyer, Julianer Aditia Warman, who was later arrested by the police, said the order to repossess the land stemmed from a dispute case involving a 600-square-meter area.

But somehow, the court ordered the repossession of 6 hectares of land, including Tanjung Sari, where about 1,400 people resided. (evi)