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Jakarta Post

Indigenous people report intimidation amid land dispute near Lake Toba

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan   /   Wed, August 14, 2019   /  05:51 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Serenity: Lake Toba is so huge that it looks like an ocean to many.(ANN/The Star/Allison Lai)

An indigenous community living in Sigapiton village in the North Sumatra regency of Toba Samosir, near Lake Toba, says it is being intimidated over efforts to take back land it claims had been seized by the Lake Toba Authority (BPODT) for tourism. After being barred from putting up protest banners during President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo’s visit to Lake Toba two weeks ago, a group of Sigapiton villagers is now reportedly being prevented from departing for Jakarta to meet with state officials. Village elder Melita Sirait, 81, said they had planned to go to Jakarta in the near future to meet with officials from the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister, the Environment and Forestry Ministry and the Tourism Ministry. They planned to question the conflict resolution process regarding the “seized indigenous land” marked as state-owned forestr...