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Jakarta Post

Indigenous peoples see Jokowi’s omnibus bill as threat to their land

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Fri, March 13, 2020   /  09:25 am
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Indigenous Sabuai people block heavy equipment from doing what they consider to be illegal logging on their customary land and forest on Seram Island, Maluku.(Courtesy of/Kaleb Yamarua)

Police arrested two men in February for allegedly vandalizing heavy equipment belonging to a logging company operating in a forest on Seram Island, in the eastern province of Maluku. They joined 24 other indigenous Sabuai people who were arrested the previous week for similar offenses as they tried to stop CV Sumber Berkat Makmur from felling trees on what they claimed to be their tribal land, in the vicinity of historic sites in eastern Seram. The Maluku Forestry Agency defends the company, claiming it has licenses for both logging and cultivating the area. However, the Sabuai people dispute this. “This forest and mountain are part of our land. How can we give them up to be exploited?” community chief Nicko Ahwalam asked. This is one of many ongoing conflicts pitting indigenous people against the government and corporations over land rights. The Indige...