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Indonesia:Report on Papernas mass gathering

On 15-16 January 2008 organizations which are affiliated to the National Liberation Party of Unity (PAPERNAS); Riau Movement, Central movement of Riau People, Urban Poor union organized mass gathering in Pekan Baru, capital of Riau Provinces.

The farmers and the poor who came from five districts traveled for eight to ten hours to reach the point. The preparation to this gathering was carried out for the last three months. They collect daily dues, painted the banners and placard and organized the participants.

January is an anniversary of People’s unity in struggle to retake their land. Through the unity, farmers win several battles. Recently, on 6-10 December, 2007, simultaneous reclaimed to retake their traditional land in sub district of Suluk Bongkal, Pantai Cermin, Melibur, Blutu, recorded another victory. A settlement for 150 family were build in that area.

In this mass gathering, they urged the government to wipe out corruptor; illegal logging and the land plunder who have become parasites of people’s economy. So far 122 corruption cases in Riau was investigated by corruption eradication committees then transmitted to the police and Supreme Court.

Riau soil is rich with natural resources; are reside in the bowels of is earth, plantation are grows in its land

Chevron Pacific Indonesia were installed its wealth in 3,2 million hectares land and has been taking 2 billion barrel. .

People’s land were taken since government of Suharto who provided privileged Rights to exploit forest resources to the certain private company, soon private company install their wealth in Riau as we;; as other provinces in Sumatra and Kalimantan island.

In Riau more than half hectares were granted to pulp company, included 300.000 hectares land has been granted to PT Arara Abadi.

Despite of these reaches people are living in poverty. 50 percentages of five million populations in Riau are living under poverty line. 54% from the total of 15 years-17 years were drop out from the school due to the crisis.

“ Farmers has been demonstrated the struggle to win back their rights and has proved us their slogan along the reform action; retake, plant on, and guard the land.” Land supposed to be a source of living and welfare. How can the land become our sources of living and give us welfare if more than half million hectares were granted to the private company” . Said Dita Sari, PAPERNAS’ advisory council In this mass gathering, the farmers promote Rinaldi, former chairperson of SEGERA who currently become head of PAPERNAS Riau to be their candidate for governor election.

Without mass mobilization the struggle will not gain great things, the mobilization without political consciousness will be easily defeated. Therefore, we, the people must take over politic to take back all the right that is plundered by the elites, she said to the masses.

Nationalized mining and oil industries for people’s welfare, revoke privilege rights exploit the forest were enthusiastically chanted by the people.
The National Liberation Party of Unity
Jl Tebet dalam 2G no 1
Jakarta Selatan-Indonesia

Jln. Tebet Dalam IIG No. 1, Jakarta Selatan, 12820. Telp/Fax: 021-8354513. Email: papernas@yahoo.com

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