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Rabu, 28 Januari 2009

Land Dispute, Detain for Slander and Pressure toward Peasants member of North Sumatra Peasant Union in Sei Kopas Village, Bandar Pasir Mandoge (Unit I

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The Local Peasant Organization of “Maju Bersatu” is a peasant group joined in the North Sumatra Peasant Union (SPSU), precisely in Unit II Asahan, Bandar Pasir Mandoge. This group had joined since SPSU established, that was on 28 May 1999 at the leadership period of M. Yunus Nasution and M. Harris Putra as the General Chairman and the General Secretary. Since this group joined in, SPSU has understood the conflict happening.
In 1953, land clearing was done by the people, becoming Sei Kopas Village, Bandar Pasir Mandoge Subdistrict, Asahan District, which name was Silau Jawa Village. Having developed, this village became Sei Kopas Village. In 1983, the Asahan regent at that time, Dr. Bahmit Muhammad, appealed the people to invent the land to the local govt. to be used as the pattern of People’s Core Plantation for the large of ± 674 Ha. Without any explanation, the land had belonged to BSP, Ltd (Bakrie Sumatra Plantation). Afterward, the people of Sei Kopas formed the peasant Group of “Maju Bersatu” which members are about ± 250 households aiming on uniting the perception to demand the land ever used for the People’s Core Plantation. When their aspiration is no longer concerned by the govt., in 2003 the people of Sei Kopas claimed the land. The strategy used is planting the land with hard crop plants and food plant and built 3 simple building there as well. The large of the land demanded is 220 Ha.

There are many barriers and obstacles faced during the struggle to get the land back. SPSU and the peasants are incessantly getting ordeals. This group has been detained several times after being slandered. The people’s representatives and the govt. have never heeded on the peasants’ will.

In 18 august 2005, five peasants of Sei Kopas was called by the police with the accusation of land destruction in the area, those were Bonar Manurung (48 y.o), Julia br. Manik (55 y.o), Sulaiman Tobing (40 y.o), Masri br. Tampubolon (45 y.o), Charles Manurung (26 y.o). This was the first summon and it was not attended by those peasants. Feeling not guilty, the next day the members of this Local Peasant Organization met the guards bringing the evidences, they are Mangunsong and Sutrisno II. These two men confessed that they were commanded by the enterprise to take a wet log and a burnt log. Those logs were taken from other village outside the area struggled by this local Peasant Organization. These two men had reported to the sector police Bandar Pasir Mandoge and to the sector police Asahan on the slander they did. On 20 August 2005, the fifth men slandered were called again by the police. The investigator working at the sector police Asahan said that they would be met to the enterprise party. Afterward, they came back on 23 August 2005 to meet the guards of Bakrie Sumatra Plantation to prove that they were not guilty. At that time, the investigator was Managam Simanjutak said that they should not talk if he did not ask. This man asked the guard named Sutrisno whether these five men were guilty or not, sutrisno answered yes, therefore, the fifth men were directly detained in the Sector police Asahan without any chance to defend themselves and they had never been asked by the investigator during the examination process. At night, the fifth men were moved to the Civil Jail of Labuhan Ruku, Asahan.

After that incident, there were many actions done by SPSU to respond that incident. On 24 August 2005, SPSU sent a report letter and appealed to the Head of the Regional Police of North Sumatra to free its members, but there was no response. At the same time, SPSU made their position paper which was sent directly to some print Medias. SPSU had also held an audience with the Commission A of the North Sumatra Local House on this case, bringing the bundle needed and also taking along the families of the victims named Deliana, the daughter of Julia br. Manik, Evavanti br Nainggolan, the daughter in-law of Bonar Manurung, on 29 August 2005. Mr. M. Nuh, the head of the Commission A, made a call directly to the Head of Regional Police of North Sumatra and also the Head of Resort Police of Asahan, resulting on the agreement that there would be a meeting with the Head of the Resort Police of Asahan at the office of the Local House Level II, Asahan. On 1 September 2005, a meeting among Bakrie Sumatra Plantations’ party, the Head of the Resort Police, and the families of the victims accompanied by their attorney and facilitated by the Local House of Asahan. The meeting resulted on nothing. The appeal of detain postponement demanding by the victims’ families had to be replaced with the requirements proposed by Bakrie Sumatra Plantation’s party, i.e. the Local Peasant Organization of “Maju Bersatu” had to leave the land disputed. The requirement was rejected by the victims’ families, and this organization would not leave the area even for a single step. On 22 September 2005, the fifth men case was taken into court and the verdict had been fallen. Right now, there are two men taking appeal, those are Bonar Manurung (48 y.o) and SUlaiman Tobing (40 y.o).

The condition was getting hot when on 26 January 2006, the bulldozer of Bakrie Sumtra Plantation, Ltd came to condemn the land and the plant of the Local peasant Organization of “Maju Bersatu”. As a matter of fact, according to the agreement resulted in the office of Bandar Pasir Mandoge Subdistrict, between the peasants and the Bakrie Sumatra Plantations, Ltd there should be a harmony, in other words, they suppose to not disturb one another. This agreement was witnessed by the Commission A of the Asahan Local House on 22 January 2006 between SPSU, particularly the Local Peasant Organization of “Maju Bersatu” and Unit II Bandar Pasir Mandoge, and the Bakrie Sumatra Plantations facilitating by the Asahan Local House, particularly the Commission A in the office of Bandar Pasir Mandoge Subdistrict. In this agreement, there is a further meeting in the Asahan Local House to solve this land dispute at the third week of February. The House also visited the land disputed and the Bakrie Sumatra Plantations’ party could not show the limitation of their concession rights. Until now, the land is guarded by the Brimob members. SPSU through its Presidium, Wagimin, came to the building of the Asahan Local House and reported the situation to the Commission A,i.e. Mr. Amin and Mr. Anas. Unfortunately, there was no response from the Local House members. They were reasoning that they were so busy due to meetings.

Wagimin talked directly to Mr. Anas and appealed the local House members to call the Bakrie Sumatra Plantations to take their bulldozer back from the dispute area. Unfortunately, Mr. Anas just left Wagimin without saying anything.

In fact, Bakrie Sumatra Plantations dared to break the agreement since there is a letter from the lOcal House no 170/321, 27 January 2006, signed by the vice chairman of the Asahan Local House, H. Syamsul Bahri Batubara. This letter permits Bakrie Sumatra Plantations to use the land, while the peasants are banned.

To respond that problem, SPSU conducted a mass action coming from Asahan District and Medan Secretariat with the peasants around ± 200 on 6 February 2006. This action was proposed to sue the existence of the letter dated 27 January 2006. The member of Commission A met did not dare to take any decision without the license from the Heads of the lOcal House and the Commission A. the peasants were waiting for the two “Heads”. The Head of the Local House was not come while the Head of the Commission A was escaping himself. Finally, the Fraction of Social Prosperous Party initiated to make a letter to calm the mass. This meeting also resulted on the agreement that there would be a meeting among the peasants and SPSU and Bakrie Sumatra Plantations facilitating by the Asahan Local House on 17 February 2006.

The worst condition happened on 9 February 2006, when a group of Bakrie Sumatra Plantations’ securities accompanied by the Police Brimob and army repressed and abused 24 mothers struggled in the dispute land. This case had been reported to the Sector Police of Bandar Pasir Mandoge, but until now there is no response on it.

On 17 February 2006, a meeting among the Local Peasant Organization of “Maju Bersatu”, SPSU, and Bakrie Sumatra Plantations facilitating by the Asahan Local House. However, this meeting resulted on nothing since there was a tendency that Anas Fauzi Lubis, the Head of the Commission A of the Asahan Local House leading the meeting at that time reject the peasants’ will and more facilitating the will of Bakrie Sumatra Plantations. The peasants tense were high seeing Anas’s attitude. The meeting was ended with a little chaos.

Now, being facilitated by Federation of Indonesian Peasant Union (FSPI), SPSU conduct an audience with the Republic of Indonesian House and the Headquarter of the Republic of Indonesian Police.

Therefore, SPSU demand:

1. Investigate and form a special committee for the land dispute in Asahan District, particularly with what has happened to the Local Peasant Organization of “Maju Bersatu”, Unit II SPSU Bandar Pasir Mandoge, Asahan. Investigate and form a special committee for the case of peasant detainment by Resort Police Asahan on 23 August 2005, and also for the case of repression done toward the women peasants on 9 January 2006.
2. Arrest, fired, file the case and sentenced the persons from Bakrie Sumatra Plantations, the Regional Police Brimob of North Sumatra, and the army repressing the women peasants on 9 February 2006.
3. Demand the political party to recall their members sitting in the Commission A of the Asahan House, since it will shame their party.
4. Demand Bakrie Sumatra Plantations to step back from the area of land dispute and return all land to the peasants.
5. Demand the Head of the Republic of Indonesian Police to fire the Head of the Resort Police of Asahan and the Sector Police of Bandar PAsir MAndoge who always neglect the peasants’ report.

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