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Coal Kingpins Uneasy over Tempo Magazine Investigation
An aerial shot of a coal mining area in the middle of a forest in Samarinda, East Kalimantan. ANTARA/Dedhez Anggara
Tuesday, 16 May, 2017 | 09:00 WIB
Coal Kingpins Uneasy over Tempo Magazine Investigation

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Environmental watchdog group Koalisi Rakyat dan Petani Anti Mafia Tambang dan Sawit Kutai Kertangara (People’s Coalition and Farmers against Mining and Palm Oil Mafia in Kutai Kertanegera) say that Tempo Magazine investigation May 8-14 edition in an article titled “Kubang Maut Siapa Punya?” (The Killing Pits) have helped raise awareness of the issue.

According to a member of the Coalition, four farmers in Muara Jawa, Kutai Kertanegara have been questioned by local police over land title legal status. The four farmers are Supraptomo, Arbain, Jasran dan Abdul Rasyik, also the members of the Coalition.

“The issuance of Tempo Magazine May 8-14 edition that features an investigation into mining pits in East Kalimantan “Kubangan Maut Siapa Punya” has left black gold kingpins uneasy. The owners are no other than ministers, politicians, former military members and local heads and their families,” East Kalimantan Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) spokesman Pradarma Rupang said Monday in a written statement.

Rupang explained that the four farmers had been vocal against coal mining and palm oil expansion, which according to the Coalition are owned by, among others, a palm oil company belonging to a minister who in the past six years has been engaging in the coal business.

According to Rupang, the company has yet to show the Coalition how many pits it has. Locals believe that the company operates under falsified documents and collaborate with land mafia in Murara Jawa district in Kutai Kertanegara. He added that the conviction has been proven by the ruling in favor of locals in information dispute trial last year for the company’s failure to show its business permits and land titles.

Therefore, Rampung said that locals will hold a public disclosure of their land certificates in presence of the government and the media.

“Locals dare the companies to show their documents, instead of intimidating and criminalizing locals as currently happens. We will not bow down, will not negotiate with thieves who have robbed our houses, [will] defend our land until the last drop of our blood,” said the environmental activist.

The Koalisi Rakyat and Petani Anti Mafia Tambang dan Sawit Kutai Kertangara comprise of civil society, namely KRPAMTSKK, JATAM, Pokja 30, AMAN East Kalimantan, FNSDA East Kalimantan, Walhi East Kalimantan, BAR East Kalimantan, NALADWIPA Institute, FMK East Kalimantan, PMII Kutai Kartanegara and Samarinda.

Together with an advocacy team, the Coalition demands that the villages belonging to farmers who had been intimidated be handed back to them. The Coalition also urges coal mining and palm oil companies to leave the villages.




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