Local People demonstrate at PT ANJ Agri’s offices.

Demo-Perusahaan-Sagu-SorongLocal people from Metamani and IPPMI (Imora Youth and Student Union) held a demonstration at the offices of PT ANJ Agri Papua in Sorong on Thursday 12/2/2015. Adam Rariaro, a community member from Saga Village, Metamani, South Sorong who was involved in the action, said that “people are demonstrating because PT ANJ’s operations have ignored the community’s rights, the company does not care about our demands for compensation when they use our land and sago forests, and livelihoods have been lost as the company takes over sago production and clears land for oil palm plantations.

PT ANJ Agri Papua is a subsidiary company of the Austindo Group owned by a well-known Indonesian billionaire named George Tahija. In the Land of Papua, Austindo Group owns four companies which operate in the natural resources and energy sectors, as follows ((awasMIFEE note: actually five companies now, after the recent takeover of another oil palm company PT Pusaka Agro Makmur in Maybrat Regency, West Papua Province)): PT ANJ Agri Papua which which manages the sago industry in a concession of 40,000 hectares located in District Metamani, South Sorong, PT Permata Putera Mandiri and PT Putera Manunggal Perkasa, two oil palm palntation companies which have started operating in Aifat, Metamani, Kais and Kokoda districts of South Sorong, with concessions covering over 57000 hectares, and PT Puncak Jaya Power, a private electricity generator which manages a 100MW power station to supply PT Freeport Indonesia’s mine and factory in Timika, Papua.

The company uses state security forces as part of its operations, which act as a shield to protect the company’s interests and instil fear in the population. Simon Soren Kodei, West Papua Student President, who took part in the demonstration, demanded that the government and company withdraw security forces from the site. “We are asking the company to withdraw the organic troops from the area. “We are asking the company to withdraw the organic troops (military and police) that have been guarding its operations”, Simon affirmed.

The demonstrators were demanding that the company should settle matters of compensation and other demands for development help for communities that had lost out as a result of its operations. They threatened that they would blockade the company’s work until they got an answer to their demands.

At present (18/2/2015), community leaders from Metamani are trying to meet with the Bupati of South Sorong in Teminabuan to follow up on the action and meet the community’s demands. Adam Ramiaro said, “We are asking the Bupati to fulfil his promise to resolve the problems the community has with the company”.

Source Pusaka: http://pusaka.or.id/warga-demo-pt-anj-agri-papua/

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