Logging company shut down in Fakfak after police intimidation and protests.

arffak indrafakfakAfter protests by the Mbaham Matta indigenous people, lawmakers have reportedly agreed to shut down a logging company’s operations. One of the accusations against the company was that members of the police mobile brigade stationed at the company premises had been intimidating residents. The people wanted to protect their nutmeg trees from being felled by the company. Nutmeg farming is one of the main sources of income for indigenous people in the Fakfak area. These two reports are translated from the Pusaka website:

Police Mobile Brigade working for PT Arfak Indra in Fakfak intimidate owners of nutmeg farms

A logging company operating in Mbaham Matta lands in Fakfak, West Papua has reportedly been using police mobile brigade to intimidate indigenous people in the area. The police forbade the owners of the nutmeg farms from resisting because the company had already made an agreement with the landowners.

Wenan Weripang, a local indigenous youth let Pusaka know about this on Sunday 29th March. According to Wenan, PT Arfak Indra (which is owned by someone called Nugraha), used police from a different police station to guard the company. Acting as security guards, they backed-up the company as it confronted community members opposed to the logging company.

Wenan related that in early February 2015, Arfak Indra gathered together a few individuals who claimed to represent the landowning clans in the area, but actually not all of them were in agreement. He said that the individuals said they spoke for the Wangabus, Patiran and Wagab clans, but the Weripang clan strongly opposed any agreement for the company to fell their forest.

Six or seven nutmeg groves are threatened by the logging company’s plans. It is estimated that thousands of nutmeg trees would be cleared to extract the timber. Apart from timber extraction, the company would clear these groves to construct roads to transport the trees they had felled.

The Weripang clan doesn’t want to put its name to the agreement allowing PT Arfak Indra to operate for the reason that the forest provides them with a livelihood and it is the home of their ancestors, Wenan explained. If the forest is destroyed, where will our children and grandchildren go if they need wood to build their house, he asked?

Nutmeg groves have already been felled and hundreds of trees cleared. The Mbaham Matta youth repeated that the nutmeg grove owners wanted to put demands to the company but the company used police mobile brigade to intimidate them. The Muri clan which owns one of the groves is angry, why should the company be free to destroy the place which provides their livelihood? The owners of the nutmeg groves that have already been cleared are Lukas Muri, Isak Muri, Piter Muri, Musa Muri, Dominggus Muri dan Yahya Muri.

Source: http://pusaka.or.id/brimob-arfak-indra-di-fakfak-intimidasi-warga-pemilik-dusun-pala/

DAP Mbaham Matta shuts down PT Arfak Indra in Fakfak Papua

On 1st April 2015, in connection with the police mobile brigade who had been intimidating indigenous owners of nutmeg groves in Fakfak West Papua, indigenous Mbaham Matta people demonstrated at the District Representative Council. The local customary council (DAP) reached an agreement with the government and indigenous people to close down the company.

Chen Haremba, a young activist who is also involved in the local Customary Council announced today (1/3/2015) that indigenous people had taken action to demand that PT Arfak Indra and PT Hanurata, two companies which hold forestry permits in Fakfak regency, clear off from the Bomberay indigenous region where the ancestral land of the Mbaham Matta people is located. The Customary Council leader had already announced the agreement reached between indigenous peoples and the local government to shut down all logging company operations.

Meanwhile, regarding the action, Fredi Warpopor, the Elsham West Papua contact person for Fakfak, reported that the presence of police mobile brigade members at PT Arfak Indra’s Base Camp Security Post in Goras village is making the community near PT Arfak Indra’s timber concession feel under threat. According to Elsham’s investigation, Brimob members first arrived to guard heavy machinery being transported from Waigura, Kaimana to Fakfak, but after arriving in Goras they started to take over, he wrote. The community were forbidden from conducting any activities near or in the forest, despite the fact that the forest contains their nutmeg and sago groves, and places they search for food.

Elsham also confirmed with PT Arfak Indra’s leadership about the placement of the security forces. Junaidi, who holds a high position within PT Arfak Indra said that a request for security personnel had been sent to the Fakfak police chief and three police had been sent from the station in that city, but that the mobile brigade had never been requested. According to him, the mobile brigade officers that turned up had come from the Wagura camp, owned by Mr. Paulus Ting, a Malaysian national.

This pattern where the police become guard dogs for investors is paining. It seems that this Malaysian guy is able to order the police mobile brigade commander in Sorong to follow his will. He’s the head of a logging company, not the Bomberay tribal chief, but he’s the one that controls the natural resources in the Bomberay area!

Today, Elsham West Papua have reported that PT Arfak Indra has been shut down, the document of agreement between the indigenous people and the local government has already been signed.

Source: http://pusaka.or.id/dap-mbaham-matta-tutup-pt-arfak-indra-di-fakfak-tanah-papua/


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