PT PHS conflict, Sumatra

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">Oil palm is today the fastest growing monoculture in the tropics. Indonesia is the world's largest producer. The country has witnessed a massive conversion of customary (adat) land to oil palm (and fast-wood) plantations. Between 1967 and 2007, oil palm monocultures have increased about 50 times and the government is planning to expand the area under plantation.</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">The Sosa are an indigenous people living in around 84 villages in the Sub-district of Sosa. Like other indigenous peoples in Indonesia they have their own adat (customary law) system. According to the Sosa adat system, ancestral land cannot be sold, though it may be leased. [1]<br/><br/>This conflict is the result of an on-going land dispute between the people of Sosa and PT Damai Nusa Setia (PT DNS), a subsidiary of PT PHS. The roots of the present incident lie in the alleged theft of 2,000 ha of adat land belonging to the people of Panyabungan, who had in fact given PT DNS permission to cultivate 2,000 ha of their land. However, PT DNS appropriated and planted 4,000 ha.[1]<br/><br/>In 2000, villagers occupied the land they said the plantation company PT PHS had taken from them. A meeting between the villagers and the company was arranged the following day, but when the villagers arrived at the PT PHS factory a group of unidentified men tried to abduct villager Ali Sati. When they heard about this, people from other nearby villages gathered at the factory. At around 5 pm Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officers arrived and opened fire on the crowd. Nineteen-year-old Pebriadi Nasution was reportedly killed, and at least three others were injured. A few days later, the police went to Panyabungan and arrested 33 people suspected of involvement in the dispute. Lawyers managed to visit the 15 remaining prisoners but only after their interrogation by the police. Policemen were present throughout the interviews and the lawyers said the 15 were too frightened to talk openly. 12 of the 15 were sentenced to jail terms of between one year and 15 months. The other three (who had chosen not to be represented by a lawyer) were sentenced to one year terms, but were released without serving the sentence.<br/><br/>Local people continue to campaign for the return of their land. <br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>PT PHS conflict, Sumatra</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/indonesia">Indonesia</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Sumatra</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>village of Panyabungan, Sosa sub-district, Tapanuli Selatan District, North Sumatra</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>MEDIUM regional level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp<br /> Land acquisition conflicts</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/palm-oil'>Palm oil</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>2000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">End Date</td><td>2000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/pt-permata-hijau-sawit-phs-mananti'>PT Permata Hijau Sawit (PHS) Mananti</a><br /><a href='/company/pt-damai-nusa-setia-pt-dns'>PT Damai Nusa Setia (PT DNS)</a> - <small>A subsidiary of PT PHS</small></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>People’s Forum for Sosa Customary Law (Forum masyarakat adat Sosa [Formasa]) + North Sumatra Peasants’ Union (NSPU) (Serikat Petani Sumatra Utara [SPSU]), Via Campesina</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Farmers<br /> Indigenous groups or traditional communities<br /> The indigenous Sosa community</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Land occupation<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Street protest/marches<br /> Occupation of buildings/public spaces</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Potential: </strong>Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Land dispossession<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Loss of livelihood</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Criminalization of activists<br /> Deaths<br /> Repression<br /> Violent targeting of activists<br /> Pebriadi Nasution was killed during a protest</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>The demands included an open and independent investigation into the shooting incident and the killing of Febriadi Nasution, the immediate return of their land, the settlement of all land dispute cases and the immediate and unconditional release of the 15 defendants.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>No</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>Pure repression, with no room for success so far.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Amnesty International (AI), 2000. Indonesia: risk of torture/ill-treatment. Report ASA 21/038/00. London: AI.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Down to Earth (DtE), 2002. Stop human rights violations against peasant farmers! Newsletter, 52.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Down to Earth. Villagers shot, one killed in Sosa land dispute<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>J.-F. Gerber</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>06/05/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>