Large project Allegedly Contributing to Human Rights Violations in West Nusa Tenggara

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LOMBOK – A number of activists in West Nusa Tenggara have revealed allegations of human rights violations that occurred in West Nusa Tenggara. All of this was stated in a joint statement made by the Mataram Women’s Solidarity and the West Nusa Tenggara Forum of Environment.

Executive director of the West Nusa Tenggara Forum of Environment, Amri Nuryadi emphasized that his party had found a number of problems so far. Especially those suspected of usurping people’s rights. He also regrets that there are still many parties who commit human rights violations.
While strong suspicions of human rights violations in West Nusa Tenggara in terms of social life and economic access often occur against residents whose territory is oriented towards a development which is always in the name of the people’s economic welfare. the fact is that it eliminates and even destroys the economic resources of the people, both on the mainland and on the coast.
As for what his party found, in the construction of the Meninting Dam national strategic project in West Lombok, this project had a serious impact on the environment and the people’s economy. this project caused the loss of community management areas as well as the health of women and children in Bukit Tinggi Village, Penimbung Village, Gegerung Village and Dasan Griya Village, West Lombok.

Explained Amri, the Meninting Dam was built in 2019 until now it is still under construction and in the construction process it is carried out by clearing 10 hectares of forest. There was even the release of hundreds of hectares of land owned by residents in several villages. for example, Murpadang Hamlet – Bukit Tinggi Village and Murpeji Hamlet – Dasan Griya Village.

“From the results of studies in several mass media which reported on the Meninting Dam construction process, as well as the results of field investigations by the West Nusa Tenggara Forum of Environment and Women’s Solidarity, we obtained information on facts on the ground.
Does not involve the community, many affected residents are not aware of the plans to build the Meninting Dam. the lack of socialization to the community, in 2018 socialization related to the dam construction plan has been carried out three times by the River Basin Office,” he said in his official statement.

While the results of his investigation, the construction of dam, the Head of Jelateng Hamlet and the Head of east Penimbung Hamlet were not aware of the plan to build the Meninting Dam. “In an interview with one of the community leaders in Geria Village, they admitted that they had never been involved in socializing the construction of dam. The village has never carried out socialization either,” he explained.

Apart from that, another impact is the emergence of a clean water crisis. The Meninting River has been the source of water for the residents of Gegerung Village, Penimbung Village, Dasan Geria Village and Bukit Tinggi Village since there was a project in 2019. The Meninting River water is now cloudy. Even though the Meninting River water has turned cloudy, residents of Penimbung Village, Dasan Geria Village and Gegerung Village still use Meninting River water.
“From our findings, we strongly suspect that due to consuming Meninting Dam water, residents experience itching. At least 50 children and adversely affect the health of 50 women,” he said.

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Amri explained, according to data obtained by the Meninting Dam in construction on an area of ​​+90 hectares consisting of 4.95 hectares of forest area and 85.5 hectares of non-forest area. Meanwhile, the recognition residents of Murpadang Hamlet whose land has been acquired for the construction of meninting dam. Land acquisition that has been carried out for the Meninting Dam reaches 400 hectares and has an impact on the loss of livelihoods of the residents there.

“Those who really feel the impact of the dam construction project are broom craftsmen, palm sugar craftsmen, and fish farmers. As a result of the development project, many of them changed professions. In Penimbung Hamlet, before the project existed, according to the Head of East Penimbung Village, there were 20 residents who became fish cultivators, but after the Meninting Dam construction project started, fish cultivators switched professions to become unskilled laborers,” he explained.

Meanwhile, this is experienced by cultivators in Jelateng Hamlet. The Head of Jelateng Hamlet said that there are 50 residents who are fish cultivators, now some fish cultivators are forced to survive even though their yields are declining.
He explained, the fact that recently happened Friday 17 June 2022 around 16.00 pm was flooded as a result of the Meninting Dam construction project. The impact of residents was that 25 heads of families in Buwuh Hamlet, Mambalan Village, Gunung Sari District, West Lombok Regency suffered damage to their homes and property and lost their livelihoods (freshwater fish farming) due to damage to ponds and rice fields where they farmed.

“There is also a land conflict between 763 residents of Karang Sidemen Village and Lantan Village with the Trisno Kenangan Coffee Plantation Limited Liability Company covering an area of ​​355 hectares,” said Amri.

Revealed by the Director Forum of Environment recently, in 2008, 763 Family Heads of Karang Sidemen Village started working on the land of former Limited Liability Company. Cultivation rights in the name of Trisno Kenangan Limited Liability Company covering an area of ​​150 hectares located near the Central Lombok forest area/RTK I – Karang Sidemen Village and Lantan Village, North Batukliang District, Central Lombok. As for the Cultivation Rights permit in the name of Trisno Kenangan Limited Liability Company, it has expired since 1986 and cannot be extended by the Trisno Kenangan Limited Liability Company, even since the expiry of the Expired Cultivation Right permit, the company cannot extend its term due to several reasonspermit requirements cannot be met.
Including in 2010 the issuance of a Decree from the Regent of Central Lombok regarding the designation of location as a coffee plantation area by Decree of the Regent of Central Lombok Number: 1448 of 2008 regarding the determination status of coffee plantations in Lantan Village and Karang Sidemen Village dated June 30 2008 and asked Trisno Kenangan Limited Liability Company to vacate the land (Central Lombok Regent Decree No. 525.27/672/Forest and Plantation, concerning: order to vacate coffee plantations, dated 30 June 2008).

“Thus in 2012, the National Land Agency of the Republic of Indonesia issued letter number: 2812/25.3-500/VIII/2012, dated August 3 2012, which basically confirmed that ‘Tresno Kenangan Coffee Plantation Limited Company owns plantation land in Karang Sidemen Village and LantanNorth Batukliang District, Central Lombok Regency whose rights ended on December 14, 1986 so that the status of the land became STATE LAND,” he explained.

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Furthermore, in October 2022, Trisno Kenangan Limited Liability Company put up a sign that read “Land Owned by Trisno Kenangan Limited Liability Company” on land that had been cultivated and controlled by residents since 2008-2010 even though the Cultivation Rights permit was in the name of Trisno Memories Limited Liability Companyhas expired or has expired, so it was met with resistance by the residents of Lantan Village, until now the land is still controlled by the residents of Karang Sidemen Village and Lantan Village. Residents hope to apply for management of the land collectively or in groups through the Agrarian Reform Object Land scheme as stipulated in Presidential Regulation Number: 86 of 2018 concerning Agrarian Reform.

“So we, the Forum of Environment West Nusa Tenggara, accompany every consolidation and efforts of the residents in carrying out advocacy and campaigns to get state recognition for their management space and living space on the land,” he explained again.

“Land conflicts, followed by environmental destruction and human rights violations in the Mandalika Special Economic Circle,” continued Amri.

He explained, the Mandalika Special Economic Zone is one of the so-called Super-Priority Tourism Destinations in Indonesia. the large development project on lombok island was mostly funded by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in the amount of 248.4 million USD. AIIB is a bank whose largest share of 85 member countries is owned by China, which is 26.3 percent of shares. Thus, of course China has a sizable economic interest in the development of SEZ in Mandalika-Central Lombok. this project is also categorized as part of the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) in China which is also known as One Belt One Road (OBOR).

“We, the Forum of Environment, have taken the initiative to advocate for those affected by the development of the Special Economic Zone in Mandalika. during the development process environmental sustainability management standards were not enforced, relocation for affected communities was not handled properly, and violations of human rights became a serious issue, especially in resolving land conflicts, protecting socio-economic heritage andcommunity culture, as well as the safety of women and children,” he stressed.

While the development objectives of the Mandalika SEZ are oriented towards improving the economy, in contrast to the substandard development process and the financing protection system required by AIIB.

“Some of the results studies and field assessments by West Nusa Tenggara Forum of Environment are land conflicts, environmental damage and negative impacts on the people’s economy which are currently decreasing because most of the economic access is no longer available as farmers, fishermen and ranchersand relocation is not feasible,” said Amri.

Said Amri, several findings in conducting field investigations.In 2018 the government claimed to have carried out land acquisition with a compensation scheme and evicted residents, namely the first evictions without compensation/compensation, in 2019 the second evictions and in 2021 the third evictions caused residents to become land ownersdo not agree with the method of compensation,they stay on their land by moving and returning to their land. Nearly 100 people or around 36 remaining families live beside the construction site near the circuit. during the March 2022 MotoGP event, members of the Indonesian police and security forces had full control or camped in the houses and around the settlements of the people affected by the project. Local community members are also prevented from asserting their land rights and demanding fair compensation and dispute resolution.
While the West Nusa Tenggara Forum of Environment is still consolidating affected residents and monitoring the environment in the Mandalika SEZ.

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“The most recent threat to productive agriculture is due to excavation C mining activities in Menemeng and Bilabante Villages, Central Lombok. The area of ​​hemlet Gundul used to be part of Bagu Village but after division in 2015 it became the Meneng Village area. The daily activities of the residents of hemlet Gundul, totaling 850 people, are owner farmers, sharecroppers and farm labourers, where the fertile agricultural area belonging to the residents of hemlet Gundul covering an area of ​​± 200 hectares is included in the Bilabante Village area which is located west of Menemeng Village. Furthermore, the area of ​​Menemeng Village is 288.4075 with the topography of most of the plains with a good irrigation system so that agricultural activities become a dynamic economic sector in Meneng Village, this is what drives the Indonesian Forum of Environment to move together with the residents of hemlet Gundul and its surroundings to fight for the agricultural area, the source of the residents’ livelihood, so that it is maintained and sustainable,” he said

Meanwhile there are allegations of illegal sand mining activities since 1999 at several points in Bilebante Village, including in the agricultural area cultivated by residents of Gundul. In 2002, there was resistance from the residents of the hamlet, where day by day the residents’ resistance to mining sand dug C.

in 2005 the denial of the Gundul residents towards the sand mine became more widespread, so the residents asked the Head of Bilebante Village, the Pringgarata Sub-District Head and the Central Lombok Regent to stop and close the sand mine. When there was no response, residents immediately blocked the road.

“As a result of the residents’ refusal, three residents were criminalized.there, Amaq Rabiah or Haji Zulkarnaian, Saneh or Amaq Sartini, and Arinah by illegal miners accused of destroying a bridge, and in the verdict of Praya Central Lombok District Court, finally the residents were charged with no light crimes, and in the cassation filed by the prosecutor, the Supreme Courtresidents were decided to be purely free (in 2007) accompanied by the Forum of Environment,” he said.

While the mining in hemlet gundul area finally stopped, but at other points in the Bilebante Village area illegal mining was still being carried out by pera miners, which then sparked the courage of other miners to dare to open and carry out mining in Gundul again. several illegal mining attempts were made in the period 2008-2015 but were still successful in being rejected by the residents.

“However, the company’s “evil” attempt to damage the livelihood space of residents continues to be carried out in various ways, even at the beginning of 2019 one of the activists from the West Nusa Tenggara Forum of Environment who led directly assisting residents was under serious pressure, namely the househis property was burnt by unknown people and it is strongly suspected that it was because of the efforts and struggles with the residents of Menmeng Village in rejecting the operation of quarry C,” he said.

Tentang Penulis: Redaksi Koranlombok

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