For more than two weeks, a group of the Indigenous Dayak Modang Long Wai people in Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province has been blocking the entrance to a huge local palm oil plantation. Why? To seek reparation for the irreparable damage the company has inflicted on them – demanding their stolen land back from Indonesian palm oil giant Triputra and seeking an additional $1M in compensation.
Triputra has damaged and polluted at least 10,000 acres of the Dayak people’s tribal land – that’s about 7,500 football fields – and keeps denying them access to basic needs such as water and food sources. The Dayak people have been fighting the company and its aggressive expansion since 13 years ago when the members of the community were first evicted from their ancestral lands.
This community’s fight is only one of many examples where agribusinesses trample on Indigenous rights and steal land without the people’s free, informed and prior consent. Profit-oriented, big corporations like Triputra go unchecked in their human rights abuses too often while criminalizing the Indigenous and frontline communities’ righteous fight for their land rights. Just last year, a district court in Central Kalimantan has sentenced two indigenous farmers to eight and 10 months in prison respectively for “stealing” oil palm fruit from a plantation company despite there was evidence showing hat the villagers are the rightful owners of the land.
RAN is supporting the Dayak Modang Long Wai people’s efforts and seeks to amplify our partners’ efforts in winning this battle. Join their change.org petition now – attention and support from across the globe is an important piece for moving these companies’ stances and making systemic change happen.
Indigenous Indonesians mount palm oil blockade (UCA News)
Link to the Dayak People’s petition on change.org