Demonstration at PT HMBP Resulting in the Tragic

Palm Oil Magazine
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PALMOILMAGAZINE, PALANGKARAYA – A new agrarian conflict has emerged within palm oil plantations, this time affecting the villagers of Bangkal in the Sub-district of Seruyan Raya, District of Seruyan, Central Kalimantan Province.

During a demonstration, security officers opened fire on the indigenous villagers of Bangkal, resulting in the tragic death of one individual.

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The villagers’ protest, which took place near the operational area of PT. HMBP, was prompted by the company’s failure to fulfill its commitment to allocate approximately 20% of its land for plasma plantations, as mandated by their cultivation rights.

In their attempt to block the entrance to Estate 2 of PT. HMBP, which occupies 1,175 hectares beyond its permitted boundaries, the villagers faced significant risks, and regrettably, one person lost their life as a result.

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As in the press release that got on Saturday (7/10/2023), though PT. HMBP is the subsidiary of Best Agro Group Internasional got Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certificate, the conflict described the failure of ISPO certification to get field real condition.

“From the conflict, it showed that ISPO certification fails to map real field condition and fails to conduct sustainability principles in the certification process,” the civil organizations noted.

Some civil organizations, such as, Sawit Watch, Save Our Borneo (SOB), and Satya Bumi responded the incident by claiming some things such as, the first, every party should resist, avoid violence, get solution to end the conflict without making more victims.

The second, security officers should avoid violence but prioritize fair and equal dialogue. Peaceful solution is the main goal.

The third, Human Rights Commission should respond the case by establishing team to get the real fact in investigating the issue and get sustainable solution.

The fourth, the governments both in national and regional level should seriously supervise plasma realization. The case – demanding plasma program, happens always in many regions and the government should be in charge to confirm sustainability process according to what the people’s rights. (T2)

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