House investigation team confirms death in Mesuji

Mon, 12/19/2011 - 21:47

An investigation team formed by the House of Representatives Commission III on law, security, and human rights affairs confirmed on Monday that at least nine people had been killed during clashes between villagers and plantation companies in Mesuji, the border area of Lampung and South Sumatra provinces.

Lawmaker Azis Syamsuddin said that seven were killed in South Sumatra, and two in Lampung.

Of the seven victims in South Sumatra, five were villagers and two informal security officials of oil palm plantation company PT Sumber Wangi Alam during land dispute incidents in April 2011.  The men working for Sumber Wangi were beheaded, Azis said, adding that the investigation team had interviewed local villagers and officials.

Meanwhile, the two dead victims in Lampung included one informal security worker of plantation firm PT Silva Inhutani, and another one working for oil palm plantation company PT Barat Selatan Makmur Investindo.

Villagers of Mesuji recently met with House Commission III lawmakers to report about the brutal killing of villagers during land conflicts with the plantation companies.  They claimed that at least 30 people were killed during incidents that began a few years ago.

The official government team has just started investigation work, and has yet to disclose their findings. (rei)


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