Banggai farmers to erect tent in front of palace

Farmers from Toili, Banggai, Central Sulawesi, plan to erect a tent and camp in front of the presidential palace on Tuesday for three days to seek support after their land was converted into a oil palm plantation.

Twelve farmers from the Singkoyo Farmers Union (Pepsi), which is supported by local activists, the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) and the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), have been seeking help from government in Jakarta since early this month. They have approached the Forestry Ministry, Manpower and Transmigration Ministry, National Land Agency, the House of Representatives and National Police.

“The next plan is to ask for help from the President as the previous hearings did not give us any positive results,” one of the farmers, Asis, said Monday.

The farmers said life had been harder for about 350 people in Toili after a plantation took over their land, and their earnings had dropped due to their limited access to land. — JP