MAC: Mines and Communities

Thirty years - and justice still denied

Published by MAC on 2003-10-02

Thirty years - and justice still denied

The following is a Position Statement - and set of demands - issued in early October 2003 by the Karonsi'e Dongi communities profoundly impacted by Inco's operations in Sorowako, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It recounts a thirty year history of their struggle to obtain basic rights from a company which continues to ignore many of their claims

Sekretariat : Jln. Lasemba No. 52/ Jln. Appel Wasuponda 91983


With respect, to:

1. President of the Republic of Indonesia in Jakarta
2. Head of the General Assembly (MPR - RI) in Jakarta
3. Head of the House of Representatives (DPR - RI) in Jakarta
4. Canadian Embassy in Jakarta
5. Minister of Mines and Energy in Jakarta
6. Minister of Internal Affairs in Jakarta
7. Minister of Acceleration of Development in the Eastern Areas of Indonesia in Jakarta
8. Head of the Indonesian Police Force (KAPOLRI) in Jakarta
9. Governor of South Sulawesi in Makassar
10. Head of the Local House of Representatives (DPRD) Level I iin South Sulawesi in Makassar
11. East Luwu Village District Head Bupati n Malili
12. Head of the Local House of Representatives (DPRD) Level II in Masamba
13. Presdient Director of PT. INCO in Jakarta
14. Nuha Regency Head in Wasuponda
15. Mining Advocacy Network (JATAM) in Jakarta
16. Indigenous Community Alliance (AMAN) in Jakarta
17. Indigenous Community Rights Restoration Network (JAPHAMA) in Bogor
18. Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI) in Jakarta
19. Sawerigading Earth Foundation (YBS) in Palopo

During the social upheaval in South Sulawesi caused by the "Islamic Rebellion" (DI/TII) in the 1950s, people in the Karonsi'e Dongi and Sorowako communities generally fled to the Soluro area from 1954 to 1956. In 1957, increasing turmoil in Soluro forced the Karonsi'e Dongi people to separate and move to three other areas; Malili, Central Sulawesi and Southeast Sulawesi.

From 1969 to 1976, the Karonsi`e Dongi community refugees began to return to Dongi or what is known today as New Village (Kampung Baru). Upon returning, we were greeted with enormous hardship. The land in our settlement, rice fields, gardens, and indigenous lands were all taken over by PT. INCO, land that we were forced to leave during the social and political conflict.

The Karonsi'e Dongi community immediately began addressing this issue and met with the head of the Nuha Regency, who at that time was P. Tengkano (1976-1978). However, our efforts failed. To survive as the Karonsi'e Dongi community, we were forced to integrate with neighbouring communities, mainly in Wasuponda, parts of Central Sulawesi and other areas for the last 34 years. Since 2000, there have been various efforts including lobbying directly to PT. INCO, and holding policy dialogues with the local government and North Luwu parliament. However, we have yet to receive any assurance on the survival of our community. Furthermore, we have experienced greater repression from the government with added police presence in the area.

Based on the previous mentioned items, we demand that:

1. Our land that has been taken over by PT. INCO to be immediately return to us and rehabilitated if has been degraded, this includes:
a. New Village (Kampung Baru) (now PT. INCO's golf course).
b. Kopatea and Pontadaa rice fields (now the housing site of PT. INCO staff)
c. Native forest, and former crop land that has been cultivated annually (sago palm, resin, coconut, among other crops) (now all occupied by PT. INCO as part of their concession area)
d. Rice cultivations located at the bottom west side of Buton mountain (Kuratelawa) that are no longer manageable because impacted by PT. INCO developments, Ruruano and Lembono (North of Buton Mountain, now the camp site and surrounding areas)
e. Karonsi'e Dongi community ancestral graveyard at Larowanga Lintumewure that has already been mined by PT.INCO.
f. Part of the New Village graveyard area in Kopatea (now the site of housing for PT INCO, Dormitory and D. Single area).

2. The rehabilitation of all our social and cultural assets that have been destroyed and taken over by PT. INCO.

3. The immediate withdrawal of the elite military police force (BRIMOB) in our area.

4. The immediate rehabilitation of the environmental destruction caused by PT. INCO.

5. PT INCO immediately stop efforts to mine in protected forest areas.

These demands are brought forth as the Karonsi'e Dongi community struggle to survive, a community uprooted as a result of the PT. INCO's mining exploitation since 1968 until now.

Sorowako, 2 October 2003


Head Representative


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