Holcim Must Settle Land Dispute with Ringinrejo Villagers

Wednesday, 03 May 2017 , 09:00:00 WIB - International

A Syrian refugee is seen demonstrating to support US President Donald Trump to conduct targeted attacks on Syrian facilities, UK, Friday (7/4). Lafarge Holcim has been found paying tax to ISIS in Syria. (ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS – Cement giant LafargeHolcim needs to settle its land dispute in several regions with local villagers.

"One of the disputes is with people from Ringinrejo Village, Blitar, which has not been fully settled," said Farhan, Executive Director of Sitas Deas, in a written statement received by gres.news, Tuesday (2/5).

Around 826 families from the village had been cultivating on the 724.23 hectare land since 1997. The problem, the land has been designated as a forest area by the Ministry of Forestry. As a result, they are now under threat of being evicted.

"The land they were cultivating on has been bought by PT Holcim Indonesia to be set as a replacement forest, namely for the forest in Tuban that the company cleared for mining activities and for its new factory," Farhan said.

According to Farhan, the company did not buy the land transparently as it did not discussed the plan with the local villagers, who would become victims of the purchase. In fact, PT Holcim Indonesia only paid compensation money to newcomers instead of paying to the indigenous villagers, the party who would bear the direct impacts o the land purchase.

Farhan urges LafargeHolcim to discuss the issue with the local villagers and give the latter rights to cultivate on the land. "This is important so that communications between the Ringinrejo Villagers and it would be highly beneficial for both LafargeHolcim and the local villagers.

Previously, LaFargeHolcim chief executive officer (CEO) Eric Olsen resigned after it was discovered that the company has been paying tax to ISIS as security money, so that its factory in Syria can continue operating.

"Instead of spending millions of US dolalrs to support terorism activities, LafargeHolcim should instead settle its land conflict with people in Ringinrejo Village, Blitar Regency," imbaunya.