INDONESIA: Indiscriminate Shooting by Police
Letter by William Gomes Salem-News.com
Salem-News.com Eye on the World report.
Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Wil
(HONG KONG) - People were shot in Mesuji village, Lampung, on 10 November 2011; the same day a villager was arrested by the Mobile Brigader (Brimob) for harvesting palms in the plantation area of PT Barat Selatan Makmur Investindo. When other villagers attempted to release him, the police responded by firing rubber bullets, provoking the villagers. This all stems from a huge land dispute between the plantation and villagers.
During the ensuing clash, one person was shot on his left hand while another suffered a serious burn injury. The angry villagers then set fires at the plantation, which resulted in further shooting. One villager who was shot in the head, died. Another villager's leg was shot and broken. Four additional villagers were shot by police.
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In his letter, Mr. William Gomes asks Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudoyono, President of the Republic of Indonesia in Jakarta, Mr. William Gomes, asks that necessary measures are taken to settle an existing land conflict between the companies and the villagers, and for an independent investigation concerning the shooting. He says adequate compensation should be given to the villagers whose land had been taken away and some of its land into plasma plantation as required by the law. Any allegations regarding conspiracy between the company and the government officials should also be investigated.
Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudoyono
President of the Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Tel: +62 21 386 3777, 350 3088
Fax: +62 21 344 2223
Re: INDONESIA: Indiscriminate shooting by police
Dear President of the Republic of Indonesia,
Name of victims:
Rano Karno (25-years-old), Jepi (21-years-old), Jailani (50-years- old), Muslim (16-years-old), Robinsa (15-years-old), Reli (27-years-old), Harun (15-years-old), Lukman (27-years-old), Mat Tahan (40-years-old)
Names of alleged perpetrators:
Lampung Brimob officers
Date of incident: 10 November 2011
Place of incident: Mesuji village
I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the shooting at villagers took place in Mesuji village, Lampung, on 10 November 2011. I was informed that on that day a villager was arrested by the Mobile Brigader (Brimob) for harvesting palms in the plantation area of PT Barat Selatan Makmur Investindo (PT BSMI) as well as PT Lampung Interpertiwi (PT LIP). When other villagers attempted to release him, the police responded by firing rubber bullets, provoking the villagers. In this clash, one person was shot on his left hand while another suffered a serious burn injury. The angry villagers then went to Division II area and burnt some parts of the plantation, which resulted in further shooting. At this time a villager died from being shot in the head, and another villager had his leg shot and broken. The police also used rubber bullets to shoot four villagers.
I am aware that under international human rights law as well as Indonesian law, in certain circumstances the police are authorized to use force and firearms towards individuals or groups of individuals who conduct activities threatening public safety. I am also aware that what the villagers did in PT BSMI and PT LIP’s plantation area on 10 November 2011 might amount to activities threatening public safety. However, since there were individuals who died and were injured due to police force, an effective and independent investigation is needed to ensure that the measures taken by the police met the necessity and proportionality requirements.
A well established jurisprudence in international human rights law upheld that the obligation of states in protecting the right to life includes the obligation to conduct an effective investigation where state officials have been responsible for the taking of life. This obligation is needed to secure the accountability of officials and ensure that they cannot act without impunity. The failure to conduct an effective and independent investigation in this case therefore constitutes the violation of the right to life as stipulated in article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Indonesia is a state party.
I would also like to bring your attention to the fact that the clash between police and villagers in this case was triggered by a long ongoing land conflict between the local villagers and PT BSMI and PT LIP. The villagers claimed that the two companies illegally hold the Cultivation Right on Land (Hak Guna Usaha, HGU) over a 17.769 ha of land. This is because PT BSMI and PT LIP did not pay compensation to the villagers over the 8314 ha of land they both acquired; PT BSMI failed to convert 7000 ha of its land into a plasma plantation as well as illegally expanded its plantation area, making it 2455 ha bigger. The villagers also suspect that the companies managed to obtain HGU from the government due to a conspiracy with several government officials. The villagers resorted to harvesting the palms in the disputed land due to the lack of resolution in this long conflict, as well as their poor economic situation since the coming of the two companies into their village.
Since this conflict is the main cause of the clash that took place in Mesuji on 10 November 2011, I would like to urge you to ensure that necessary measures are taken to settle the land conflict between the companies and the villagers, in addition to my request for an independent investigation concerning the shooting. Adequate compensation should be given to the villagers whose land had been taken away and PT BSMI has to convert some of its land into plasma plantation as required by the law. Any allegations regarding conspiracy between the company and the government officials should also be investigated.
William Nicholas Gomes
Maslow's hierarchy of needs
As children we are educated in right and wrong, we are told how to conduct ourselves; we learn both expectations and limitations, and from that point we go forth with these tools, and our individual personalities, and fail or succeed accordingly.
In school we quickly understand that without paper, there is no place to write. Once we have paper, a pen or pencil is required to move to the next point. There is a great analogy that exists between this simple concept of paper and pen, and what we know today as Maslow's hierarchy of needs- the theory in psychology proposed in Abraham Maslow's 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation.
He demonstrated how without the correct necessities, a person can do little good for themselves, and has none to offer for others. However when people are housed and have clothing, heat, food, health and security, anything is possible. However if just one of these dynamics is removed from the mix, the chance for success can be adversely affected.
Wikipedia describes Maslow's hierarchy of needs as a pyramid consisting of five levels:
The lowest level is associated with physiological needs, while the uppermost level is associated with self-actualization needs, particularly those related to identity and purpose.
The higher needs in this hierarchy only come into focus when the lower needs in the pyramid are met. Once an individual has moved upwards to the next level, needs in the lower level will no longer be prioritized. If a lower set of needs is no longer be met, the individual will temporarily re-prioritize those needs by focusing attention on the unfulfilled needs, but will not permanently regress to the lower level.
For instance, a businessman at the esteem level who is diagnosed with cancer will spend a great deal of time concentrating on his health (physiological needs), but will continue to value his work performance (esteem needs) and will likely return to work during periods of remission.
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______________________________Salem-News.com Writer William Nicholas Gomes is a Bangladeshi journalist, human rights activist and author was born on 25 December, 1985 in Dhaka. As an investigative journalist he wrote widely for leading European and Asian media outlets.
He is also active in advocating for free and independent media and journalists’ rights, and is part of the free media movement, Global Independent Media Center – an activist media network for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate telling of the truth. He worked for Italian news agency Asianews.it from year 2009 to 2011, on that time he was accredited as a free lance journalist by the press information department of Bangladesh. During this time he has reported a notable numbers of reports for the news agency which were translated into Chinese and Italian and quoted by notable number of new outlets all over the world.He, ideologically, identifies himself deeply attached with anarchism. His political views are often characterized as “leftist” or “left-wing,” and he has described himself as an individualist anarchist.
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