On October 4, tens of thousands of peasants from 14 villages in Way Kanan, Lampung Province of Sumatra, rallied to demand that PT Inhutani V return 55 thousand hectares of land that used to belong to them.
They visited the office of PT. Budi Lampung Sejahtera (BLS), a company that has been operating on the land, to demand clarification on the return of the land.
According to Ali Akbar, the chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PRD) in Lampung who organised the peasants, the land is a customary land that has been used by the community for generations until PT.Inhutani forcibly grabbed the land in 1996 under the Forest Land Use Agreement (TGHK) which has never been approved by the people.
Later on, PT Inhutani, broke the rules by changing the concessions/HPH into cassava fields. Moreover, PT Inhutani did not re-plant the trees.
Therefore, the peasants urged PT.Inhutani to return their land by immediately ending its operation and handing over the land.