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April 8, 2021, 03.24 PM

JAKARTA, - The government will look into the allegations of human rights violations in Indonesia's tourism mega-project in Lombok's West Nusa Tenggara province following a recent report made by the United Nations (UN) expert on human rights.  

A presidential spokesperson Fadjroel Rachman said that his office is currently studying the report.  

"We're studying it," Fadjroel told on Wednesday, April 7.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Olivier De Schutter previously assessed that the development of the Mandalika National Tourism Strategic Area (KSPN) or The Mandalika, saying that it has violated human rights. 

Also readIndonesia’s Mandalika Circuit for MotoGP 2021 Moving Ahead of Schedule

According to Olivier, the $3 billion tourism project on Lombok island has involved aggressive land grabs, forced evictions of Sasak indigenous peoples, intimidation, and threats against human rights defenders.

“Farmers and fisherfolk have been expelled from their lands and have endured the destruction of their houses, fields, water sources, cultural and religious sites, as the Indonesian government and the ITDC [Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation] groomed Mandalika to become a ‘New Bali’,” the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) website quoted Olivier as saying on Tuesday.

"We urge the Indonesian government to respect human rights and the rule of law," he added.

Based on the UN sources, the people who were victims of the evictions had not received any compensation from the government.

“Credible sources have found that the local residents were subjected to threats and intimidations and forcibly evicted from their land without compensation. Despite these findings, the ITDC has not sought to pay compensation or settle the land disputes,” said Olivier.

Besides, experts have also criticized some private companies and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for funding this ongoing development project for failing to carry out due diligence as outlined in the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights.

Given the dark history of human rights violations and land grabbing in the region, AIIB and private businesses cannot turn their backs and run the business as usual.

"Their failure to prevent and address risks of human rights abuses is tantamount to being complicit in such abuses," said the expert as quoted by the website.

Also readIndonesia’s Transportation Ministry Ready to Provide Facilities for New Bali Project

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning/National Land Agency, Teuku Taufiqulhadi, denied the UN expert's accusations against the Indonesian government. He thought the statements were very political, tendentious, and baseless.


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