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On May Day, West Java farmers 'bury themselves alive' to protest against forced evictions

Java Post - May 1, 2017

Rallies commemorating International Labour Day in Indonesia were not just held in Jakarta. In Karawang, West Java, it was also the case except there the commemorations were joined by farmers.

Farmers in the Telukjambe district of Karawang commemorated May Day by holding an extreme action by burying themselves alive in protest against being evicted from their homes by the company PT Pertiwi Lestari.

"We don't want to be evicted, but they (PT Pertiwi Lestari) continue to put pressure on residents to accept compensation of 30 million rupiah", said action coordinator Aris Wiyono on Monday May 1.

Aris said that the farmers would continue holding burial actions until President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is willing to meet with them at the State Palace where they will call on the government not to side with PT Pertiwi Lestari.

According to Aris, because of the burial action at least eight people have been rushed to hospital suffering from exhaustion and dehydration. "The farmers will not end the action until the state takes firm action against PT Pertiwi Lestari", he asserted.

Based on observations at the protest, at least 19 teenagers were buried alive in coffins filled with earth. They appeared exhausted and their parents were busy fanning them so that they would not become overheated.

One of the parents of the teenagers said that while workers today are demanding decent wages, farmers are demanding that the government intervene in the problem they are facing.

"Please [we ask] the government and Commission II of the House of Representatives to pay attention to the plight of farmers", said the man who declined to give his name. (cr2/JPG)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was "Di Hari Buruh, Petani Telukjambe Lakukan Aksi Ekstrem, Nih Fotonya".]

Source: http://www.jawapos.com/read/2017/05/01/127016/di-hari-buruh-petani-telukjambe-lakukan-aksi-ekstrem-nih-fotonya.

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