APSN Banner

Transmigration houses burnt in compensation dispute in Irian Jaya

Radio Australia - June 17, 1997

Landowners in Indonesia's Irian Jaya province have burned down six new houses built for migrants under a transmirgration resettlement scheme.

A leader of the Kwimi village 40 kilometres south of the provincial capital of Jayapura says he ordered the burning because the project had cut down a sago tree forest without adequate compensation for the villagers.

The village chief quoted by the official Antara news agency saying the tribe had voluntarily given their land for the construction of the resettlement area but had demanded that compensation for the sago trees felled in the process.

Antara says a small compensation package had been given to the head of a nearby village that had no claim on the land.