The Mairasi Tribe protests against prolongation of logging concession

Indigenous communities of the Mairasi tribe living in the villages Undurara, Wosimo and Inyora, Teluk Wondama Regency of Papua Barat Province are protesting against the prolongation of a logging concession on their ancestral land. The ministry for forestry affairs (now the ministry for forestry and environmental affairs) approved the logging concession for the company PT. Kurniatama Sejahtera (Number SK.648/Menhut-II/2009) on 15 October 2019. The Mairasi communities represent the view that the presence of the company has not contributed to the welfare of the local indigenous peoples. On the contrary, the presence of the company has resulted in heavy military presence, hence the Mairasi people do not longer feel safe on their own land. They demand the provincial agency for forestry and environmental affairs not to prolong PT. Kurniatama Sejahtera’s concession on their indigenous lands.

According to a press release by multiple NGOs, several Mairasi community members and members of the military are attempting to use the indigenous organisation in the Teluk Wondama Regency to conduct meetings with local community members. The meetings have the purpose to convince the Mairasi community to agree with the prolongation of PT. Kurniatama Sejahtera’s logging concessions.

In 2013, members of the Yonif 753 Sorong infantry unit tortured three indigenous Papuans from the villages Sararti and Ambumi. None of the perpetrators have been held accountable for the crimes. Furthermore, many people among the Mairasi tribe are still traumatised from a past case of human rights violations in the city of Wasior, which occurred in 2001. The government failed to launch a prompt, impartial and effective investigation these allegations and the perpetrators have not been held accountable for the crimes they committed in Wasior.