Greenpeace accuses Sinar Mas corporation of violence toward its protestors

Jeremy Hance
March 26, 2009

In a press release issued by Greenpeace the organization states that Sinar Mas corporation security guards “brutally kicked and punched” peaceful protestors in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 19th. Greenpeace activists had chained themselves to the entrance of Sinar Mas headquarters and hung a banner labeling the corporation a 'Forest and Climate Criminal'.

"The excessive violence today by Sinar Mas security is testament to the way this company does business. Sinar Mas may think they are above the law, but the right to peaceful protest is enshrined in the Indonesian constitution,” said Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Forest campaigner.

The largest logging and palm oil company in Indonesia, Sinar Mas and its subsidiaries have been accused of numerous environmental and human rights violations. Asian Pulp and Paper, an infamous subsiderary of Sinar Mas group, has been dropped by numerous US and Australian companies due to its environmental record.

“[Greenpeace] took action today because Sinar Mas and the Indonesian Government are failing to do so. We are facing the greatest threat to humanity - climate chaos - yet still companies like Sinar Mas continue to destroy forests and peatlands, rather than protecting them for future generations and, as is becoming increasingly clear, for climate stability," said Maitar.

According to Greenpeace, Sinar Mas currently owns 20,000 hectares of rainforest in Indonesia which they plan to turn into oil palm plantations. In addition, the corporation is planning to acquire a further 1.1 million hectares in Papua New Guinea.

"Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is saying internationally that he will reduce Indonesia's greenhouse gas emissions, yet Sinar Mas continue their forest destruction unabated. If he is serious about Indonesia being a global leader in solving the climate crisis, he must take immediate action to stop this company destroying Indonesia's greatest asset - carbon rich forests and peatland," urged Maitar.

Greenpeace is calling on the Indonesian government to put a moratorium on all forest conversion.

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Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (March 26, 2009).

Greenpeace accuses Sinar Mas corporation of violence toward its protestors .