UN displeased with Indonesia tourism project for trampling human rights

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Apr 02, 2021, 10.30 PM(IST)

(File photo) Indonesian President Joko Widodo Photograph:( Reuters )

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In developing the 2-hectare (5-acre) site, “local residents were subjected to threats and intimidations, and forcibly evicted from their land without compensation”, said Olivier De Schutter, U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights

United Nations (UN) human rights experts have said that a tourism mega-project on Indonesia's Lombok island has uprooted local and indigenous people. The experts said that this project has destroyed homes, fields, rivers and religious sites.

The Mandalika, located in Lombok’s West Nusa Tenggara province, includes a Grand Prix motorcycle circuit, hotels and a golf course, and is part of the “10 New Balis” strategy proposed by President Joko Widodo in 2016 to boost tourism revenues.

In developing the 2-hectare (5-acre) site, “local residents were subjected to threats and intimidations, and forcibly evicted from their land without compensation”, said Olivier De Schutter, U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

He said that businesses and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) that funded the ongoing project, failed to do due diligence "to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address adverse human rights impacts”, he said in a statement.

The AIIB said its operations adhered to its environmental and social guidelines, and that it had responded “swiftly” to complaints related to the project and commissioned an independent consultant to engage with the Indonesian government, businesses and local residents.

“The final report found no evidence of the alleged coercion, direct use of force, and intimidation relating to land acquisition and resettlement,” it said in a statement late on Thursday.

(With AFP inputs)

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