Daily news about the visit of the Indonesians: The Indonesians in Germany

The Indonesian delegation at Hamburg Airport

Dec 8, 2011

Our visitors finally arrive at the airport in Hamburg one hour behind schedule. Even though they are tired after the long journey, they are pleased to see our welcome sign: Selamat Datang teman-teman dari Indonesia! Welcome, dear friends from Indonesia!

Meanwhile, the members of Ida’s and Bidin’s family who stayed behind in the devastated village are still massively under threat. Read the full story:

They have just arrived – and are worried about those who stayed at home

Our visitors finally arrive at the airport in Hamburg one hour behind schedule. Even though they are tired after the long journey, they are pleased to see our welcome sign: Selamat Datang teman-teman dari Indonesia! Welcome, dear friends from Indonesia!

Unfortunately, it is a rather unkind welcome with regard to the weather – but many helpers have provided us with a pile of warm clothes that is ready for use at the hotel.

It is Ida, Bidin and their son Agung who look most exhausted. But apart from the stress of travelling, tension lines the parents’ faces. “While we are here talking to you, guards of the palm oil company Wilmar and special operation force units of the police threaten our family members at the devastated village”, Bidin explains. Great efforts were made to prevent Bidin and Ida from travelling to Germany. A manager at Wilmar told Bidin that it was forbidden for people like him to go to Germany – and then, he sent police officers and Wilmar’s security guards to Bidin’s village. “They sought our family members out and chased them away. And although all of them were able to return, the village is still surrounded by the brigades. We are afraid that they might starve, since the armed soldiers confiscate all goods that helpers try to deliver to the village. We fear for our family!“

They also tried to dissuade Feri Irawan who works for our partner organisation Perkumpulan Hijau from taking the trip to Germany. “They offered me a bag full of money”, Feri says.

It is of major interest to the Wilmar Group to make sure that the victims and witnesses of the acts of violence committed by order of the company in August 2011 in the province of Jambi, Sumatra, do not appear before the public. An investigation report on the destruction of the villages was written, and the Wilmar Group acknowledged its responsibility in writing. “But nobody”, Bidin says, “talked to us, the affected people. No delegate from Wilmar’s management has been sent to our villages. Nobody helped us rebuild our homes. We feel betrayed and ridiculed.”

Here in Germany, we are determined to do everything possible to help Bidin’s family – and to make sure that the public becomes aware of the misdeeds committed by the world’s biggest palm oil company Wilmar in Indonesia.