World Rainforest Movement

A shady bussiness in East Timor

One of the main reasons why Indonesia continues occupying East Timor after its invasion in December 1975 and based upon a continuous repression of the Maubere people are the business interests of president Suharto’s family in that country. The Indonesian Army is heavily involved in protecting the First Family’s interests in the occupied land, that cover many different economic activities, from coffee and sugarcane plantations to textile and mining.

Since 1995 they are also planning to enter the forestry sector. The company PT Fendi Hutani Lestari, which is directed by businessman Bob Hasan, one of Suharto’s best friends, has planned to established nearly 50,000 hectares of tree plantations in an area covering eleven villages in the district of Viqueque. Even if not much has been heard since the official launching of the plantation in July 1995, the strong popular opposition to other projects of this company in East Timor seems to have prevented the plan to reach its target.

Source: George J. Aditjondro (21/8/97) and The World Guide 1997/98