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Seeking Settlement of Promises Not Honored

South Bali Farmers Suing Pecatu Graha and Bali Administration for Breach of Promise

(11/27/2011) Jakarta Globe reports that Tommy Suharto, Son of Indonesia’s former President Suharto, is being sued for US$23.2 million by disgruntled traditional residents of Pecatu, site of the Pecatu Graha Development owned by Tommy.

A trial opened on Friday, November 25, 2011, in the Denpasar District Court where lawyer Made Arjaya, representing the original owners of Pecatu, claims that compensation promised his clients 15 years ago remains largely unpaid.

In 1995, the provincial government of Bali agreed to swap 123 hectares of land at Pecatu with Pecatu Graha in exchange for 186 hectares of farmland in other locations in Bali. Included in the deal, according to Arjaya, was an agreement to build new homes for the displaced Pecatu residents and provide each family with 200 square meters of farmland.

Arjaya told the Court: 

“The residents, who are mostly farmers, have not fully been granted their rights, while Bali Pecatu Graha has built numerous facilities in the area, including resorts, condominiums, hotels, discotheques, golf courses and water parks.”

The provincial administration of Bali is also being sued for its failure to monitor the enforcement of the agreement.

Pecatu Graha has reportedly offered compensation to the farmers, but in amounts the farmers claim is less that that contained in the original agreement.

The suite claim Rp. 151 billion (US$16.7 million) in land compensation, Rp. 54 billion (US$6 million) for lost crops and Rp. 6.2 billion (US$689,000) for lost residential dwelling are still outstanding from Pecatu Graha. The displaced villagers are also seeking an additional Rp. 20 billion (US$2.2 million) in punitive damages.

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