Before a crowd of thousands of Poso residents in late 2009, roughly three years after Christian-Muslim violence in the region had ended, Poso district head Piet Inkiriwang extolled the virtues of investment. ‘If investors come to Poso, we will all shower in money,’ he told the crowd. ‘You’ll have bucketloads.’ These buckets of money were to come from new jobs and compensation payments for land that investors would need.
Economic development is essential to rebuild Poso. But investment does not automatically lead to recovery. All over Indonesia, district heads compete to bring in new investment to their regions. Too often, a pattern of development results in which the government and large companies collude to maximise profits or for personal gain. Meanwhile, communities often have little choice but to accept unfavourable deals in the face of intimidation or to satisfy pressing short-term economic needs.
The FULL Article in Inside Indonesia by Lian Gogali: