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On July 20 over 1000 security forces arrived to break through a blockade set up by villagers and students at Indorayons paper and rayon pulp factory PT IIU in Porsea near Lake Toba in North Sumatra Demonstrations have hampered production since mid-June Hundreds of local people supported by university students and members of environmental groups had blocked roads leading to PT IIUs mill forcing the factory to stop production since its supplies of timber and fuel have been cut off After the violent confrontation at least 13 local people are reported seriously injured and some are missing That of Indorayon is a long history of actions undertaken by local people and environmental groups in defence of the environment It became a landmark case after the environmental NGO WALHI brought a court case against the company and the government which sanctioned its construction in 1989 for the high pollution it was provoking Powerful interest soon moved in but the villagers continued their struggle against the company Some 300000 people are thought to have been affected by the mill and the plantations that feed it By 1997 the company had established approximately 41000 hectares of eucalyptus and acacia plantations The Finnish company Jaakko Poyry was responsible for the feasibility study for the PT IIU plant and acted as consultant for the feeder plantations Last February people from four villages affected by pollution caused by the plant formed a campaign group against PT IIU with others from the island of Samosir in Lake Toba This is one of the areas where forests are being felled since natural wood is the second supply of raw material for the pulp plant The company has cleared 150000 hectares of rainforest The group called KAPAL refused to be placated by company officials or intimidated by local officials and issued an ultimatum to PT IIU on Environment Day June 5th to stop logging on Samosir Huge popular demonstrations took place in June
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