In response to the World Superbike Event held at the Mandalika International Street Circuit, Lombok

“Impoverished Indigenous Sasak communities continue to be intimidated into giving up their ancestral lands in Mandalika (Lombok, Indonesia),  the World Superbike event should be canceled to honor thousands of victims of forced evictions who have yet to receive adequate compensation and resettlement

On November 11-13, a World Superbike racing event will be held at the Mandalika International Street Circuit – on the land of Indigenous Sasak people who have been victims of forced evictions. For years, project-affected people have protested, demanding access to meaningful consultations, to be treated humanely without intimidation or coercion, and to receive compensation commensurate with the value of their lands, property and crops. Their ongoing fight for fair compensation is far from over, despite claims by the Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy that the regional police resolved all land disputes before last year’s World Superbike Race. Indigenous families continue to live in temporary shelters with appalling conditions, becoming increasingly vulnerable and disenfranchised.

Protest banner held by an affected community member that translates to “For the World Superbike Race to run smoothly, we should receive compensation for our land”. Illustration based on an actual photo to protect the identity of local activists: A.S. (November 2022)

The Indigenous communities of Mandalika were not consulted in a meaningful way or asked for their consent before the Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) moved forward with the construction of the Mandalika International Street Circuit and the Mandalika Urban Development and Tourism Project, a large-scale infrastructure development project funded by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) which aims  to turn Mandalika into a ‘New Bali’. Instead of providing basic information about the projects to affected communities and seeking broad consent of the populations on the implementation of the project and meaningful remedies, a single statement by a local village leader was misused by the ITDC to represent the consent of over a thousand community members. They have since been stripped of their lands and livelihoods and left unable to put enough food on the table for their families or support their children’s education, leading to an exodus of community members from the Mandalika area and a breakdown of the community.

When previous World Superbike or MotoGP events have taken place in Mandalika, Indigenous peasants and fisherfolk who live around the racetrack have been subjected to the heavy deployment of military and police forces, that have restricted their movement, prevented them from asserting their rights to their land and livelihood, and even detained community members for criticizing the military’s heavy-handedness. Indonesian security forces have camped in the villages and made forced entries to the homes of at-risk families to pressure them into surrendering their ancestral lands.

Since the last international racing event, vulnerable farmers and fisherfolk who continue to live around the racetrack have been visited past midnight by the land acquisition task force (Satgas), led by members of the police and security forces, and intimidated into accepting a token compensation, and abandoning their homes, lands, and livelihoods. There is a real threat that Indigenous communities will continue to be intimidated and evicted to clear more land around the Mandalika International Street Circuit.

The creation of motorcycle racetrack should not destroy entire Indigenous communities, or cause them to be expelled from their ancestral lands and further impoverish them by removing their source of livelihoods – the sea and agricultural coastal areas in Mandalika, Lombok. Indigenous farmers and fisherfolks should not live in fear during an international sporting event due to the disproportionate deployment of police and security forces – while international motorcycle riders, teams, broadcasters, fans, and sponsors turn a blind eye to their suffering.

We, the Indonesian Coalition for Monitoring Infrastructure Development, demand the following:

  • for the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and Dorna WSBK Organisation (DWO) to cancel the upcoming World Superbike racing event in Mandalika out of respect for the affected Indigenous people and refrain from organizing further international events on the circuit until the victims of forced evictions are given fair compensation and permanent housing. The Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme and Dorna WSBK should learn from Mandalika and thoroughly assess the human and land rights impacts of new racetracks before approving them for international events.
  • for the Indonesian government to immediately remove members of both military and police forces from the land acquisition task force (Satgas), and ensure that Indigenous communities are not intimidated or coerced into abandoning their lands or negatively impacted during international racing events held at Mandalika. 
  • for the ITDC to respect AIIB’s environmental and social policies, particularly those related to Indigenous populations, and to put an end to the heavy involvement of security forces in the land acquisition process in Mandalika. The ITDC must also resolve ongoing land disputes by offering land-for-land swaps, and proper compensation to victims, not only for the land and property lost, but also for the loss of income from crops and natural resources. 
  • for the AIIB to stop financing the Mandalika Urban Development and Tourism project, in light of the continuing negative impacts on Indigenous communities. As the stand-alone funder, AIIB has a responsibility to ensure that its client ITDC respects the bank’s environmental and social safeguards and international human rights, especially those pertaining to land and indigenous people. To ensure full transparency and accountability, the AIIB must immediately disclose the land audit that was the foundation for the bank to greenlight the Mandalika project, their assessment of the ITDC’s implementation of AIIB environmental and social safeguards, as well as the monitoring results and management plans on the use of security personnel. The AIIB should also immediately implement the United Nations recommendations and allow for an independent and impartial investigation of the Mandalika project to be conducted to ensure that indigenous populations around the world are not harmed by development projects being designed and implemented without their consent.

Jakarta, November 9, 2022

In solidarity with affected communities in Mandalika 

  1. Aliansi Solidaritas Masyarakat Lingkar Mandalika (ASLI Mandalika)
  2. WALHI Nusa Tenggara Barat
  3. WALHI South Sulawesi
  4. WALHI Jawa Barat
  5. Satya Bumi
  6. INDIES 
  7. Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ)
  8. Lembaga Studi dan Bantuan Hukum (LSBH) NTB
  9. Lembaga Bantuan Hukum – Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia (LBH-YLBHI) Mataram
  10. Pusat Studi Pembangunan dan Kesejahteraan Masyarakat (PUSAKATA) Indonesia
  11. Aliansi Gerakan Reforma Agraria (AGRA) NTB
  12. Green Youth Movement 
  13. Yayasan Pendidikan Lingkungan Sulawesi Selatan
  14. Just Finance International 
  15. Both ENDS
  16. ReCommon
  17. Green Alternative