More Belinda Tanoto Wedding


You asked for it

Here it is, Belinda and You Ning


At Sukanto tanoto’s house in Singapore


Wedding reception at Villa del Balbianello

Lake Como, Italy. Costs: Millions of Dollars







Belinda Tanoto Wedding Photo




Wedding reception at Villa del Balbianello Lake Como, Italy. Costs: Millions of Dollars


Sukanto’s first Merc revived for favorite daughter



in medan



Rick Van Lee: Canadian Engineer jailed by Sukanto Tanoto

Rick Van Lee worked for Sukanto as a technical manager for Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP) from 2005. he was a hard working man and each year Sukanto presented substantial President/CEO awards to Rick subject to the CARE-program for career advancement, compensation, coaching and communication and as “…a recognition from the Company for your [Rick’s] contribution, commitment, and loyalty…”:

In Feb 2011, Sukanto gave him a bonus of 1 Million USD.

But things turn sour when Rick said he wanted to quit and retire.

Rick was first kept in his home in Kerinci by company security staff of RAPP and from 4 July 2011 Rick was in custody by the police in Pelalawang Jail and  the district attorney detained him in the Pekanbaru Prison on Sumatra, Indonesia. On 4 December 2011 he was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

The only official accusation made by APRIL via RAPP against Rick, is that he has used private data storage media for safekeeping company data during his work and extensive traveling. This is against company rules, but Rick was allowed to do so for the best of the company. The permission was granted each year in writing by the CEO of APRIL, Mr A. J. Devanesan.

Even if his decision to leave the company is a disappointment for the management it can’t be justified to seek revenge in such a manner. Rick was jailed by Sukanto because he wants to quit!

Rick van Lee suffered a stroke while being detained by APRIL and is in very poor health condition. Following the stroke, Rick experienced a severe depression not allowing him to eat or sleep properly. The local police denied Rick medical attention during his first time in jail. Only because of repeated requests by the Canadian Embassy and Rick’s lawyer, the Police have, very reluctantly, at several occasions provided medical treatment in Police Hospitals on Java and on Sumatra in order to keep Rick alive.

Rick was finally released by the pressure of Canadian Embassy. Read it at


Rick van Lee suffered a stroke while held prisoner by APRIL and is in very poor health condition

Sukanto Tanoto: The Abuser

Sukanto Tanoto is well known as a forest destroyer and doing corrupt business. But now his own nephew has revealed how he is an abuser of his own brother’s family.

Polar Tanoto was Sukanto’s brother, both set up Indorayon and RAPP pulp company in Sumatra. In 1997 Polar died in a plane crash. This become a chance for Sukanto to steal all of his brother’s assets and shares from the company. That is now why RGE is fully owned by Sukanto. He stole his own brother’s assets.

Wendy Tanoto, his niece now tell the whole story at

Sukanto Tanoto at his brother’s wedding in Medan. Little we know later he “murdered” his own brother and stole all his money.


Larry Pileggi, The Sukanto Tanoto Professor

Larry Pileggi is the Tanoto Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

Larry should have realized that Sukanto Tanoto is a corrupt entrepreneur responsible for destroying rain forests in Indonesia. Larry is still comfortably and Proudly carry the Tanoto Professorship.

Look at what other universities have done:

Students and dons at 14 Oxford colleges have urged the university to purge its £3.3bn endowment fund of all investments in fossil fuel companies. The move follows 64 Oxford professors and other senior academics signing an open letter and a petition by over 800 students, staff and alumni.

The fossil fuel divestment campaign won a major victory today as Stanford University announced it would drop coal companies from its massive $18.7 billion endowment, the fourth largest of any American university. The action follows a petition by student group Fossil Free Stanford, five months of research by Stanford’s Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing, and finally a vote by the Board of Trustees.

Larry, it’s time for you to dump the Tanoto name.

Lake Toba indigenous people fight for their frankincense forest against Sukanto Tanoto

It was a cool and foggy day in Dolok Ginjang forest, but that did not stop villagers of Pandumaan and Sipituhuta in North Sumatra from heading to work to extract frankincense from the trunks of its tall trees.

Frankincense, an aromatic tree resin used in perfumes and incense, is the primary source of income for local people in the area. Every Monday, most of the men would go to the forest to incise the bark of the trees. They would bring food, drinks, and supplies, working and sleeping in the forest before returning home at the end of the week.

However, that routine has been disrupted for the past few years as land conflict has erupted between villagers and wood pulp producer PT Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL), formerly known as PT Inti Indorayon Utama, over the forest area.

The 4,100-hectare frankincense forest, locally known as tombak hamijon, is located in three areas — Tombak Sipiturura, Dolok Ginjang, and Lombang Nabagas. According to research conducted by the Indigenous People’s Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), villagers of Pandumaan and Sipituhuta have depended on the forest for their livelihoods for nearly 300 years and 13 generations.

The villagers have established customary laws in their lands. However, in 2009, the then-minister of Forestry, MS Kaban, issued a division letter for North Sumatra that included the districts of North Tapanuli, Toba Samosir, Samosir, Simalungun, Dairi, Pakpak Bharat, South Tapanuli, and Humbang Hasunduntan in the concession areas of TPL. The company was formerly affiliated with pulp and paper giant, Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) and its parent Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), but is now independently listed on the Indonesian Stock Exchange in Jakarta.

“After the company came to this area, they cut down natural trees including frankincense trees. [If] the trees died, there will be less sap. Even if the trees were still alive, [the tree sap] won’t be enough [to extract]. This is really affecting local people’s livelihood,” said Reverend Haposan Sinambela, who is involved in defending the rights of the local people.

The area in dispute. Courtesy of Global Forest Watch. Click here to enlarge.

Sinambela said that local people had managed their forest for generations and made a pact with their ancestors to guard the area.

“We extracted the sap without destroying the trees,” he added. “That way, the forest is still sustainable. We are forbidden to destroy the forest because natural disaster will occur. It is why we will always protect our forests even if our lives [are] at stake.”

The impacts of conversion were felt by Lambok Lumban Gaol, one of the villagers.

“The frankincense forest used to be cool and fresh, with birds flying free and we even [could] see bears, water was fresh. But, now, it is hot and arid land, logged timber everywhere,” said Gaol whose family has been living in the area for many generations. “[The weather] is not that cool anymore. We used to wear gloves and thick blankets at six in the morning. Now, the forest has been replaced by eucalyptus.”

 A TPL access road that cuts through an area of forest. Photo: Ali Made

Local People vs. The Company

As conflicts between villagers and the company increased, the National Forestry Council recommended that Pandumaan and Sipituhuta villages be excluded from TPL concession areas in 2011.

The recommendation was supported by Humbang Hasundutan Regional Representatives Council (DPRD), which asked in 2012 to revoke the 2005 ministry decision letter to the district government.

In addition, they recommended that the company stop operating in conflicted areas altogether until solutions were reached. At the same time, they also proposed adjustment of the company’s designated working areas, which was at the core of the problem.

However, these recommendations proved ineffective. In early 2013, local farmers from Pandumaan and Sipituhuta caught TPL employees entering their forest areas and cutting down frankincense trees. Clashes broke out between farmers and the employees in the ensuing days, resulting in the arrests of 31 farmers by the mobile police brigade, also known as Brimob. Police later released 15 of the farmers, with the other 16 remaining in detention. One of the detainees was Reverend Haposan Sinambela.

In September 2013, ten villagers accompanied by AMAN met with a Ministry of Forestry official, a Humbang Hasundutan district government representative, and TPL management, in Jakarta.

Pandumaan-Sipituhuta villagers meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Forestry, local government, and TPL, in Jakarta. (Sapariah Saturi)

Despite of villagers’ firm standing to exclude their areas from the concessions, the meeting concluded that partnership would be the solution. This allows TPL timber harvesting to continue in the concession areas, while allowing local villagers to take non-timber forest products as long as they don’t interfere with company oerations.

In addition to Pandumaan and Sipituhuta, eight other villages agreed to the partnerships — Pansur Batu, Aek Nauli I, Aek Nauli II, Hutajulu, Hutapaung, Simataniari, Habinsaran, and Sionam Hudon Timur.

Meanwhile, Dedy Sofhian Armaya, corporate communications officer of TPL, stated that the concessions located in the forest areas were authorized by the ministry.

“[The villagers] were the ones using violence to get land recognitions,” said Armaya, who believes there are more peaceful ways to raise objections. “They could talk to the ministry or go to court. The law and regulations allow for such objections. It is possible to exclude their villages from the concessions or enclave if they meet the requirements.”

However, local villagers opted instead for demonstrations, blocking TPL activities in the field, intimidating workers, damaging the pulping plants, and burning company-owned equipment. These actions, he said, prompted the company to seek for protection from the police.

Furthermore, Armaya questioned the legitimacy of the claims Pandumaan and Sipituhuta villages have to their customary lands.

“They claimed Toba Pulp Lestari working blocks as their customary lands with a 12-kilometer distance from [villages]. Meanwhile, closer villages don’t claim [their customary lands],” he said, adding that other villages wanted to cooperate and even requested road development so that they’d have easier access to the frankincense forest.

According to Armaya, the company managed only 75,000 hectares — or 40 percent — of their concessions, despite permit allowances of 70 percent management.

“The [company’s] policy provide more room for protection purposes,” he said. “[Frankincense] trees are important for local people’s livelihood. The company promised not to cut down those trees.”

Pile of timber logged from an area controlled by​PT TPL. Photo: Ali Made

Partnerships Denied Customary Rights

According to Andiko Sultan Mancahyo, Executive Director of the Assciation for Community and Ecology-based Law Reform (HuMa), partnerships cannot be forced. He believes this is especially true for situations that concern not only economic issues, but the values of local communities, as well.

“Indigenous people [do] not consider the frankincense forest merely in the context of economy, but also for its cultural values,” Mancahyo said.

Sandra Moniaga, a commissioner of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), believes that the claims local people have to their customary lands are human rights that cannot be treated as objects to be bought and sold.

“The [national forestry] council recommendation to exclude both villages from the company’s areas is in accordance with the human rights principle, but somehow the ministry [of forestry] overlooked it,” Moniaga said.

According to Moniaga, many of the villagers had no knowledge about the concession, even after the company established itself in the area.

“The company should be transparent about their concession areas and open a dialogue with local people to verify the areas,” she said. “Whether this is customary lands or not? If it is [a customary land], then there should be an agreement. If local people refuse, then they should leave, if they agree for partnership then proceed.”

The river in Register 41 in Pandumaan-Sipituhuta villages used to be clear and wide. Now, it is dirty and polluted. This image shows a drainage canal. (Ayat S Karokaro) after pulp companies cleared the area.

Meanwhile, AMAN secretary general, Abdon Nababan, said that the conflict originated from the ministry’s 2005 decision letter, which resulted in the granting of permits for timber concessions before legal designations had been established.

“The ministry of forestry misinterpreted the [1999] Forestry Law on Forest Area Designation, which was supported by the Constitutional Court in 2012, that there should not be any permits granted before the forest stipulation is legally acknowledged,” said Nababan. “TPL is an example [of many cases] that forest area designation has not been completed but permits were already granted. It resulted [in] land conflicts with local people and communities in the area.”

Without increased clarity regarding the status of land rights in North Sumatra, conflicts will continue to escalate. And while regulations set forth by Indonesia’s Constitutional Court do acknowledge customary forest rights, the continued granting of permits to companies before concessions are even designated undermines the rights of local people to access and manage their own forests.

Business leaders tell forest destroyer Sukanto Tanoto to reform

Forest destruction by APRIL in Sumatra, Indonesia

Pressure is mounting on April, the notorious forest destroyer that is determinedly trying to pulp what’s left of Indonesia’s rainforests. This afternoon, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development gave April an ultimatum: put down the chainsaws or get out of the clubhouse.

April – or Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited, to give it its full title – is the second largest pulp and paper company in Indonesia. The largest paper company, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), agreed to stop clearing rainforest just over a year ago following a successful campaign by Greenpeace and other organisations.

It’s ridiculous that April, Indonesia’s number one cause of deforestation for pulp, is a member of any organisation with sustainable in the title, let alone one led by the CEOs of over 200 of the largest and best-known companies on the planet.

So last year we wrote to the WBCSD, suggesting that they should kick April out. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, today they announced that April’s membership was being put on probation and gave it twelve months to get its house in order or be thrown out on its ear.

April is just one part of a multi-billion pound deforestation empire, the Royal Golden Eagle group, known as RGE. This includes the palm oil company Asian Agri, which WWF caughtbankrolling the destruction of Tesso Nilo national park, and Toba Pulp Lestari, which is reported to be in repeated conflict with local communities, whose forests it is merrily pulping.

The WBCSD now expects not just April but all RGE companies to stop destroying forest if it wants to retain its membership.

Being kicked out of a club like the WBCSD might seem like small beer to you and me. But April has already been expelled from the Forest Stewardship Council. And the fact is, companies like April rely on membership of these international organisations to claim their credentials.

This isn’t about a logo on a website: being ousted sends a very clear message that April and its equally notorious sisters are not companies to do business with.

April’s owner, Indonesian tycoon Sukanto Tanoto, needs to take this warning very seriously. It’s not too late for his empire to turn over a new leaf and announce an immediate moratorium on deforestation.

After all, if APP can turn off the bulldozers, what’s stopping April and the rest of the RGE empire?

WBCSD tells Sukanto Tanoto to shape up or ship out

Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd (APRIL), the second largest pulp and paper company in Indonesia, has been threatened with expulsion from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) – a coalition of some 200 international companies that claim to be committed to sustainability – unless it can demonstrate that it has ended its role in deforestation.

According to Greenpeace, APRIL’s membership to the WBCSD was last week put on formal probation and it has been given twelve months to comply. The company’s membership with the WBCSD’s Forest Solutions Group has also been suspended.

Further, the WBCSD has recommended that “APRIL consider transferring membership to its parent company – the Royal Golden Eagle Group – covering all its various operating units; including prospects of aligning RGE’s other forest industry operations with the FSG membership principles”.

“When an organization led by CEOs of some of the world’s biggest corporations threatens to kick it out of the club, then you would think APRIL would listen. It’s time for APRIL to take this threat seriously and finally implement an immediate moratorium on all further forest clearance. If companies like APP can, then what is APRIL waiting for?” said Phil Aikman, Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace.

Activists have stepped up campaigns to change APRIL’s sourcing practices after its biggest competitor — Asia Pulp & Paper — signed a comprehensive forest conservation policy last February. APRIL has no such policy.

Recent government data reveal that 60 percent of fiber supply to APRIL’s pulp mill in Indonesia is rainforest wood. Unnamed Sources claim that in 2012 APRIL suppliers planned to clear some 60,000 hectares of rainforest per day.

“Given APRIL’s recent heavy dependence on rainforest fiber, Greenpeace has serious concerns about APRIL’s commitment to a zero deforestation policy and any ambition it may have to become 100 percent reliant on plantation fiber. Greenpeace will continue to expose APRIL and RGE’s role in forest destruction and cut through the game of smoke and mirrors the company is playing with its customers,” said Aikman.


Sukanto Tanoto continues with forest destruction despite new sustainability policies

In January of this year, APRIL – Indonesia’s second-largest pulp and paper company and part of the RGE corporate empire controlled by Sukanto Tanoto – announced a new ‘sustainability’ policy, claiming to have placed a moratorium on plantation development until conservation assessments are completed in its supplier concessions.  RGE also owns Asian Agri, a major Indonesian palm oil producer.

A combination of pressure created by APP’s forest conservation commitments and from both the international marketplace and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development,forced APRIL to at least appear committed to greater environmental responsibility.

But the small print of the commitments tells the real story.  APRIL ‘will only use plantation fibre by the end of 2019’. That means that the company can continue to rely on fibre from rainforests until that time.

Equally troubling is that the commitments do not cover the other pulp companies controlled by Tanoto, they ‘apply entirely and exclusively to Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Ltd (“APRIL”), which is an independently managed company with operations in Indonesia. Yet Sukanto Tanoto, the ultimate owner of APRIL, owns/controls various others, including Toba Pulp Lestari,another Sumatra-based company with a history of rainforest clearance and social conflict, as well as the China-based Asia Symbol – known until last year as APRIL China.

To check if these limited new APRIL commitments actually mean anything where it matters – in the rainforests of Indonesia – Greenpeace investigators have recently been to Pulau Padang, an APRIL supplier on Padang Island, Sumatra. As you can see from these pictures taken in March, rainforest clearance and drainage of peatland has continued even after APRIL’s high profile ‘sustainability’ pledges.  Apparently, development of such forest and peatland areas is not covered by APRIL’s ‘moratorium’.


A new drainage canal has been opened in this APRIL concession in Pulau Padang, Riau, Indonesia. 06/03/2014 © Greenpeace


The news this week that APRIL has formed a Sustainability Advisory Committee to help implement its commitments must therefore be seen in the context of the company– apparently within the remit of its new commitment –continuing deforestation and peatland development.

While we do not doubt the good intentions of the members of the Sustainability Committee – for instance, the committee currently includes WWF and WBSCD –  the reality is that the policy that this committee is helping to implement will not stop deforestation nor will it address the impacts of all Tanoto’s pulp companies.


Rainforest logs being stacked in Pulau Padang concession, Riau, Indonesia. 06/03/2014 © Greenpeace


To be credible APRIL and other pulp companies ultimately owned/controlled by Sukanto Tanoto (including Toba Pulp, Asian Symbol and Sateri) must commit to:

  • An immediate moratorium on further forest clearance across all supplier concessions in Indonesia until independent assessments have identified all forests and other conservation values for protection.
  • No further plantation development on forested peatland and best practice management to avoid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing plantations on peatland.
  • Transparency regarding all supplier concessions in Indonesia and on the percentage of MTH fibre used at each of the group’s pulp mills.
  • Sustainability action plans that cover all global fibre sourcing.
  • Greater clarity regarding forest restoration and compensation commitments.

In the absence of these commitments, and with continued rainforest clearance taking place in APRIL concessions in Indonesia, Greenpeace advises all companies purchasing paper and/or pulp from APRIL to suspend these contracts immediately.

Zulfahmi is a forest campaigner at Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Sukanto Tanoto continues to destroy peat lands and rainforests

Rainforest in Sumatra
Active clearance of peatland forest inside a PT. Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (PT RAPP) pulpwood concession on Pulau Pedang, Bengkalis Regency, Riau Province taken 05/20/2014. PT RAPP is a subsidiary of APRIL, the pulp & paper division of the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) Group, a conglomerate owned by Singapore-based businessman Sukanto Tanoto. On 28 January 2014, APRIL announced that it intends to continue to use rainforest logs until at least 2020. All photos © Ulet Ifansasti / Greenpeace


Indonesian logging giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) is continuing to destroy endangered rainforests on Sumatra despite a high profile commitment to clean up its operations, reveal aerial photos captured by Greenpeace last month (May 2014).

The pictures show excavators leveling forests on carbon-dense peatlands on Pulau Padang, an island where APRIL claims to be restoring forest. Visible in the images are canals dug to drain peatlands to make them suitable for industrial acacia plantations.

The photos clearly show APRIL’s subsidiary PT. Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (PT RAPP) violating the spirit of APRIL’s forest conservation policy, which commits the company to protecting and restoring high conservation value forests and high carbon stock areas. Pulau Padang’s peatlands store massive amounts of carbon while maintaining the structural integrity of the low-lying island and providing a home for tropical forest species, including endangered birds and mammals.

APRIL announced its conservation policy in January after long-standing criticism from environmentalists for its forest management practices, which include large-scale conversion of rainforests for industrial plantations. The policy was immediately condemned by Greenpeace and other groups as falling far short of the commitment launched a year earlier by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), APRIL’s biggest competitor. Activists said the policy was full of loopholes and allowed the company to continue pulping rainforests and peatlands for another five years.

Now, less than four months after the commitment, activists have captured damaging evidence of business-as-usual practices from APRIL, says Greenpeace campaigner Zulfahmi.

“APRIL’s commitments mean nothing,” Zulfahmi told The Sydney Morning Herald. “It’s just confirmation that they still intend to destroy forests until 2019.”

But APRIL, which claims it is the victim of a smear campaign and that its commitment is greener than those of its competitors, says the forest destruction is consistent with its pledge.

“We are currently developing our last new plantation in an area of Pulau Padang licensed by the Indonesian government,” an APRIL spokesman told The Sydney Morning Herald. “Our policy mandates that the work will be completed by December . . . So if one of your questions is ‘are you violating your own policy?’, the answer is ‘no’.”‘

“[The] Enhanced Policy exceeds any commitment we have ever made,” a presentation from APRIL states. “[It] takes APRIL’s commitments to the next level – environment, community and business.”

APRIL is currently working with Fauna and Flora International (FFI) on a forest protection project in the neighboring Kampar Peninsula. A tentative agreement to work with WWF fell through last month when an investigation by the conservation group discovered recent peatlands destruction within an APRIL concession in Indonesian Borneo.


An excavator piles natural forest logs at a log pond inside a PT. Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (PT RAPP) pulpwood concession on Pulau Pedang, Bengkalis Regency, Riau Province located at 1°0’51″N 102°19’50″E. © Ulet Ifansasti / Greenpeace