Angry mob burns down Lombok hotel over land dispute

Angry villagers burnt a hotel in East Lombok on Jan. 31, 2023 over land dispute. Photo: Obtained.
Angry villagers burnt a hotel in East Lombok on Jan. 31, 2023 over land dispute. Photo: Obtained.

Angry villagers went berserk and burnt down a hotel in East Lombok, after the company that runs the resort allegedly ignored the locals’ request to give them access to the beach for their livelihoods.

Reports say that Layang Layang Resort, run by PT Temada Pumas Abadi, was set ablaze on Tuesday by angry residents of Srewe Village in Jerowaru District. Eight hotel rooms and one storage unit were reportedly damaged in the incident.

Video supposedly showing the blaze and its aftermath have been circulating on social media.

@jendelalombokofficial1 Pembakaran Hotel PT. Temada, di Desa Seriwe Kecamatan Jerowaru #lomboktiktok #beritalombok #lombokvirall🌴🌴 #lombok #lomboktimur ♬ suara asli – Jendela Lombok

Conflict arose after the company allegedly violated a 100-meter setback rule at Tampah Bolek Beach in 2019 by building barriers around the area. This cut off locals’ access to the beach, which they needed to dry seaweed and earn a living.

The company, which obtained its hotel license in 2011, reportedly ignored requests from residents to take down the barriers.

Kamaruddin, the chief of neighboring district Keruak, said that hundreds of villagers rallied in front of the resort on Tuesday to protest the barriers. 

“PT Temada rarely communicated with us since the development [of the hotel] in 2019,” he said.

Kamaruddin added that the authorities urged the locals to not resort to anarchy – but to no avail as they set fire to the facility.

PT Temada spokesman Surya Jaya is demanding a thorough investigation into the arson case, adding that, in the past seven years, the company had encountered security issues in the area but the local administration never responded to their concerns.

“If there is no response from the police and the local government [toward this case], I am certain that no investors will want to consider East Lombok,” he said.

He also suspects that the angry mob was provoked into burning down the hotel.

Surya, who insisted that the company secured a full land permit from the government, added that the barriers were put up after the hotel received complaints that locals often let their water buffalos loose on the beach.

East Lombok Police Chief Hery Indra Cahyono said that the conflict has been going on for years and that his department is investigating the arson incident.


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