Jakarta: The Indonesian government has reportedly threatened to deport Leonardo DiCaprio over critical comments he made about the palm oil industry on social media during a recent visit.
The Oscar-winning actor and environmental campaigner arrived in Sumatra, Indonesia, last week and shared pictures of endangered Sumatran elephants and an orangutan on his Instagram page. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is supporting local partners in establishing a “mega-fauna sanctuary” in the Leuser rainforest ecosystem where, it is claimed, elephants, orangutans, and other animals are endangered by activities such as the expansion of palm oil plantations and mining.
In a post accompanying a picture of the elephants, DiCaprio wrote: “A world-class biodiversity hotspot, the #Indonesian Leuser Ecosystem is one of the most important areas of intact #rainforest left in Southeast Asia. Its forests are home to the densest remaining populations of the critically endangered Sumatran #orangutan. But palm oil expansion is destroying this unique place. Now is the time to save the Leuser Ecosystem. We must develop a permanent solution to protect and restore this valuable natural asset.
But officials were apparently riled by his environmental campaigning.
“If there are statements that discredit the Government and the interests of Indonesia, he could be deported,” immigration director-general Ronny Sompie reportedly told Republika. “If he is in Indonesia for other purposes, by engaging in activities that disrupt public order and harm the interests of Indonesia, immigration authorities are ready to deport him.”
However, EcoWatch claims DiCaprio has already left the country.