Indonesia starts legal action against 4 companies linked to SE Asia haze

JAKARTA - Indonesia has ordered four companies to suspend operations for causing forest fires which have sent smoke across a swathe of Southeast Asia, an environment ministry official said on Tuesday. "These suspensions will be in effect until the criminal proceedings undertaken by the police are finished," said secretary general at environment ministry Bambang Hendroyono.

Three plantation companies have had their permits frozen and one forestry company has had its license revoked, he added.

PT Langgam Inti Hibrindo, which is owned by PT Provident Agro was among the companies affected.

Thick smoke caused by forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan islands has blanketed the region in recent weeks, pushing pollution levels to unhealthy levels.