NGO wants blockade of two longhouses removed immediately

  • Nation
  • Monday, 09 Dec 2019

Longhouse folk removing the cement blocks on Monday (Dec 9) despite not getting the green light to do so.

SIBU: The Rajang branch of the Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia-Rajang) wants the blockade installed across two access roads leading to Rumah Jalak and Rumah Nita at Batang Igan near here removed immediately.

"We urge the local authority to lift this blockade within 24 hours because this is a blatant disregard of basic human rights as enshrined in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 5 and 8(5) of the Federal Constitution," said Sadia-Rajang chairman Bill Jugah on Monday (Dec 9).

He said it has been almost a week since this blockade was erected on Dec 3.

Although a meeting between local community leaders and the relevant

authorities was held last Friday (Dec 6), no action was taken and the blockade was still there when representatives from Sadia-Rajang, the Sarawak Liberation Movement, Pedas and other NGOs visited the scene on Sunday (Dec 8).

“Please do not pass the buck from one government agency to another, causing unnecessary delays, ” Jugah said.

“The social and basic rights of the affected community must be safeguarded first irrespective of any land disputes, compensation or settlement problems causing this blockade," he added.

Meanwhile, Sadia-Rajang vice-chairman Tuah Lumpoh said that the local authority needs to resolve the issue quickly

“We should pity the young children and the elderly who have to walk 1.3km to their longhouse because of the blockade. The longhouse folks are deprived of their rights to live their lives freely without constraint," she said.

Sadia-Rajang’s land and culture committee head Garai Badin then added that any dispute could be settled amicably, but said that the blockade has been in place for too long and is causing a major inconvenience to the 300 residents of the two longhouses there.

“Solve the problem of the people first, any discussions or negotiations can be done later, ” he said.

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