What if your home is also your rice bowl?
Lulu was reading Susan Loone's entry on Indigenous Group Starts Campaign to Save Community From Eviction and Lulu felt quite angry and sad that this is happening.
The Iban longhouse community of Rumah Nyawin, Bintulu, Sarawak, is facing imminent eviction on November 4, 2006,after receiving an eviction notice on October 4 from the Bintulu Land and Survey Department.They have appealed to the Department, as well as local politicians and the chief of police. The Department has not replied, while the chiefof police insists they will be evicted. At least one local politicians, however, has sided with the community.
They are being evicted from their 333 hectares of traditional farms and forests, bordering the Similajau Forest Reserve, to make way forthe Malaysian Research and Development Institute (MARDI), which was granted title to the land without informed consent of the community in2002.The community successfully negotiated having their lands spared from development by MARDI in 2003. They produced a community map in 2004 with help from community mappers at Sarawak Dayak Iban Association and Borneo Resources Institute, which was submitted to the Land and SurveyDepartment, and MARDI.
MARDI has already developed a small area, next to R. Nyawin's land, but did not encroach onto their land. They have repeatedly stated they respect the NCR boundaries and have no need to evict the community.
However, the Land and Survey Department appears determined to evict them.
For more information, contact: Jessica Lawrence, www.borneoproject.org
Lulu asked Susan how she can help.
Susan sent me an email template to the Land and Surver Dept requesting for a clarification on their intention.
Would you like to join Lulu and Susan and email this template too? Lulu does not want this atrocity to go down quietly.
Please copy the text in blue, and mail it out to all the to&cc list.
Feel free to cut and paste this on your blog, and to forward the mail to all your friends.
Hopefully our simple act will make a powerful difference in the lives of the people of Rumah Nyawin.
To: Mr. Rozlan Bin Haji Putit
No. 1Jl. Tanjung Kidurong
Tel. 086-318255Fax: 086-331159
Prime Minister of Malaysia Y.A.B. Dato’ Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Minister of Sarawak
Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Y.B Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid azmi.khalid@NRE.GOV.MY
Director of Malaysia Research and Development Institute (MARDI) Dr. Abd. Shukor b. Abd. Rahman
State Assemblyman Kiduron, Chiew Chin Sing
Dear Mr. Superintendent,
Urgent Matter of Indigenous Land Rights
We wish to request your reply to an urgent matter of indigenous land rights, namely the threatened eviction of the Iban community of RumahNyawin, at Mile 32 on the Bintulu-Bakun Road, Bintulu, Sarawak, as described by an article in the Borneo Post on 6 October 2006.
We understand that your department has issued a 30 day eviction noticeto this community as of 4 October, 2006.
We are encouraged to learn that holder of the land title, the Malaysian Research and Development Institute (MARDI) has stated as recently as October 19, 2006 that it does not need or wish to encroachon the native customary rights land (NCR) of the community of RumahNyawin, and it has not called for their eviction. This NCR land of Rumah Nyawin is roughly 334 hectares, as documented in their community map, produced in cooperation with an experienced surveyor, which was submitted to your Department as well as MARDI in 2004.
We are also encouraged to note that Kidurong State Assemblyman Mr.Chiew Chiu Sing has also declared his support with the longhouse community, asking your Department to respect their native customaryrights.
Considering that Malaysia is a signatory to the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples through the UN Human Rights Council as of June 2006, it would be appropriate for the Bintulu Land and Survey Department to implement the right to Free Prior Informed Consent by indigenous people regarding all activities on their lands. In this case, the indigenous occupants of the land have clearly not consented to their eviction from their longhouse, farms (temuda) and protected forests (pulau), as evidenced by the letter from Mr. Nyawin Gawen to you on October 6, 2006.
Please clarify to us as soon as possible regarding your intentions for the native customary lands and longhouse of Rumah Nyawin, prior to their eviction deadline of 4 November 2006.
(sign your name here)