In breaking news out of Malaysia, eleven indigenous (Iban) community members have been jailed by police in Sarawak since last Thursday, October 25th.
Three companies, all subsidiaries of Ta Ann, have been working in the area of the Ulu Kelawit-Tatau since 2012 and their operations have destroyed the Sungai Besangin, the river that the Iban depend on for farming and fishing. With the villagers no longer able to grow crops or fish the river, they set up a blockade against the companies that destroyed their river.
The Mukah police arrested 10 Iban men and 1 Iban woman during a raid in which they brutally burned the blockade, hit the women, burned their cultural artefacts, confiscated and burned their handphones, stole their property, and looted their camp.
Mr. Nasar Anak Nawing from Km 16 Jalan Tatau, who was the first one arrested, commented: “What is the role of the police? Is it to protect the interests of the big companies, or is it to see there is justice for all? We were not looting, we were not violent, but we were there to protect our land and livelihood and to protect our rivers from being destroyed.”
The companies behind these horrendous acts are all subsidiaries of Ta Ann.
“Ta Ann Tasmania is now the biggest logging company on our island, receiving timber from highly contentious areas like takayna/Tarkine, Lapoinya and other native forests across the state including Swift Parrot habitat”, environmentalist Bob Brown said today.
“We must hold this logging giant to account for their actions against the people, the forests and the environment of Sarawak”, Bob Brown said.
“Our protest tomorrow outside Ta Ann’s Hobart offices is an act of solidarity with the indigenous people of Sarawak and a reminder to Ta Ann that they will not be allowed to get away with this sort of appalling behaviour.”
Where: Ta Ann. 150 Davey Street, Hobart.
What: Peaceful demonstration with banners.
Time: Thursday 1 Nov, 2:45pm – 3.15pm.
Jenny Weber 0427 366 929