On Sunday 8th June, 2.30 pm the youth wing of SAVE Rivers hosted a meeting of Baram people living in Miri.
It was in response to a statement made by the Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak in Long Silat, Baram in conjunction with the visit by Prime Minister Najib there recently on 2nd of June 14.
The second purpose was in response to two press statements made by the Orang Ulu Community Leaders concerning the international campaign by Save Rivers in Europe recently.
At the function, the youth also launched a signature campaign to refute the statements. Signatures were done on a banner where a statement was printed. The next step planned is to bring the banner outside of Miri including Baram.
For queries please call Henry Sigau (Acting Chairman): 016 437 0038
The full text of the memorandum is as attached.
THE YOUTH OF BARAM URGE THAT THE BARAM DAM BE CANCELLED
We the Youth Wing of Save Rivers would like to highlight the following:
1. The Baram communities refute the validity of the statement made by the Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak in his speech at Long Silat on the 2nd of June 2014, where he said that all the affected people in Baram support the proposed Baram dam except for three persons, one each from Long Ekang, Long Lama and Long Laput. The inaccuracy of the statement is proven by the thousands who over these few years have participated in the signature campaigns, public demonstrations, letters to the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister. In addition to that there were protest meetings and rallies held at various places in Baram, other parts of Sarawak, Peninsular Malaysia and right to the Malaysian Parliament building.
2. The Baram communities request the government to honor the rights of the people over native customary right land, their language of the indigenous peoples, ethnicity, beliefs and their general heritage in abidance to the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
3. The communities in Baram are saddened by the disgraceful attitude of a few Orang Ulu leaders (Temeggong, Penghulu and Ketua Kampung) who fail to unite the people to protect, preserve and promote our common heritage. Instead they accept the proposed Baram dam without meaningful and sufficient information or in defiance of recognized international standards. It is even more deplorable of these leaders when recently they use the mass media (Borneo Post and the Utusan Borneo) to accuse and blame their own people who sacrifice to protect and promote the rights of their community. These leaders made various erroneous claims about those individuals, some of the claims are slanderous the statements made with ill intentions.
4. We the communities in Baram would therefore like to reaffirm our stand that we want development but not mega dams. We want the right to determine our own way of life and developments which are people centered, suiting our need and interest.
5. The people of Baram would like to urge all authorities concerned to stop all provocations, their prevailing propaganda and incitements which are carried out primarily to ensure the success of the dam project even by employing deceitful lies.
6. We the communities of Baram therefore are united to protect our sovereignty over the land which we inherited.