From Survival International: Five new blockades have been set up by Penan tribal communities in the Malaysian province of Sarawak in an attempt to stop loggers destroying their forest homes.
On April 4th 2007 officers of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation, supported by the police, dismantled another Penan blockade for the second time this year. The police used chainsaws to destroy the blockades and fired gun shots to intimidate the Penan.
Four Penan villages and one nomadic group recently set up the five new blockades, in protest at the logging companies Rimbunan Hijau, KTS Logging and Samling. Police are reportedly already heading towards one of the blockades, which is on a main logging route and used by a number of different companies. Survival is concerned for the safety of the Penan at the blockade sites.
Much of the Penan’s forest has already been destroyed. According to Malaysian and international law the Penan have rights to their land and should be consulted before any logging can proceed, but these rights are openly violated.
In areas where the forest has already been destroyed by logging, licences for plantations are now being granted, stripping the Penan, and other tribes in Sarawak, of their land rights forever. (source)
Write a letter in support of the Penan
Please feel free to use the following letter as a guide or write one of your own:
I am very concerned that the Samling logging company is planning to log one of the last areas of virgin rainforest left in Sarawak. This forest is home to the Penan who have never given permission for the logging to take place.
I urge you to ensure that no logging takes place on the Native Customary Land of the Penan people without their full and informed consent. I also ask you to make sure that the Penan are allowed to continue their peaceful protests against logging on their land without harassment and intimidation.
Please send your letters to:
YAB Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Haji Abdul
The Chief Minister of Sarawak
Office of the Chief Minister of Sarawak
22nd Floor, Wisma Bapa Malaysia
Fax: + 60 82 441677
And if possible, please send a copy to:
Mr Yaw Chee Ming
Chief Executive Officer
Samling Strategic Corporation Sdn.Bhd.
Wisma Samling, Lot 296
Fax: + 60 85 410068
It is best to send your letter by post as there is no doubt this makes the biggest impact. Alternatively, you can use the fax numbers provided, but please be aware that numbers are often changed, or machines unplugged. Email addresses are given only where there is a realistic chance emails will be read.
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