Thursday, November 21, 2013

Our firm must help the Penan, Tasmanian House told

4:12PM Nov 21, 2013 
A Tasmanian parliamentarian has called on his government to direct Hydro Tasmania to ensure that the demands of the Penan community on the Murum Dam are met.

According to Swiss-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund, Kim Booth, the Australian Greens MP for Bass, Tasmania, filed a motion in his state Parliament on Thursday for it to recognise the problems faced by the Penan with the Murum Dam, in which Hydro Tasmania is involved.

kim booth tasmanian mpIn the motion circulated by BMF, Booth "calls on the minister for energy to direct Hydro Tasmania to immediately intervene to ensure that the demands of those who do not want to be forcibly resettled are met by the Sarawak government".

Summarising the situation faced by the Penan over the impoundment of the dam, Booth said, "Several people have been arbitrarily arrested, detained and charged, including at least two minors, which is in contravention of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child."

He also explained how the plight of the Penan has been widely reported around the world, from Norway to France.

"Our own government business enterprise, Hydro Tasmania, is intimately involved in this project;" his motion states.

For two months now, the Penan in the Murum Dam region have been protesting against the RM4 billion Murum hydroelectric project that they said would destroy their homes and food sources once the dam is impounded.

Some 1,500 Penan have been involved in the demonstrations and they have set up blockades since Sept 20 to prevent the impounding of the completed dam because they have not received fair compensation.

Fourteen representatives of the Penan community marched to Parliament House yesterday to hand in a memorandum on their demands.

~ Malaysiakini

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