Thursday, November 27, 2014

'I saw coffins floating in Bakun dam'

8:36AM Nov 27, 2014
By Joseph Tawie

Baram’s residents have turned to the European Union to ask for help that what happened to those affected by Bakun dam does not happen to them, when the Baram dam is completed.

Baram People Protection committee (BPPC) Philip Jau said that he had seen coffins containing the remains of the forefathers of the Orang Ulu floating down river from their original graveyards due to the intervention in Bakun dam.

Jau (left) told this to the European Union Ambassadors yesterday at the forum which was organised by the Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA).

“I was in Bakun two weeks ago and saw several coffins floating down river from their original graveyards as a result of waters from the Bakun dam,” said Jau.

“It is very sad to see that our forefathers being washed away by the waters of Bakun dam,” he added, pointing out that the Baram people do not want this to happen to the coffins of their forefathers when the Baram dam project is completed.

Looking at some of the heads of departments in the forum, Jau said: “Tell the authorities and the Sarawak Energy Berhad to do something about the floating coffins.

“The sight is not only scary, but also out of respect for the spirits of the dead,” he said.

This was one of the reasons why the people strongly objected to the construction of the Baram dam.

Blockade until gov't stops

Other reasons included the destruction of their villages, churches, schools and their ancestral lands as well as the disruption of their lives and their livelihood, he said.

Jau said that they had seen how miserable were the lives of those who had been affected by the dams at Bakun, Murum and the Batang Ai.

The BPPC chairperson said that the indigenous people who are going to be affected by the Baram dam have been managing blockades for the past 398 days continuously.

He said that they would continue to do so until the government listened to them and stopped the construction of the dam.

He urged the EU countries to help the indigenous people in Sarawak where the state government proposed to build between 12 and 52 mega dams.

“Please save us,” Jau pleaded.

The Ambassadors were in Kuching on a fact finding mission into the human rights abuse of the state government.

They have heard the government’s version, and now they want to meet all the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and to hear from them directly of their complaints and grouses.
~ Malaysiakini

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