Peaceful rally for native rights, land on Nov 13

Peter John Jaban

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KUCHING, Oct 29: A peaceful rally will be held on Nov 13 to advocate the rights of the natives especially over native customary rights (NCR) land.

Organiser Peter John Jaban told the DayakDaily today that the rally will start from two places — the Old Court House and the New Court House.

Participants will start walking from the two venues to meet at the State Assembly Complex and will continue to remain there until the state assembly session adjourns for the day.

Peter John said the rally will start from two venues because the Old Court House was a symbol of fairness during the time when it was still in use to mete out justice, and there were no NCR land cases heard there.

“Even if there were, they were cases of land disputes between land owners.

“However, since the new Court House was in use, there have been so many land cases between the indigenous peoples and the government as well as the plantation companies,” he explained.

He said, the rally will start when both groups gathered at the two different venues march simultaneously to meet at the State Assembly Complex.

“I expect not less than 500 people to join the rally. I believe at least 10 per cent of the natives will join us because many of them are facing land issues.

“Not only the indigenous peoples are facing land problems, but many Chinese are also having problems. There are many Chinese who own land titles but their land titles are not renewable after 60 years when the titles have expired.

“It happened to the Chinese in Sibu, Sri Aman and even in Matang, Kuching,” said Peter John, who is a Sarawak human rights activist and a member of Asia Indigenous Peoples Network on Extractive Industries and Energy. — DayakDaily