See how they celebrated like never before, after `graduating’ from the Simunjan police lock-up!
Bujang Berani celebrations, an onsite report from Nicholas Mujah of SADIA
Kampung Ensika Sebangan Simunjan was once again a center for attention and attraction for Sarawak and this time is where a gathering of not less 300 representatives of Indigenous peoples from Sarawak, Sabah and peninsular Malaysia took place.
The event was co-organised by Jaring Orang Asal SeMalaysia(JOAS), Sarawak Dayak Iban Association HQ(SADIA), Borneo Institute of Malaysia Sarawak (BRIMAS) , Borneo Indigenous Initiative and Heritage and Alliance of Native Customary Right Land Owners (TAHABAS) with the community of Kampung Ensika as Host.
The central issues were United nation Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples(UNDRIP) and its implementation in Malaysia especially in Sarawak.
The main speaker was prominent land rights lawyer Baru Bian who talked on what constitute Native customary land, and its precedent cases. Baru arrived by a longboat at 3.pm from about 30 minutes from a small town of Sebangan and was saluted with a grand traditional welcome by the 300 plus participants. He could not stay long because he had to leave the longhouse by five pm to take a flight to sibu for a court trial defending an indigenous community of Kampung Dassey, Saratok. Other speakers at the event included Mark Bujang on Human Rights , Diweng Bakir on UNDRIP and Nicholas Mujah on What land Development in Sarawak.
Indigenous peoples representatives were upset with SUHAKAM Sarawak for not coming despite being invited to present a paper on the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Our letter of invitation to them received no response. JOAS through its secretary Hellen Empaing sent a letter by e-mail to it Sarawak office 3 weeks before the event date. Or maybe SUHAKAM is only for the rich. Another concern is Jannie Lasimbang who had agreed to come but was unable to as her entry to Sarawak is still banned by the Sarawak Government despite being also a Human Rights Commissioner for Malaysia.
The gathering was the very successful as it managed to attract 300 plus peoples representatives throughout Sarawak despite them having to bear their own travelling cost. What more relevant is the participation of many Tuai Rumah . It imply that indigenous communities in Sarawak are more united and more aware of their rights. The common stand by the representatives were that every one dares to sacrifice if it mean life in defense of their rights and will not compromise on Indigenous Dignity .
For appreciation and in recognition and support for individuals who have braved police arrest while defending their land right were honored with certificates. This event will be organized yearly.
17 November 2010