- Published on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 00:06
Sarawak: IOI Pelita Continue To Trespass Into NCR Land Despite Court Ruling, Prompting Blockade By The Natives
The indigenous Kayan and Kenyah communities from Kampung Long Teran Kanan decided to erect a blockade against IOI Pelita Plantation Sdn. Bhd. last Monday to stop the company from continuing to trespass into their native customary land despite a court ruling declaring that the said company’s provisional leases to the area is null and void.
Two police reports were lodge by the villagers against the repeated encroachment of the company after the Miri High Court gave the ruling on 31 March 2010 declaring that the villagers of Long Teran Kanan have native customary rights and therefore are the rightful owners of the land. However, no action was taken by the police.
IOI Pelita has also not paid the compensation accorded by the court to the villagers for damages incurred to the villagers’ land and property.
The headman of the village, TK Lah Anyie said they have repeatedly told IOI Pelita to stop their works on the land but the company ignored the community’s instructions and continued to trespass.
“We had given them notice after notice and lodge two police reports against them, but they chose to ignore us,” said TK Lah.
“We are fed up with the constant trespass, therefore we decided that the best way to stop the company is to erect a blockade,” added TK Lah.
TK Lah mentioned that the court have not given IOI Pelita a stay in execution, which means that IOI Pelita cannot continue to work on the land as their provisional lease of Lot 3 and Lot 8 of Dulit Land District is declared null and void by the court.
Harrison Ngau, the villagers’ counsel during the trial, confirmed that no stay of execution was given to IOI Pelita and only an appeal was filed.
About 130 villagers were at the blockade on Monday and the number grew to 170 yesterday.
On Monday morning IOI Pelita officers accompanied by two police officers went to the blockade site to negotiate with the villagers to lift their blockade but were greeted by angry jeers from the villagers.
The villagers also ordered the police officers to arrest the company workers that trespassed into their land.
The negotiation failed and the blockade still stands.