Uphold the Native Customary Rights of IP of Sarawak!

UPHOLD THE NATIVE CUSTOMARY RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF SARAWAK!

RESIST ALL FORMS OF EXPLOITATION AND INDIGENOUS RIGHTS VIOLATIONS!

 

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) congratulates the Indigenous Peoples (IP) of Sarawak for a successful protest action calling on their government to uphold and respect the Native Customary Rights (NCR) of Sarawak and resisting all attempts of resource plunder perpetuated by state and corporate actors.

On November 13, 2017, over 3,000 people of Sarawak staged a rally to denounce the recent Federal Court decision that favors various private companies to exploit their land resources at the expense of peoples’ welfare. The rally aimed at raising public awareness and consciousness of IP of Sarawak about their struggle to stop development projects that will push them further to the margins. Moreover, it sought to put pressure on their government to comply with Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and Article 13 and 161E of the Federal Constitution that provide inalienable rights for the IP of Sarawak.

Malaysia, a hotspot for plantation and hydroelectric power projects in the region, has been a target for more investments on extractives and energy projects within the ancestral lands of Sarawak natives. However, the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) in the context of their right to self-determination is not guaranteed before any company enters their community. This has lead to conflict, displacement, and rights violations particularly to those who opposes the project. In fact, there were reports that companies hired private gangsters to attack Sarawak natives performing Iban rituals to summon the help of the gods to fight the companies.

Across the world, resource plunder and non-recognition of Indigenous rights have been becoming the norm. Many families in Indigenous communities in Cambodia were displaced due to systematic land grab scheme such as the economic land concession (ELC) and development projects like the Sesan II hydroelectric dam project. The Mapithel dam in Manipur has affected the livelihood of downstream and upstream communities as well as accessibility to water resource.

Amidst growing repression and exploitation, there is always a hope in peoples’ resistance. In Nigeria, the Ogoni community has risen against the attempt of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Shell, and the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to resume its oil production in Ogoniland. The people of West Papua are advancing their struggle for self-determination and liberation.

Now more than ever, we shall continue to arouse, organize, and mobilize our ranks as we expand and broaden our fight for lands and resources among and between Indigenous Peoples. We must strengthen our international solidarity with all the oppressed peoples of the world.

The result of the protest of Sarawakians is a big step forward in building a stronger IP movement which shall be at the forefront of their struggle for lands, rights, and territories. Through collective struggle of Sarawakians, greater victories are possible! ###

Reference: Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator, info@ipmsdl.org 

On the Attacks on Women Human Rights Defenders in Cordillera

The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) denounce the political assault against women activists of Cordillera in the Philippines.

Sarah Abellon-Alikes, Sherry Mae Soledad, Joanne Villanueva, Rachel Mariano, and Asia Isabella Gepte were alleged to be members of the New People’s Army along with 18 other individuals. They were filed with fabricated charges of frustrated murder and multiple counts of
attempted murder in relation with encounters of the revolutionary armed organization with the 7th Infantry Division units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Ilocos Sur last August.

Around the same time, Shirley Ann Angiwot as well as church workers supportive of the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines were tagged as “enemies of the State,” which circulated in social media. Alikes, Soledad, Villanueva, Mariano, Gepte, and Alingot are leaders of the Cordillera people’s movement, whose organizations are actively involved in campaigns for the rights and welfare of the indigenous Cordillerans. Recently, they were in staunch support of a local anti-mining alliance in Kasibu town that has been continually harassed by the 7th ID for their resistance.

IPMSDL expresses its grave concern on the heightening repression against human rights defenders in the Philippines, especially leaders of Indigenous people’s groups. With militarization intensified, state forces have conveniently red-tagged activist-leaders and human rights
defenders to quell dissent of affected communities and indigenous peoples’ groups against government-backed development aggression projects, guised as counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency efforts. This is how Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte exercised his tyrannical rule: empowering fascist forces instead of uplifting the marginalized.

The Movement stands with the women activists of Cordillera and the communities they defend.

 

END STATE FASCISM!

HANDS-OFF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS!

STOP THE PERSECUTION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES!

On Nasako Besingi’s Arrest

 

The International Indigenous People’s Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) condemns the Cameroon government for the arbitrary arrest and detention of environmental activist and human rights defender Nasako Besingi of Cameroon, Central Africa.

On 25 September 2017, authorities arrested Besingi and raided his office in Mundemba, Ndian Division due to undisclosed charges. He was kept out of contact until the Buea Military Tribunal’s questioning on 28 September 2017. The court accused Besingi of insurrection and secession, and ruled his imprisonment at the Buea Central Prison while the preliminary investigation is still ongoing.

Besingi, the executive director of Struggle to Economize Future Environment (SEFE), is known for leading the fight against the land grabbing of Herakles Farms, an American agribusiness company. The company is developing a 20,000-hectare palm oil project that is situated in the Congo basin, the world’s second-largest rainforested area and where Mundemba lies.

Nasako Besingi is just one of many environmental and human rights activists unlawfully arrested in different parts of the world.

In Agusan del Sur, Philippines, rural missionaries staff Julito Otacan and five other Banwaon human rights defenders were arrested in the morning of 27 October 2017. Otacan is a field worker of the project, Protecting and Promoting Indigenous Human Rights in the Philippines, organizing and facilitating the training of community members as human rights defenders, while the other five are members of Tagdumahan – a Banwaon Peoples’ Organization that has long been targeted by the military because of their vocal assertion of their rights to the Banwaon’s ancestral domain targeted by logging and mining companies.

In Sabah, Malaysia, Atama Katama and SM Muthu are being demanded to pay 340,000 USD aside from facing possible detention for defamation against Dr. Herman James Luping, a former Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah as a consequence of speaking out on Luping’s controversial appointment to the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

IPMSDL calls for the immediate release of Besingi and all other political prisoners all over the world. The Movement urges the Cameroon government to drop the unfounded charges against Nasako, and to recognize the rights and freedoms of its people more so of the marginalized. Let the English-speaking regions exercise their constitutionally granted independence and autonomy, in respect of their cultural origins and their right to self-determination, instead of wielding political repression that only worsens the social unrest.

FREE NASAKO BESINGI! FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
STOP THE DISCRIMINATION AND POLITICAL REPRESSION AGAINST THE ENGLISH CAMEROONIANS!
UPHOLD THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND COLLECTIVE ASSEMBLY!
HANDS OFF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS!