Villagers protest against alleged illegal logging

LIMBANG: About 100 residents from Long Sebayang and Long Napir staged a demonstration to protest against an alleged illegal logging in their Native Customary Rights NCR) land here yesterday.

They  alleged that they were treated as  ‘aliens’ when their Native Customary Rights land (NCR) was destroyed by illegal logging activities since a couple of weeks ago.

They said two logging companies were involved.

One of the villagers, Daniel Rugu alleged that the timber companies damaged their graveyards, farms and fruit trees.

“Our ancestral monuments such as ‘kawang’ and ‘perupun’ which is a rock held sacred by us were desecrated and the river which is the source of our water had been polluted by the logging activities,” he added.

Daniel said the timber companies ignored their protests and acted as if the villagers were outsiders in their own land.

“We protested against the logging activities but the companies had not responded. We decided to protest again as the last warning for the timber companies. Do not make us  take similar action like   Tebedu villagers recently as reported in the newspapers on May 9,” he warned.

The villagers are also appealing to the relevant authorities to help stop the encroachment into their NCR land, claiming they had lived in the area for more than 100 years.

“We hope the government would intervene in the issue and protect the villagers’ rights. We are not against the government but we are against injustice and corruption,” Daniel added.

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