Indigenous communities celebrate victory in battle against Sarawak mega-dam project

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CHANGING TIMES

P1030632 (640x480)Indigenous communities in the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo are celebrating a massive victory. The gazettes extinguishing the native rights of ownership of land earmarked for the proposed Baram mega-dam and its reservoir have been revoked.

“This means the plan for Baram dam has been scrapped,” said the chairman of the grassroots movement SAVE Rivers, Peter Kallang, who has been spearheading the five-year battle against the dam. “I feel relieved and elated. Now we can move on.”

In a letter to the lawyer for the Baram villagers, Harrison Ngau, the Sarawak state attorney-general’s chambers said the expropriation of native customary rights to land acquired for the dam site and the reservoir had been officially revoked. The letter was dated March 15 and refers to a repealing of the gazettes on February 18.

Construction of the 1,200-megawatt dam, which would have covered 38,000 hectares, would have caused the…

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