Thursday, June 27

Baram folk gather to seek divine intervention to stop dam project


HEAR US: A section of the people taking part in the prayer session to seek divine intervention to stop the proposed Baram Dam.

LONG NAAH, Baram: About 150 people made up of Kayans, Kenyahs and Penans from 20 longhouses in Baram gathered at the proposed site of the Baram hydro-electric dam project at Nahah Itun Uvek, just below Long Naah recently to hold a prayer session to seek divine intervention to stop the project.

Among those present were Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) chairman Peter Kallang, Baram Protection Action Committee chairman Philip Jau and village headman TK Panai Erang from Ba Abang.

The other participants were from Long Selatong Dikan, Long Selatong Tanjung Tepalit, Long San, Long Kerong, Ba’ Abang, Long Moh, Long Selaan, Long Palai, Long Liam, Long Anap, Long Apu, Long Jeeh, Long Tap, Long Julan, Long Tungan, Long Tebangan, Long Laput, Long Kesseh, Long Ekang, and Long Naah.

All these villages except Long Kesseh, Long Ekang, and Long Naah are located in the upper part of the proposed dam.

Peter from Long Ekang said the prayer session went smoothly.

He was happy with the overwhelming support from the communities in Baram demanding that the controversial dam be scrapped.

“I am touched by the support given by the people of Baram. The people who came for the prayer session far outnumbered the people who came for the ‘Mayau Daleh’ ritual last April.”

“I also received a lot of calls, short messaging messages (SMS), messages in blogs, Twitter and Facebook supporting our prayer session and calling for the project to be scrapped,” said Peter yesterday.

The previous night, about 200 people turned up for a dialogue session at Long Naah.

Those who spoke represented their respective communities together with a few headmen including Long Na’ah headman TK Wan Saging who stated clearly their rejection to the said project.