Friday, March 4, 2011

Sarawak natives file land rights case

Press Release dated 3 March 2011 from the Bruno Manser Fund...

Kelabit, Penan and Lun Bawang plaintiffs join forces to claim 1770 km2 of tropical rainforests in Upper Limbang, Sarawak – first land rights litigation uniting three ethnic groups in Malaysian Borneo

Sarawak natives file historic land rights case

MIRI (MALAYSIA). For the first time in the history of Malaysia, natives from three different tribes have filed a joint land rights litigation. This morning, representatives from the Kelabit, Penan and Lun Bawang communities of Upper Limbang, Sarawak, on the island of Borneo have filed a joint land rights litigation at the Miri High Court in which they are claiming native customary rights over 1770 km2 of tropical forests in the Limbang river basin. The case is being represented by native rights lawyer Baru Bian who also heads the Sarawak branch of the oppositional Justice Party (PKR).

The joint claim over an area twice the size of Singapore is directed against the Sarawak state government and four Malaysian logging and plantation companies that had been given concessions over the native lands without the communities’ consent. The companies listed as defendants are Ravenscourt Sdn Bhd, Billion Venture Sdn Bhd, Limba Jaya Timber Sdn Bhd and Kubang Sri Jaya Sdn Bhd. Ravenscourt is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Samling group which has recently been blacklisted by the Norwegian government for its involvement in illegal activities and environmentally destructive logging.

Click on map to enlarge

The Kelabit, Penan and Lun Bawang plaintiffs have been living in the Upper Limbang region for hundreds of years. Since the early 1980s, the region has been logged under a number of logging concessions. Currently, the area is being threatened by a major dam project on the Limbang river and the conversion of secondary forests into oil palm and paper tree plantations. All this while, the native communities had no say whatsoever on the use of their native lands by the Sarawak government and had only received ridiculous compensation payments by some logging companies who made millions of the dollars from logging the tropical hardwoods in the region.

After having lodged the case, representatives of the native communities displayed a banner in front of the Miri High Court building which read “Indigenous people taking action for change to save the last remaining Sarwak rainforest”. Currently, close to 200 native communities from Sarawak have challenged the state government over its land rights policies. The native land issue is also a heated subject during the runup to the next state election which is to be held before July 2011.

Please contact us for more information:

Bruno Manser Fund, Socinstrasse 37, 4051 Basel, Switzerland, Tel. +41 61 261 94 74,

An historic moment in the Arab world...

For more than 4,000 years the Middle East has been Ground Zero for a holographic insert featuring a patriarchal archetype codenamed Abraham. This enormous vortex of religious shock and awe spawned Judaism, Christianity and Islam - book religions designed to disconnect human beings from their own natural environment and keep them trapped in the semantic dimension of dogma and theology, of superstitious belief in an almighty, all-knowing, wrathful Father God quick to punish us for the "original sin" of disobedience - instead of rewarding us for our curiosity and our spirit of adventure and innovation.

On 26 January 2008 the vortex reversed its polarity (when Pluto shifted into Capricorn) and now amplifies people's desire for freedom and justice. This is the beginning of the end for the powerful, parasitic bloodlines that have misruled through cruelty, oppression and tyranny. People now look for leaders they can respect and love, not fear. Soon they will realize the leaders they are looking for are looking back at them from every mirror.

What is happening in the Middle East will ripple out across the entire world, igniting the spark of hope in every human heart, inevitably resulting in the overthrow of authoritarian, plutocratic regimes that continue to cling on to inherited privilege and the power of tradition - and refusing to spiritually evolve.

Last days of the vampire kings on earth

Ex-employee implicates Taib Mahmud in video

Malaysiakini | March 3, 2011 | 1:34pm

A video implicating Abdul Taib Mahmud has emerged in which the Sarawak chief minister's own former employee fingers him as the owner of wealth worth billions of ringgit in North America alone.

In 'Film Tribute to Ross Boyert' on whistleblower website Sarawak Report (SR), Boyert - the former chief operating officer of Taib's Sakti International, Wallysons Inc and two other US corporations holding up to US$80 million in properties - speaks out against the chief minister.

Boyert also confirms what has been documented elsewhere about Taib's possessions in the US and Canada, that Taib “was the boss” of Sakti International” in the US and linked to the Sakto corporation in Canada.

“Taib is the owner of this company and of all of its assets,“ said Boyert in the 16-minute video documentary.

Taib is said to be linked to a little under four dozen other companies around the world, including 13 in Malaysia, 10 in Australia, seven in Hong Kong and three in the British Virgin Islands.

In addition to Taib's billionaire status, Boyert also refers to the chief minister's Canadian son-in-law Sean Murray who chairs the Ottawa-based Sakto corporation and acts upon the instruction of the Sarawak chief minister.

“Taib was the one who instructed Sean Murray to take over Sakti International,” said Boyert.

When asked how he knew that, Boyert said: “Sean told me.”

The video, according to SR, contains interviews with Boyert and his wife only weeks before Boyert's mysterious death.

Boyert had in the video also accused the Taib of having mounted campaign to discredit and ruin him.

“We are talking about an extensive, expensive operation... It's designed to break you down. It's designed to make you so discredited that no one will believe you,” said Boyert.

It was as if Taib's message was “You sue me and we'll show what will happen to you and your family,” said Boyert.

The alleged harassment took place ever since he took his former employer to court for unlawful dismissal and breach of contract.

In a press release on the video, Swiss-based social and environmental activists the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) said it and its campaign partners in the US, the UK and Malaysia are asking the US' FBI "to probe the circumstances that led to the death of former Taib US aide Ross Boyert, to review the FBI's rental contracts with the Taib-controlled firm Wallysons Inc and to freeze all Taib assets in the United States."

Boyert died last October, a few weeks after he gave the website the expose on Taib.

He was found dead in a rare form of suspected suicide, with a bag taped around his head in an LA motel room.

In the video, the producer said Boyert had spoken about his predicament in a way that has come back to haunt her.

In reference to the ordeal and pressure he was made to undergo at the hands allegedly of Taib's vindictiveness, Boyert said: "The best analogy is 'if you put a plastic bag over somebody's head, eventually they're going to succumb for lack of oxygen. That's all.”

It was an uncanny description of his death that occurred a few weeks later.

In its tribute to Boyert, SR said: "We filmed with the Boyerts and came to like and respect them. We now present that story as a tribute to their bravery in speaking out."