Walk with the Indigenous People

Got this from Haris’ blog HERE.

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On 13 September 2008, the world will celebrate the first year anniversary of the United Nations Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP). Over 370 million indigenous people in 70 countries are affected by this declaration which recognises our right to our distinct social, cultural, economic and political identities.

On Nov. 7, 2007, less than two months after the UN adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples, Bolivia became the first country in the world to adopt the declaration as law when Morales announced the passage of National Law 3760, or the Rights of Indigenous peoples, legislation that is an exact copy of the UN declaration. The Peru congress has repealed two legislative declarations that were in conflict with the rights contained in the DRIP.

In Malaysia, our struggles for recognition of land rights continue. Nonrecognition and uncertainty over our land contributes to our continuing poverty and inability to develop our lands. The government’s development policies are making decisions for our future without our free, prior and informed consent. Though our situations may differ in each state, we are united in our common struggle for recognition of our land, our rights and our identity.

So, for the first time, we as indigenous peoples are gathering together to present to the Supreme Authority of Malaysia, DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agung, a memorandum to urge the government to locally implement the DRIP and recognise our rights to land and to control, develop, and protect it for the benefit of our community and this nation.

On behalf of JOAS, we would like to invite our fellow indigenous peoples — Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia, Anak Negeri of Sabah and Dayaks and Orang Ulu of Sarawak to come with us on our walk to the Royal Palace. We also invite friends and supporters from civil society, environmental and human rights advocates and those who believe that our place as indigenous peoples within Malaysia needs to be recognised and reaffirmed by the Government and authorities to come with us on a Saturday morning walk and observe this historic event.

We will be gathering at Central Market on 13 September, Saturday and start walking toward the Royal Palace by 10am. For more information, please contact joasmalaysia@gmail.com, seanrubis@hotmail.com or call Sean at 0128837937.

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One Comment on “Walk with the Indigenous People”

  1. Although I cannot walk in person, I will walk in spirit. Much of the recognition of indigenous peoples struggles needs to be accomplished in the West, where many of the resources are being consumed that are impacting indigenous peoples. Each person can do their part and make a difference. I will do mine.


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