Mohamad Rayan. Reporting.
Malinau. Simmering under the surface in Malinau is fragile ethnicities relationship. This is latest update report from the conservation district. It would not be a long report.
Well, it started as usual when Marcus and i came to ask the question on any conflicts with the neighbouring villages, the Setarap leader confessed that they have problems with Setulang village and Punan Setarap. Couple days later Setulang leaders informed me that they are having negotiation meeting on disputed area for farming with Setarap residents. The disputed area issue is not resolved yet. The area is disputed due to the fact there will be a palm oil plantation planning to open near the disputed area. This will be reported in the next report in Konservasiindonesia (KI).
Actually the report by Cifor on their study of village boundary couple years ago before they ceased program in Malinau, there always be potential conflicts on the ground. And at the core of the conflict normally there is issue of economic interest such when mining or logging company wanted to open the operation in an area.
In this desk report, i would just paste the translation i did from a newspaper article in February 2007 below and previous article in KI.
Claiming village traditional forest, two ethnic Dayak closed to clashing
Mohamad Rayan. Translator.
Rakyat Merdeka. February 2007
Due to the boundary claimed as traditional land, two villages were in the brink of clashing that is Respen Tubu village and Sentaban, East Kalimantan.
Even, the village clash did not happened, the punching of one of the village resident in the dispute did occur at the traditional leaders meeting of the two villagers on Friday 9 February 2007.
Because of the punching, the victim brought to clinic Mentarang due to bleeding nose. Even though there was agreement for both villagers to keep emotion down during the meeting. It was also suggested by both village leaders to keep calm.
Traditional leader of Dayak Merau, Atong Aran with one resident said the problem aroused out of unhappiness of their group due to the boundary of the forest claimed by them. “This disputed boundary claimed as traditional forest is in the area of PT BKS. They (Seturan 4 dayak ethnicities) thought the decision to allow the logging to operate in the traditional forest is only one ethnicities (Punan) without telling the other ethnicities.”
“This decision is only by one ethnicity only, but actually there are (in Seturan) ethnicities dayak of Abay, Merap, Merau, Bilau and Punan, they are all related.”
Feeling that the decision on allowing the company is done by one ethnicity, the other ethnicities are not approving. According to Atong Aran, they are requesting that the other 4 ethnicities be involved with in every decision on traditional people rights.
They also acknowledged that before the logging company entered to location, village residents never received the explanation on the planning of the company going to the community traditional forest.
“At the beginning there was no notification to us. May be the company only informed only the undeveloped ethnic Punan” explained Atong Aran.
That is why from 4 ethnicities lived in Sentaban village, expecting this problem be resolved in family spirit.
If it cannot be solved in this meeting now, they suggest the company which is operating now be terminated temporarily until there is agreement.
“We are not expecting the community be suffering and became victims. If the problem is between community and the government, or the community and the company, the conflict is still resolvable. But if the conflict happened between communities, it could end up in chasing each other and caused the riot like yesterday, he said”
Budiansyah, the representative of PT BKS conceded that it has informed the community including government before operating.
However, after 3 months in operation, there is new problem from a group of claiming the area as their area.
He was also present as a good listener on this conflict of area ownership by several groups who are claiming and counter-claiming with the size of the area is 47.000 ha. Budiansyah is also looking for the truth.
“We have done a socialisation to one of the village at the district government, however other community complained on this problem.
The complainers had also reported the case to sub district Police for requesting to organize a meeting and in that meeting i will be present for finding which party is the right one,” said Budiansyah when questioned in the front of Mentarang sub district police station Friday 9 January 2007.
Meanwhile the acting sub district head, Marson R Langub after leading a meeting from the two disputing group confessed still confused. Ida/jpnn
Translated by Rayan 23 June 2009.