Lepo' Tau Dayak
Sarawak (Borneo)

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The cry from the Kenyah tribe in Long Geng

Posted by Kenyah Lepo Tau, Sarawak (Borneo) on December 10, 2013 at 5:40 AM

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Nov 1996

In the very heartland of tribal Borneo, luscious green valleys and cloudy glades are about to be flooded. The Bakun Dam project is one of Malaysia's biggest secrets and its creation will destroy the lands belonging to the Kenyah tribe. In the village of Long Geng, a family scoff at the government relocation plan to give them 7 acres next to a company plantation. One young man says angrily, "For us life means living with our community. What they call progress is really murder - the killing of the community." Proud of their self-sufficiency, villagers of all ages work together. As one little girl pulls fishing nets through a stream, an older women treads the water to stir up the mud. "This way the fish won't see us", she explains, laughing. Later a lady laments, "We are sick in the heart that they want to block up the Bakun". Determined not to abandon the graves of their ancestors, many villagers say that the army will have to come and drag them away. Others are more defiant, "Let them shoot us and then we will be at peace." At great personal risk, our reporter gives voice to a community facing extinction.


A Film by Lighthouse Pacific (Mark Davis)

Distributed by Journeyman Pictures

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