Merauke, 2/9 (Jubi) – A Customary House leader said the Merauke Integrated Food and Energy Estate (MIFEE) program that has been implemented in the past few years by the central government has led to conflicts within Marind people.
“The MIFEE program does not benefit Marind’ people in Merauke regency. It has destroyed their resources that sustain their lives, such as sago, fish, turtles, cuscus, cassowary and kangaroo, ”Customary House leader Region V Ha-Anim, JP Kamarka told reporters on Saturday (2/8).
Besides threats to their livelihoods, their traditional customs and arts like traditional songs that used to ascertain the rights of land ownership, clan identity, kendara wood ( name of native wood), mandawu – dawu leaf ( name of native leaf) and mats leaf are also on the brink of extinction.
The transmigration program has also contributed to the problems.
In the name of development, Naori, an origin name of tribal territory, has been divided into three areas Muram Sari, Kuper, and Kuprik.
The program also contributed to the extinction of Senam language, a tribal language which is used in Salor village. Some sacred places of Marind have also disappeared.
Kamarka’s secretary John Wob urged the Indonesian government to terminate the MEFEE project and immediately restore Marind people’s rights to fully govern their land, resources and determine their own lives.
The project has benefitted other Indonesians and investors but is causing an ongoing disaster to native people.
“We, the Customary House will fight for our rights back. We will report to Indigenous Peoples Organizations ( IPOs) – United Nations for the eradication of racial discrimination and the protection of economic, social and cultural of native people,” he said. (Jubi / Frans L Kobun/Tina)