Letter: Barbaric treatment of Dayak tribes

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The Independent Online
Sir: Richard Lloyd Parry has missed the much greater tragedy in West Kalimantan (report, 9 June). The indigenous Dayaks, like millions of other tribal peoples throughout the Indonesian archipelago, have been dispossessed of their forests, land and resources in the name of "development". The Indonesian government policies are responsible for the destruction of tropical rainforest and local communities' traditional livelihoods on a massive scale through logging, mining, transmigration and plantations.

All over Indonesia, explosions of violence are becoming more common as people have no other means of expressing their resentment against a corrupt, oppressive, military regime which receives support from Western governments, aid programmes and companies, including the UK. The Dayaks are a peaceful people who are struggling to survive in their traditional lands. Shocking though your correspondent's report is, to focus on headhunting and cannibalism misrepresents the violence which is being done to them.

FRANCES CARR

Down to Earth

Campaign for Ecological Justice

in Indonesia

London SE15

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