Mon, 01 Aug 1994

Dayaks give land for free

BANJARMASIN, South Kalimantan: Dayak tribespeople in two villages in Hulu Sungai Utara regency agreed to give up some 48,000 hectares of their land to the government without asking for compensation.

The land surrendered has been designated for a number of government social welfare projects, including the construction of roads and places of worship, the Antara news agency reported. The Armed Forces will help in the construction as part of its civic program.

"We agreed to give up this land inherited from our ancestors without asking for compensation for the sake of progress in our villages, said Syarkawi, head of one of the villages affected by the projects, during a meeting with Deputy Governor Hasan Aman.

The local government had apparently earmarked Rp 109 million in compensation for the land.

The two villages, Menantang and Buntut Pelanduk, on the sloped of the Meratus Range have populations of 676 and 35 respectively. They are classified as poor villages. (emb)