KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — The Kelantan authorities have blocked lawyer Siti Kasim from accessing the blockade set up by Orang Asli at a forest reserve in Gua Musang to prevent lumber from being taken out.
Siti said the state Forestry Department and Land Office stopped her yesterday morning from entering the disputed area in the Balah forest reserve and she was forced to return to Kg Parik.
“They stopped everyone but the Orang Asli. That means no one can deliver aids or sell anything to the blockade or the villages inside,” Siti posted on her Facebook page yesterday.
“The Orang Asli have been denied access to their legal counsel. Their food supply have been stopped,” said the lawyer-cum-activist, adding that police reports would be lodged over the denial of legal access to the Orang Asli and the blocking of supplies.
She also said the Kelantan state government has put up a signboard and blocked all suppliers, traders and sellers from entering the villages.
“This signboard is a warning that any activities by anyone will be punishable by law. Never before a signboard such as this being put up,” said Siti.
“The signboard effectively prohibiting most if not all of the Orang Asli survival in the jungle,” she added.
The Orang Asli have protested against logging activities in Gua Musang and set up blockades since last month at disputed logging sites.