Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Border beat goes on for opposition

Border beat goes on for opposition

Border beat goes on for opposition

Returning to a long-time party priority, opposition lawmakers yesterday said they will travel to Kampong Cham’s Memot district today to investigate claims that Vietnamese troops were forcing farmers off land that rightfully belongs to Cambodia.

Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker-elect Mao Monyvan, who ran in Kampong Cham, said villagers had reported Vietnamese troops stopping them from farming. Local authorities, however, insist that villagers had simply crossed into an as yet un-demarcated “white zone” where neither Cambodians nor Vietnamese are allowed to farm.

“People reported to [me] and people asked me so many times, calling me to ask lawmakers to go down,” Monyvan said yesterday.

Villager Man Yoeun, 53, from Memot’s Roung commune, maintained yesterday that she had farmed her land since 1993 with only minimal interference but that this year troops chased her off and uprooted some of her potatoes.

“The yuon use to come to stop me but not as often; I was still able to farm,” she said, using a term for the Vietnamese. “But this year, they have chased me out.”

Fellow villager Man Pech, 45, said she too was run off by Vietnamese soldiers.

“I told them that I have planted here every year and [no one] chased me out, so this year why are [you] chasing me out?” she said. “They said that their leaders did not allow planting.”

However, Memot District Governor Cheng Bunnara told the Post yesterday that villagers had been clearing new land, straying into a neutral buffer, or “white”, zone where farming was banned on both sides of the border, which has not been fully demarcated.

“Out there a farmer has his old land and the land that he has cleared more recently,” said Bunnara. “For his old land, it does not matter, he can farm normally, but if there is clearance of his newer land, it affects [the white zone].”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all