Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Grave sites cleared by rubber firms: NGOs

Grave sites cleared by rubber firms: NGOs

Four Vietnamese rubber firms are responsible for destroying an estimated 1,000 hectares of community forest, including an indigenous graveyard, in Ratanakkiri’s Andong Meas district, a group of NGOs have claimed.

The land dispute involving 196 families living in Talav commune dates back to 2011, Chhay Thy, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, who has been investigating the logging with representatives from three other NGOs, said yesterday.

“These companies have been clearing protected forest, farmland and indigenous graveyards to plant rubber plantations,” he said, adding that the actions represented the destruction of the villagers’ cultural and spiritual traditions along with their economic livelihoods.

In Vuthy, a representative from the Cambodian Defenders Project (CDP), another NGO involved in the research, said yesterday that the investigation into the operations of companies Veasna Investment, CRD, Heng Brother and Krong Pok Ratanakkiri Rubber Development would be published in a report.

“It’s a remote area bordering Vietnam and Laos that was once forest but has now been replaced by rubber plantations,” Vuthy said, adding that representatives witnessed the clearing of an indigenous graveyard on Saturday and Sunday.

But according to Nab Bunheng, provincial deputy governor, all four of the companies are operating legally.

“Our authorities worked with the volunteer students [assigned by Prime Minister Hun Sen] to measure the affected land for the villagers,” Bunheng said, adding that any complaints involving land disputes were welcome and would be reviewed by relevant authorities.

The Kingdom began parceling land off land in Andong Meas to Heng Brother in 2009, allotting the company 2,361 hectares.

Two years later, 19,366 hectares of land were divvied up between CRD, Veasna Investment and Krong Pok Ratanakkiri Rubber Development.

All four companies could not be reached for comment before press time.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Setting up a drone for flight. Photo supplied

How Cambodia's first drone company is helping farmers

SM Waypoint claims its unmanned aerial vehicles can help local farm and plantation owners increase their yields. Established in September 2015, SM Waypoint now has seven drone pilots, two sales staff and two accountants. Though the company focuses mainly on agricultural projects, the potential uses of the drones are extremely varied, going from measuring exact land height for building drainage systems to finding the most suitable location for special economic zones (SEZs) or factories.

New street food dish shakes things up at Russian Market

Though the bustling food stalls that emerge after dark next to Phnom Penh's Russian Market can seem intimidating to tourists at first glance, there are street food treats to be enjoyed by all, from Kep crab to a new shrimp dish created by the market's owners.

Turkish Embassy calls for closure of Zaman schools

With an attempted coup against the government of President Recep Erdogan quashed only days ago and more than 7,000 alleged conspirators now under arrest, the Turkish ambassador to Cambodia yesterday pressed the govern