Search

Search form

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

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“It’s a remote area bordering Vietnam and Laos that was once forest but has now been replaced by rubber plantations,” Vuthy said, adding that representatives witnessed the clearing of an indigenous graveyard on Saturday and Sunday.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

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