Ethnic Phnong villagers in Mondulkiri province’s Bousraa commune say they will accompany nine representatives to a meeting with commune officials today to discuss their conflict with two rubber companies – Socfin KCD and the Dak Lak Rubber Company – which are clearing land for plantations in the area. “I’m not afraid of going there. I will stand firm even though our land has been grabbed,” said villager By Deng, 44, adding that she would bring documents relating to the dispute to the meeting. Chhim Savuth, a project coordinator for Cambodian Centre for Human Rights, said on Wednesday that the summons was intended to “intimidate” the villagers, adding that the meeting was unnecessary following a public forum on the issue last month that was attended by lawmakers, commune officials, villagers and company representatives. Khaou Phallaboth, chairman of Socfin KCD’s board of directors, said the company received a licence to develop more than 2,000 hectares in the commune. “We come to develop and work with the people because we are the real investors,” he said.
Land Dispute: Meeting set for row in Mondulkiri