Mondulkiri provincial officials have launched an investigation into a land dispute between villagers in Keo Seima district and a private rubber company, more than one week after villagers threatened to destroy the firm’s property.
Mok Chhayhean, provincial deputy chief of staff, said officials met yesterday to find a resolution between villagers from Sre Khtum commune and TTY Corporation Co Ltd. The villagers accuse the private firm – which is clearing land in a area bordering Kratie province – of encroaching on their land and clearing 187 hectares belonging to 63 families.
“We support the villagers, but we have to find out who stands behind the case and caused the dispute, because some villagers were incited by someone,” said Mok Chhayhean.
On March 6, TTY ceased land clearance when about 100 villagers protested and threatened to burn company tractors, according to the company’s site manager. Villagers claim that land clearance began in
January and has moved into their commune.
Chek Saron, a village representative from Chheng village, said yesterday that he met with provincial officials on Saturday, but was not offered a resolution.
“I said in the meeting that the villagers need land for living, and we denied wanting to exchange money with the company,” he said.
Mok Chhayhean refused to comment further on the meetings.
TTY received a 99-year economic land concession of more than 9,000 hectares in Kratie province in 2008.