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Tumpuon villagers up in arms

Ethnic Tumpuon residents of Ratanakkiri’s Sayos village in Lumphat district filed a complaint on Friday against businessman Lay Seng in provincial court alleging that authorities had failed to prevent his clearing of forest land owned by the government and calling for a full investigation. Lay Seng could not be reached for comment yesterday, but local media has reported that the businessman says that he purchased the forest that was cleared from ethnic Tumpuon villagers. However, Soeung Chrat, a Tumpuon resident of Sayos village and a plaintiff in the complaint filed in provincial court, denied yesterday that any villagers had agreed to the sale of the forest to Lay Seng.

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