Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Businessman offers deal to Anlong Krom homeless

Businessman offers deal to Anlong Krom homeless

Businessman offers deal to Anlong Krom homeless

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Senator Mong Reththy has promised jobs for villagers on his company's rubber plantation in Stung Treng province

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Soldiers stand over the recently-destroyed village of Anlong Krom in Kampot.

CPP Senator Mong Reththy has announced plans to take villagers evicted from Anlong Krom village in Kampot province to work on his farm in Stung Treng.

Tan Monivann, deputy director general of the Mong Reththy Group, said that the company has prepared 100 hectares of land to build houses for the villagers if they volunteer to live there and work for the company.

"We have welcomed all of them if their intent is to live there and work for us," he told the Post Wednesday.

"But we have heard that those people are not real landless people, that they were just squatting on the land."

Tan Monivann said that the land in Stung Treng province, part of a 100,000-hectare agricultural land concession granted by the government in November 2001, is being planted with rubber trees.

On Monday and Tuesday, villagers said that more than 100 police, military police and soldiers from RCAF Brigade 31 started torching and dismantling 300 villagers' homes in Anlong Krom, in Kampot's Taken commune, leaving them without shelter or food. Authorities say the villagers were living illegally on land belonging to Bokor National Park.

Prak Khoeun, a villager whose home was dismantled, said that those evicted had received word that Mong Reththy was offering to take them to Stung Treng, but most of them did not plan to move.

"We will not go there," he said. "Anyway, we feel afraid that we will be cheated, so we would rather stay here."

Bokor National Park Director Chey Uterith said that the 55 families remaining at the site will be forced to leave by Sunday.

"If they do not leave, we will file a complaint to the court," he said. "We will conduct a statistic of how many families are genuinely landless and then report them to Mong Reththy or the provincial authority."  

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