Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Confiscated chainsaws dropped on FA's doorstop

Confiscated chainsaws dropped on FA's doorstop

Confiscated chainsaws
About 100 monks lead a protest against illegal logging of the Prey Lang forest in Phnom Penh on monday. Demonstrators delivered five chainsaws confiscated from companies allegedly engaged in illegal logging to the offices of the Forestry Administration. Tat Oudom

Confiscated chainsaws dropped on FA's doorstop

Activist monks hand-delivered five chainsaws confiscated by community activists to the Forestry Administration in Phnom Penh on Monday as part of a protest of illegal logging in the Prey Lang forest.

About one hundred monks took to the streets in opposition of the ongoing destruction of the northern forest, which spans hundreds of thousands of hectares across five provinces and serves as a vital watershed to the Tonle Sap river system.

Venerable Heng Raksmey, a representative of Sre Veal village in Preah Vihear province, said massive logging of the forest in his community continued unabated almost every day.

“Because of the logging of the forest without the rule of law, our weather has changed so much lately - like having strong storms, and then in the rainy season, no rain,” he said.

Monks march to the Forestry Administration with confiscated chainsaws and a petition

Joining the community activists were members of the Independent Monks Network for Social Justice, whose leader Venerable But Buntenh has been singled out by Prime Minister Hun Sen recently as a voice of dissent who should join the opposition in the much-heralded “culture of dialogue”.

“Those Forestry Administration officers are the dollar officers, as they don't care about the forest or Prey Lang and let the bad merchants continue to destroy the forest day-by-day,” Buntenh said at the protest.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen asked me to have a culture of dialogue, and that is why I came and want to talk nicely and send the petition to you [Hun Sen], but why don't you come out and send the officer to take my petition?”

Thousands of hectares of land in Prey Lang has been granted as economic land concessions to private companies, many of which have been accused of conducting illegal logging.

Conservationists have long tried to have the area declared a protected area, while several small community activist groups frequently confront concessionaires during their patrols of Prey Lang.

Security forces did not obstruct the protestors on Monday morning, who plan to continue on to the National Assembly and the Prime Minister's house this afternoon.

Forestry Administration officials declined to comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • LPG gas explosion injures 13 people, including foreigners, in Siem Reap

    An explosion on Wednesday at a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) car and tuk-tuk refuelling station in Siem Reap city has left 13 people, including an American and a Briton, suffering burns. The seven most severely burned, including a provincial police officer, were sent to a Thai

  • Over 100 Chinese nationals to be deported for online scam

    The Ministry of Interior is planning to deport 128 Chinese nationals after they were arrested in Preah Sihanouk province on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in an online money extortion scam. Y Sokhy, the head of the Department of Counter-terrorism and Transnational Crime, told The Post

  • The French mother navigating the capital in her own personal tuk-tuk

    French woman Cecile Dahome gracefully manoeuvres her tuk-tuk through the manic streets of Phnom Penh with the precision of a Japanese katana before a herd of motorcyclists, attempting to perform illegal U-turns, cuts her off. The riders, like baby ducklings following their mother’s tracks,

  • More than 800 people test positive for HIV in 2018

    The National Aids Authority (NAA) said more than 800 people tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) last year, joining over 76,000 others aged between 15 and 49 in the Kingdom already infected with the virus. The spread of HIV/AIDS in the Kingdom is showing few signs of