Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Disputed K'kiri land planted: villagers

Disputed K'kiri land planted: villagers

Disputed K'kiri land planted: villagers

A RUBBER company belonging to Phnom Penh businesswoman Keat Kolney has begun planting rubber trees on land in Ratanakkiri province that has been the subject of a dispute with Jarai ethnic minority villagers since 2004, villagers said Wednesday.

Seven families from Kong Yu village in Ratanakkiri's O'Yadav district lost farm plots of up to one hectare each when workers employed by Keat Kolney's Progressive Farmers Association began a three-day process of measuring, digging and planting on the land, village representative Sev Twel said Wednesday.

Some 270 of the 450 hectares have already been planted with rubber trees, and in February 2007, Keat Kolney thumbprinted documents promising to halt work on the remaining 180 hectares until the case was resolved by the provincial court.

Sourng Sophea, a lawyer from the Community Legal Education Centre, described the company's actions this week as illegal and a violation of the court ruling.   

Despite fears about further losses of crop pasture as planting season approaches, villagers have taken no legal action over the recent planting, since two criminal complaints relating to the case were dismissed by the court last February.

However, Sev Twel told the Post villagers would welcome a face-to-face meeting with Keat Kolney. "We would applaud her if she would come to talk to us," he said.

The controversy arose following the 2004 sale of the 450-hectare plot, which villagers claimed they were duped into selling by claims the land was required by the prime minister for disabled army veterans.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman