A Vietnamese rubber company had “mistakenly” bulldozed land belonging to ethnic Jarai villagers in Ratanakkiri’s Bakeo district, an official said yesterday.
“It got confused between the villagers’ land and its own. The company would not intentionally take the villagers’ land,” Bakeo district governor Heng Bunthan said.
About 120 families yesterday drafted a letter of complaint to rights group Adhoc asking for urgent intervention against Kao Su Ea Lev BM Yoy Stock, which allegedly began bulldozing land and filling in a local lake last Sunday. Bunthan said it took six days before the company stopped.
Ya Som village chief Rocham Ven said the 50-metre-by-250-metre lake was used by thousands of people from three communes as a source of food and water.
Villagers allege the company also bulldozed 10 hectares given to three families as part of the government’s land-titling scheme.
Kao Su Ea Lev BM Yoy Stock — which was granted an 8,400-hectare economic land concession in the district in 2011 — could not be reached.
To contact the reporter on this story: Phak Seangly at [email protected]