Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ethnic minority representatives call for Mondulkiri official’s ouster

Ethnic minority representatives call for Mondulkiri official’s ouster

Village representatives gather outside the Mondulkiri Provincial Hall yesterday after submitting a petition to authorities. Photo supplied
Village representatives gather outside the Mondulkiri Provincial Hall yesterday after submitting a petition to authorities. Photo supplied

Ethnic minority representatives call for Mondulkiri official’s ouster

Thirty-five ethnic minority representatives yesterday delivered a petition bearing 555 thumbprints to the Mondulkiri provincial governor, asking him to replace the director of the rural development department because he wasn’t serving the best interests of ethnic minorities.

Kreng Tola, 26, said the 35 representatives included people from several minority groups – such as the Krol and the Phnong, to which he belongs – and had submitted the petition because they are not “happy” with department head Yorn Sarom.

Tola said ethnic minorities had organised celebrations for World Indigenous Peoples’ Day six years running, and each time Sarom had allegedly tried to restrict their activities. For the most recent celebration, on August 9, they weren’t allowed to march on the streets or host a photo exhibition, but were only allowed to pray.

He added that Sarom had also threatened to file a complaint against them. “This year, he threatened to sue the representatives who were organising the event,” he said.

Sarom denied the allegations yesterday and said he had only encouraged organisers to have one provincial event as opposed to having several separate ones.

“I have not banned anything, but we just want them to celebrate as a province,” he said.

Provincial Governor Svay Samoeun said he hadn’t received the petition. “I will look at the issues,” he said. “But we cannot just remove [someone] as they wish. We need to look at the reasons behind.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the