Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ethnic villagers reject Mega First cash offer

Ethnic villagers reject Mega First cash offer

Phnong ethnic villagers block a road in O’Raing district earlier this month during a protest against Mega First Corporation.
Phnong ethnic villagers block a road in O’Raing district earlier this month during a protest against Mega First Corporation. Photo supplied

Ethnic villagers reject Mega First cash offer

An ethnic community in Mondulkiri province has rejected a cash offer from a company that wants to clear thousands of hectares of forest locals claim as their own, saying they value the land more than money.

Phnong ethnic villagers who live in Ou Reang district’s Dak Dam commune have turned down $20,000 from power, resources and property development company Mega First Corporation, which the company suggested the community use to celebrate its religion.

“We had a meeting and decided that we would not take the money from the company because we won’t allow them to clear forest we have conserved,” said community representative Toeng Thi.

“We have looked after this forest for a long time, which, along with the land, is our life and our future.”

According to Mondulkiri Adhoc coordinator Sok Rotha, Mega First Corporation was granted a concession on 9,000 hectares of land in the area by the government in 2012.

“The company has cleared about 500 hectares already and wants to continue clearing,” he said. “The villagers have protested about this three times already.”

It was for villagers to decide whether to accept the compensation offer, he added.

Dak Dam commune chief Som Vanny said the authorities had tried to negotiate with the villagers. “We do not want them come to protest again and again, nor do we want any violence,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry issues warning over coronavirus outbreak

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday asked the public to be on “high alert” as a new virus wreaks havoc across Asia. However, no cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has raised the alarm for its similarity to

  • Call for boycott of Angkor unacceptable

    Dear Editor, I wish to express my strong disagreement on the article published by Traveller for their website with the title Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid. Below is my opinion of the article. It is obviously free for the Traveller to

  • Probe underway after wreckage of drone with Chinese characters found

    Air Force Command spokesman Prak Sokha said on Sunday that investigations are underway regarding the wreckage of a drone that was recovered in Koh Kong province’s Koh Sdech commune in Kiri Sakor district. The wreckage has been taken to the capital for further examination,

  • Gov’t slams UN rapporteurs over Sokha trial statement

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN Office in Geneva deplored the statement of three UN special rapporteurs who claimed that Kem Sokha’s trial was “tainted” due to irregularities. The reaction

  • No power shortages next dry season, says energy minister

    Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem has assured the public that Cambodia will not suffer power shortages during the next dry season. Speaking on local TV on Tuesday, Sem projected a rise in power demand during 2020’s dry season – which starts in November and

  • Gov’t takes steps to lower logistics, transport costs

    With the threat of losing trade privileges in the EU drawing closer, the government is taking measures to reduce logistics and transportation costs to safeguard the Kingdom’s competitiveness. The EU is due to decide whether or not to withdraw the Kingdom’s trade privileges