Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kampong Chhnang villagers sent to court for clearing wetland

Kampong Chhnang villagers sent to court for clearing wetland

Kampong Chhnang villagers sent to court for clearing wetland

The names of four Kampong Chhnang villagers were sent to the provincial court on Thursday for further legal action. The villagers are accused of involvement in clearing some 3ha of wetland in Koh Tamov village, in Boribor district’s Koki commune.

The action was taken after relevant officials and the community investigated the land grab for private ownership on Tuesday at Koh Langor and Chrok Snor Lake.

Provincial fisheries administration director Ly La said the four villagers hailed from Melom village, in Melom commune, but logged the flooded forest in neighbouring Koki commune.

“There are many kinds of fisheries crimes. When caught red-handed, they are arrested on the spot. But in this case, the four had cleared the wetland and escaped.

“We investigated and identified the culprits, which is why we submitted their names to the court. It will summon them for questioning,” La said.

According to him, the suspects used machetes, axes and saws to log the flooded forest sometime last week, but they had not used any machinery to clear it. From the on site examination, La said they had cleared flooded trees in three locations totalling 3ha.

“The logged sites are behind the rice fields of the villagers who plant the grain during the dry season,” he said.

Rights group Adhoc’s provincial coordinator Sam Chanke supported the fishery administration’s measures to hold the four accountable. He said some people exploited the agricultural land because they were unaware that it belonged to the state.

“The fisheries administration should demarcate the boundary of the state’s wetland. Otherwise, the people will get confused between the land they could additionally own and the land they could not,” he said.

He suggested that the authority should educate villagers in case they unintentionally log the trees. Villagers, he said, should be advised to replant them and restore the forest. Legal action should not be the first recourse, he said.

Additionally, Chanke said the fisheries administration should register public land under its management to prevent such land grabbing.


  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,