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Land clearing halted

Land clearing halted

A privately owned rubber plantation delayed clearing land in Kratie province on Sunday after about 100 villagers from Mondulkiri’s Keo Seima district threatened to destroy company property after claims the clearing has encroached on their land.

Soeng Samnang, site manager for the TTY Corporation Co Ltd, said the delay was made after about 100 residents from Chneng village in Sre Khtum commune gathered to protest and threatened to burn the company’s tractors on Saturday and Sunday.

“We suspended activity at the request of the villagers so that they would not burn the company’s property, and we will wait for a solution from authorities,” he said.

Soeng Samnang added that the land the company cleared is within the territory of the Snoul Wildlife Sanctuary, which borders both Kratie and Mondulkiri.

TTY Corporation Co Ltd received a 99-year economic land concession of more than 9,000 hectares in Kratie province in 2008, but villagers are now protesting against the land clearing, saying that it has encroached on their territory.

Chek Saran, a representative for the villagers in Keo Seima district, accused the company of clearing 187 hectares of land belonging to 63 families.

“The villagers want the company to delay clearing land and wait for the authority’s resolution,” he said today.

He added that the Keo Seima district governor had previously asked villagers to document clearage and show exactly how their territory was affected by the company to facilitate a resolution to the dispute.

Sin Vanvuth, Keo Seima district governor, said today that exact statistics were needed in order to “coordinate some compensation from the company” in exchange for stopping their complaints, adding that no documentation has yet been received and that only about 10 families have been affected by the company.

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