Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - M’kiri concession sparks row

M’kiri concession sparks row

M’kiri concession sparks row

Two ethnic minorities are battling for the same land in Mondulkiri’s Pech Chreada district, villagers say.

Ethnic Phnong villagers told the Post yesterday that more than 100 families migrated to the area and have cleared between 400 to 500 hectares of indigenous land – including the village graveyard – since April 2013.

“We patrol at daytime, so we saw only the felled trees, because most of the time they log at night,” said Kros Sok, 35, a Phnong community leader in Bousraa commune.

The Phnong villagers discovered over 90 pieces of luxury timber yesterday, and are searching for loggers in order to file a lawsuit, according to Mob Chhing, 28, a Phnong villager.

“We found the timber in the forest about 30 metres from the police office,” she said.

The Phnong villagers allege that the timber was felled from their community forest and then sold to local police by the migrant families, Cham Muslims who moved from Kampong Cham, Svay Rieng and Prey Veng to an adjacent social land concession.

“Our forest is logged without any intervention from the authorities,” Sok said.

Sok Ratha, Mondulkiri provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, confirmed that a former provincial governor awarded land in the commune as a social concession for Cham migrants to settle. “The land concession overlaps at the [Phnong] graveyard and the community forest,” Ratha said.

District governor Nuon Saron could not be reached yesterday, but district council member Preum Blav denied that the concession overlaps with the indigenous community area.

Neither Adhoc nor the district police could provide a contact for a Cham community representative.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • NOCC to contest petanque, tennis axe

    The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia will lobby hard over the next few weeks for the inclusion of the Kingdom’s most productive medal-earning sport, petanque, along with vovinam and tennis after the disciplines were left out of the initial list of 30 preferred sports for