Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Preah Vihear villagers allege rubber company retaliation

Preah Vihear villagers allege rubber company retaliation

A Green Rubber company checkpoint burns in a Preah Vihear ELC after protesting villagers set it on fire earlier this month. Photo supplied
A Green Rubber company checkpoint burns in a Preah Vihear ELC after protesting villagers set it on fire earlier this month. Photo supplied

Preah Vihear villagers allege rubber company retaliation

Villagers from Preah Vihear’s Kulen district, where last week two rubber company guard posts were torched, yesterday alleged security guards from the same company had looted their homes and threatened to burn them.

Green Rubber, whose guard posts were burned last week, was granted a 6,000-hectare economic land concession (ELC) in 2012. Villagers claim to have lived on 2,000 hectares of the ELC since 1998.

Yesterday, 36 residents of Spean Kmeng village in Kulen’s Srayong commune affixed their thumbprints to a letter addressed to rights groups Adhoc and Ponlok Khmer calling for their intervention in the now more than three-year land dispute.

The letter alleges that since 2012, villagers’ farmland has been cleared and agricultural equipment stolen from their homes by security guards from Green Rubber and another rubber company, Serey Mony.

“They also threatened to burn our huts down and send us to jail,” the letter read.

Lor Chann, Preah Vihear provincial coordinator for Adhoc, said the villagers were long-time residents and the rights group would petition provincial authorities on their behalf.

Green Rubber spokesman Pun Sothea denied the villagers’ allegations, saying security guards seized chainsaws used in illegal logging. He added a meeting between the villagers, provincial authorities and Green Rubber was planned to negotiate a reduction in the ELC.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • Bumpy road for local ride apps

    Ride-hailing services seem to have grown into a dominant player in the capital’s transportation sector. Relatively unknown and little used in the Kingdom at the beginning of this year, services like PassApp, Grab and ExNet are now commonplace on Phnom Penh streets. However, the

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition