Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prey Lang activists join government

Prey Lang activists join government

Chey Men (left), Tith Pichey (centre) and Nuon Vannsuy are among five members of the Prey Lang Community Network who joined the Ministry of Environment this month as officials.
Chey Men (left), Tith Pichey (centre) and Nuon Vannsuy are among five members of the Prey Lang Community Network who joined the Ministry of Environment this month as officials. Photo supplied

Prey Lang activists join government

Five members of the outspoken Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN) have left the group and joined the Ministry of Environment’s Preah Vihear branch, citing fears for their life that they hope will be quelled with government jobs.

The five members – Nuon Vannsuy, Tith Pichey, Chey Men, Uch Sann and Yann Phanna – were selected to work at the province’s Department of Environment in June, as the department looks to boost its illegal logging monitoring in the Prey Lang protected forest.

“They have a high willingness to protect natural resources, especially in the Prey Lang area. And right now, they are working with us to patrol in the Prey Lang area to check the illegal logging,” said Ear Sokha, the department’s director.

Sokha added that the five had been selected because the department was running low on rangers and because of their extensive knowledge of the forests in Chey Sen district.

The PLCN has been patrolling the forest since 2001 to document cases of illegal logging and has received funding from the US State Department’s USAID.

Vannsuy said he would help the department strengthen its protection of the area’s natural resources and hoped that they would be shielded as local officials. The PLCN has been attacked in the past by illegal loggers, including an incident last year when a female ranger’s leg was hacked with an axe.

“However, now we are not afraid of these issues and we work harder to protect natural resources, especially in our Prey Lang area, because now we have a [metaphorical] bulletproof vest from the ministry.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked