Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Protests planned for Preah Vihear sugar plant’s opening

Protests planned for Preah Vihear sugar plant’s opening

Residents of Preah Vihear's Brame commune gather to commemorate International Peasants' Day yesterday. Photo supplied
Residents of Preah Vihear's Brame commune gather to commemorate International Peasants' Day yesterday. Photo supplied

Protests planned for Preah Vihear sugar plant’s opening

Preah Vihear’s deputy governor has vowed not to let protesters near Prime Minister Hun Sen as he cuts the ribbon on a $360 million sugar mill in Tbeng Meanchey district today.

The mill – one of the largest in Asia – is owned by Chinese company Rui Feng (Cambodia) International, which has been involved in a series of land disputes with local villagers since it arrived in the country in 2012.

Together, Rui Feng and its four sister firms have land concessions covering 40,000 hectares in Preah Vihear, circumventing law that prohibits a single company from holding more than 10,000 hectares in concessions.

Representatives of more than 100 ethnic Kuoy villagers who gathered in Tbeng Meanchey’s Brame commune yesterday to celebrate International Peasants’ Day said they planned to attend today’s ceremony to ask Hun Sen to cancel the companies’ concessions.

“The companies are grabbing our land, natural resources and clearing and filling up our ponds and lakes which we used to depend on for a living,” said demonstrator Khum Rany.

Rany said her community collected more than 400 thumb-prints on a petition to drive the companies from the province. “If we are banned from meeting him, we will raise banners along the road,” she said.

Provincial Deputy Governor Sou Serey yesterday pledged not to let the protesters get close to the prime minister and said that NGOs have manipulated the villagers into action.

“The company has the right to invest and rent the land from the state. It was not involved in their community land,” he said.

Rui Feng employees declined to comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen asks Cambodians to believe in government

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday asked citizens and investors to trust that the government will overcome the challenges brought about by Covid-19 and the loss of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme. Speaking to reporters at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh,

  • Westerdam passenger ‘never had’ Covid-19

    The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the US citizen that allegedly tested positive in Malaysia after travelling on the Westerdam was never infected with Covid-19 in the first place. In an article published in the newspaper USA Today on Friday, CDC

  • ‘Ghost staff’ found, $1.7M returned to state coffers

    The Ministry of Civil Service said more than seven billion riel ($1.7 million) in salaries for civil servants was returned to the state last year after it discovered that the books had been cooked to pay ‘ghost officials’. This is despite claims by the Ministry of

  • Woman wanted for killing own son

    Police in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district are on the lookout for a woman who allegedly hacked her son to death on Sunday in Stung Meanchey III commune. District police chief Meng Vimeandara identified the son as Chan Sokhom, 32. “The offender can’t escape forever.

  • H5N1 also poses deadly threat, ministry warns

    The Ministry of Health’s Communicable Disease Control (CDC) department has called on citizens to excise caution over H5N1 or bird flu that is spreading in the southern province of Vietnam. In a Facebook post, the department announced that it has made a series

  • Gloom hits Siem Reap tourism

    As the Kingdom’s overall tourism sector continued to grow last year, industry insiders in Siem Reap have expressed their deep concerns, citing a sharp drop in Chinese arrivals to the province beginning late last month. Cambodia earned $4.91 billion in international tourism revenue last year,