Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ratanakkiri villagers accuse authorities of land grab

Ratanakkiri villagers accuse authorities of land grab

Ratanakkiri villagers accuse authorities of land grab

Tumpuon ethnic minorities residing in Seda commune, in Ratanakkiri province’s Lumphat district, on Monday accused authorities of colluding to sell protected land in the Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary that they say belongs to the community.

A representative of Keng San village in Seda, Kham Nin, said on Monday that local authorities were colluding with traders to measure and clear 100 hectares of protected land.

“Our community depends on the forest where cattle are herded, we can go fishing and gather vegetables and vines,” he said.

Nin said in October, villagers filed a suit in the provincial court against 10 local authorities, including forest rangers and the district governor, accusing them of colluding in forestry crimes. The court has yet to investigate.

Nin added that in early June, he and other villagers were foraging for daily essentials when they encountered a group of people, including commune authorities, measuring land that was recently sold to a businessman.

An Adhoc official, Pen Bunna, said the destruction of natural resources has caused social disorder, environmental damage and stress for the residents.

“Some Keng San villagers used to be threatened with jail by authorities when they protested and sought help from national authorities to prevent forestry crimes, while other villagers have been investigated and accused of working with opposition groups,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • PM: War result of foreign meddling

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Cambodia’s recent history of conflict was caused by foreign interference. “The wars that happened were caused by provocation, incitement, support, smearing and interference from foreign powers, and the group of ignorant people who pushed Cambodia to

  • EBA withdrawal provides ‘opportunity for growth’

    Economic analyst Khoun Bunny said on Tuesday that the loss of the EU’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement could be a golden opportunity for Cambodia to show it deserved to be ranked sixth on the list of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Government

  • Malaysia MP accused of ‘influencing law’

    Malaysian Member of Parliament (MP) Larry Sng arrived in Siem Reap early on Wednesday, in what was slammed by one NGO as efforts by Kuala Lumpur to “influence Cambodian law”. The Malaysian Embassy in Phnom Penh requested on January 30 “cooperation from the Ministry of Foreign