Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ratanakkiri villagers protest land clearing

Ratanakkiri villagers protest land clearing

Ratanakkiri villagers protest land clearing

Dozens of ethnic minority Tompuon villagers protested yesterday against the destruction of an area in Ratanakkiri province’s Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary that is used as a community forest.

Community representative Tuy Nheb, one of more than 30 villagers demonstrating outside of Seda commune hall on behalf of 215 affected families, said that a company owned by Okhna Roth Sakhorn has been clearing hundreds of hectares of vital community forestland since August.

That area “is a jungle, and we have filed a letter to the provincial authorities over the last two weeks asking for it to be registered as a communal forest, but the company has cleared about 200 hectares already”, he said. “We demand for a halt [to its destruction], and for discussion.”

The villagers ended their four-hour protest yesterday after the company, which shares its owner’s name, agreed to suspend its activities for one week.

Nou Ther, deputy governor of Lumphat district, said that the area fell within an economic land concession awarded to the company.

“The villagers disagree because they do not understand . . . The company has rights and the logging was done legally and it was inspected by the forest officers as well,” Ther said.

But Chhay Thy, Ratanakkiri provincial coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said the company was at risk of violating a government order that reduced its ELC from 9,000 hectares to 600.

MOST VIEWED

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • US told to refrain from interfering in Sokha case

    Senior Cambodian officials said on Thursday that the US can monitor Kem Sokha’s trial as it wishes but would not be allowed to interfere in court procedures. The point was made in response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments on Wednesday

  • Europe expected to consider EBA efforts, impact

    The government said it expects the European Commission to consider its efforts to comply with the “Everything But Arms” (EBA) regulations and the impact on one million workers should access to the agreement be suspended in February. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

  • Sri Lanka’s LOLC Holdings plans to sell Cambodian unit

    LOLC Holdings Plc, Sri Lanka’s second-largest publicly traded company by revenue, plans to sell its 70 per cent stake in Prasac Microfinance Institution Ltd, which also counts Hong Kong’s Bank of East Asia Ltd. as a shareholder, LOLC deputy chairman Ishara Nanayakkara said. Nanayakkara