Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ratanakkiri villagers raze two ranger stations in anger

Ratanakkiri villagers raze two ranger stations in anger

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ranger stations were torched in Ratanakkiri province by more than 70 angry villagers. Ministry of Environment

Ratanakkiri villagers raze two ranger stations in anger

Fourteen people have been identified for inciting more than 70 villagers to burn down two ranger stations in Taveng commune, Taveng district, Ratanakkiri province. District officials will bring the case to court, said Ministry of Environment secretary of state and spokesman Neth Pheaktra.

Speaking to The Post on Monday, Pheaktra said some villagers grabbed land at a protected area and after the rangers intervened they set the stations on fire. “This is unacceptable, and the ringleaders must be held responsible for their action according to the law for destroying state property.

“We have identified 14 people already as the ones who incited the villagers to burn the stations and we are suing [them] in court,” he said.

Pheaktra said the rangers worked with the Taveng district police to patrol the protected forest on Friday and Saturday and put up signs to deter people from logging and clearing forest for private ownership.

They also seized two chainsaws and demolished four huts that were built illegally. People were made to sign contracts promising to stop repeating the crimes. The land that they already cleared is to be seized.

“The enforcement of the law made around 75 violators furious and they gathered to burn down the stations,” he said, adding that the two stations are made of wood and that some other property was also damaged in the fire.

The ministry confirmed that no one is authorised to buy or sell land in the protected area. It called on people who are unaware of the laws to stop their illegal actions, namely clearing, burning, and building huts to grab land at protected areas.

It also urged people to voluntarily dismantle their constructions that were built unofficially and return grabbed land to the ministry without any conditions or else they would be brought to justice. The ministry also rejected documents claiming ownership of the protected land.

Provincial Department of Environment director Phon Khemerin said the 75 people on around 40 motorbikes stormed the stations and burned them down.

Adhoc provincial coordinator Din Khanny said on Monday that while razing the stations was against the law, rangers have also been slow to ban people from committing similar crimes, and this caused their anger.

“When the people cleared the area and built huts, officials did not stop them. They thought that there was no problem and they continued doing it. Then the officials dismantled the huts. The lateness in taking legal action made the people angry,” he said.

Watch video:


  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Time to avert disastrous Covid situation: officials

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia is heading towards further large-scale community transmission as the total number of confirmed cases is nearing 61,000 and the death toll passed 900 on July 10, senior health officials warned. Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine expressed concern that the country was going

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided