Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Soldiers sent to Areng post

Soldiers sent to Areng post

Activists against the Stung Cheay Areng dam stand in front of police at a makeshift checkpoint in Koh Kong province
Activists against the Stung Cheay Areng dam stand in front of police at a makeshift checkpoint in Koh Kong province yesterday. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Soldiers sent to Areng post

Soldiers have been stationed at the site of a roadblock that was manned by environmental activists protesting the planned Stung Cheay Areng dam in Koh Kong province.

Twelve Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) officers have been posted on the road at the entrance to the Areng Valley since security forces detained 11 activists on Monday.

Neng Van, RCAF commander in Thma Bang district, said the soldiers had been deployed to guard the road to stop the activists from blocking it again.

“We are guarding [the road] around the clock in order to maintain order and security there, and to avoid the road being blocked, which disturbs the villagers,” he said.

Alex Gonzales-Davidson, founder of NGO Mother Nature, was released shortly after 1am yesterday morning after signing a letter apologising for “parking his car across the road”.

Ten other activists were released by the provincial police at about the same time, officials said.

“We had to make a contract with the authorities, promising to stop doing any activities, but we will still carry out our campaign, because it’s not illegal,” Mother Nature’s Heng Samnang, 21, said.

The authorities confiscated several cameras from the activists on Monday and deleted images and videos of the incident, Mother Nature representatives said.

“Three of our cameras were thrown into the jungle. We’re hearing that the relocation site’s been taken over by soldiers,” Gonzales-Davidson said. “These are people under the pay of [dam builder] Sinohydro . . . We’re not going to let them in regardless of who they are.”

Um Serey Vuth of Sawac Consultants, which has been contracted to carry out an environmental impact assessment at the planned dam site, said he was waiting on authorisation to go back into the valley.

Sam Khitviet, Koh Kong provincial police chief, said that if the campaign continued, the activists could face “tough measures”.

The Cambodian Youth Network issued a statement yesterday condemning the arrests as “an act of intimidation on the protesters who work to preserve the forest and natural resources”.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement