Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers accuse ELC of reneging on deal



Villagers accuse ELC of reneging on deal

Villagers accuse ELC of reneging on deal

Nearly 200 Kuoy villagers protested yesterday at the Forestry Administration Office in Preah Vihear province to demand a Malaysian-owned company return 1,100 hectares of land and a tractor confiscated by officials last month.

Following a third meeting last month with Green Choice Cambodia – allotted a 6,423- hectare land concession in 2012 – protesters from four villages in Romny and Romtom communes in Rovieng district, reported the company continued to clear land, despite a promise to halt activity until the land dispute had been settled.

“[The company] broke the promise . . . and the Forestry Administration authorities did not intercede,” said community member Noeun Los, 33, adding that when villagers used a tractor to clear land, officials impounded it.

Since 2011, villagers have literally staked their claim to the territory with large wooden posts, and in 2013 their line was partially honoured with a 631-hectare government allocation for community development. According to Los, the land has served as essential farmland, spirit forest, graveyards since 1979.

“If the land is gone, it really affects us,” Los explained.

A representative of Green Choice Cambodia, who declined to be named, vehemently denied the villagers allegations.

“There is no further clearing as the villagers accused,” the company spokesman said.

Chey Setha, head of the Forestry Administration in the district, said that the land has been inspected and is under the company’s rightful control.

Lor Chan, a provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, however, said the company had indeed broken an agreement to delay clearing the land until a solution was reached.

MOST VIEWED

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • Deminers unearth ancient lion statue

    Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Tuesday that a statue of a lion was found by mine clearance experts while they were digging for a development project. It was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts last