Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers face court over ELC protest



Villagers face court over ELC protest

The office of a rubber plantation company in Preah Vihear after being destroyed by protesters in June. Nine villagers have been summoned to court over their alleged involvement in the incident.
The office of a rubber plantation company in Preah Vihear after being destroyed by protesters in June. Nine villagers have been summoned to court over their alleged involvement in the incident. Photo supplied

Villagers face court over ELC protest

The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has ordered nine villagers to appear on Wednesday to respond to allegations that they dismantled the office of a Malaysian rubber plantation company five months ago.

The nine villagers and 300 protesters allegedly pried the wooden walls off of a building housing the Eminent Elite (Cambodia) Co Ltd office in June after the company continued clearing a road through the area over their objections.

On November 20, investigating judge Veng Muoyki issued the order for the suspects to come in or face arrest.

Pen Lam, chief of Sroyong commune, confirmed that hundreds were involved in the protest, though only nine were summoned.

Roeun Ry, one of the accused villagers, maintained yesterday that he would come to court, as would the other eight.

“I just got the warrant on Saturday, but I will go because I am not afraid of it. I will offer testimony,” he said.

The company could not yesterday be reached for comment on the issue.

The Cambodian government granted Eminent Elite a 7,359-hectare economic land concession in Kulen district in 2012, but groups of villagers claimed they had been working the land since long before that.

In November 2013, the government issued a sub-decree to cut off 1,400 hectares of the ELC to grant to villagers, but the dispute is ongoing.

According to Ry, student volunteers measured out about 300 land plots as belonging to some of the local villagers.

The provincial government later drafted land titles for the villagers, but they never received them, which villagers blamed on company interference.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Covid in Kingdom hits ‘critical point’

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia has reached a critical point, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned, as cases surge with two more deaths and 265 infections reported over the weekend. On March 28 alone, the Ministry of Health recorded 86 Covid-19 cases linked to the February 20

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Time to Rise by rapper, chapei legend is viral hit with ancient-modern mix

    Kong Nay is known internationally as the master of the chapei dang veng, a traditional Cambodian instrument resembling a long-necked lute or guitar with two nylon strings that he was already playing professionally by the age of 15. Nay is sometimes referred to as the Cambodian