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Villagers in land fight use flames

Villagers in land fight use flames

Members of a Lao ethnic community in Ratanakkiri province allegedly burned down three makeshift houses belonging to a rubber plantation on Monday.

The 250 villagers in Veun Sai district’s Hatpak village accuse Indian-owned SK Company of encroaching on the forest and ignoring markers demarcating village farmland, according to Chhay Thy, Ratanakkiri provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc.

Toeur Nuo Thong, Veun Sai district police chief, said the company was granted an economic land concession of 8,000 hectares.

Adhoc’s investigation of the dispute, however, found that hundreds of villagers in Hatpak commune claim the company has gone outside the boundary.

The police chief said no one was arrested after the fire, despite the company having lodged a complaint.

On Tuesday, police met with nearly 350 villagers and warned them not to resort to arson again.


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