Nine Phnong ethnic community members from Mondulkiri have filed complaints to the ministries of environment and land management, as well as the National Assembly, seeking intervention in illegal logging they say has stripped some 1,000 hectares bare at the Phnom Nam Lyr Wildlife Sanctuary.
The complaints, delivered on Wednesday, come on the heels of a lawsuit they filed last week at the Mondulkiri Provincial Court identifying eight officials they said had turned a blind eye to illegal logging.
“Some 1,000 hectares of wildlife sanctuary have been illegally cleared, so we’ve asked the three national institutions to stop and solve the issue,” said Kreung Tola, representative for the Ethnic Minority Community Network in Mondulkiri.
Environment Minister Say Samal said his ministry had received the complaint and the case was now under investigation by local authorities. ‘The case is being investigated,” he said. “I should not make any statement at this stage.”
National Assembly spokesman Leng Peng Long said he had not yet officially received the complaint, but that it would be forwarded to the appropriate officials upon receipt. “If we receive it, it will be sent to the [National Assembly’s] Commission 1, the committee on human rights and complaints,” he said.
Ministry of Land Management spokesman Seng Lot did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.