Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ratanakkiri villagers accuse authorities of land grab



Ratanakkiri villagers accuse authorities of land grab

Ratanakkiri villagers accuse authorities of land grab

Tumpuon ethnic minorities residing in Seda commune, in Ratanakkiri province’s Lumphat district, on Monday accused authorities of colluding to sell protected land in the Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary that they say belongs to the community.

A representative of Keng San village in Seda, Kham Nin, said on Monday that local authorities were colluding with traders to measure and clear 100 hectares of protected land.

“Our community depends on the forest where cattle are herded, we can go fishing and gather vegetables and vines,” he said.

Nin said in October, villagers filed a suit in the provincial court against 10 local authorities, including forest rangers and the district governor, accusing them of colluding in forestry crimes. The court has yet to investigate.

Nin added that in early June, he and other villagers were foraging for daily essentials when they encountered a group of people, including commune authorities, measuring land that was recently sold to a businessman.

An Adhoc official, Pen Bunna, said the destruction of natural resources has caused social disorder, environmental damage and stress for the residents.

“Some Keng San villagers used to be threatened with jail by authorities when they protested and sought help from national authorities to prevent forestry crimes, while other villagers have been investigated and accused of working with opposition groups,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • 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

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • 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

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and