Cambodian farmers sue Thai sugar group Mitr Phol over alleged land grab
2 April 2018
Farmers from Cambodia have filed a lawsuit in a Thai civil court against Asia’s largest sugar producer, accusing it of rights abuses after it allegedly kicked farmers off their land, a rights group said...The lawsuit, filed on behalf of 3,000 people, is the first class-action lawsuit filed in a Thai court by plaintiffs from another country against a Thai company operating outside Thailand, the group, Inclusive Development International, said in a statement. The plaintiffs accuse sugar producer Mitr Phol...of violently displacing them in Cambodia’s northwestern Oddar Meanchey province between 2008 and 2009 to make way for plantations. Mitr Phol said in a statement emailed to Reuters it had invested in Cambodia in “a good faith partnership” with the government and got temporary concessions in compliance with all local and national laws and with assurances from authorities that “all temporary concession areas had been processed legally and transparently”. It said it had withdrawn from the project in 2014 due to a combination of factors including political tensions along the Thai-Cambodia border, business risks, adverse agricultural conditions and negative publicity...Rights groups have said some concessions have led to forced evictions and land disputes.