Cambodia: Villagers in Preah Vihear province accuse a rubber company of clearing community's land that supports the livelihoods of Kuoy ethnic community

Author: Savi Khorn, The Phnom Penh Post, Published on: 29 July 2019

"Rubber firm accused of clearing 10ha", 26 July 2019

Villagers from Preah Vihear province’s Rovieng district have accused Try Pheap Engineering & Construction Co Ltd of clearing the remaining 10ha of community land in Romny commune’s O’por village, which was reserved for building a school, a hospital and a pagoda…

A resident, who asked not to be named, told … that the Boeung Tonle Mrech community land was rich in natural resources and the forest supports the livelihoods of the Kuoy ethnic community.

… Try Pheap and local authorities had promised to build a school, a pagoda and a health centre on the reserved land for the people’s benefit, he said, but they had not done so.

The resident said that when Try Pheap encroached on the community land, the ethnic indigenous community protested and complained to local authorities for intervention.

… A Try Pheap administrative manager, who identified himself as Sarom, briefly told … that events had not transpired as the villagers claimed. He then hung up the phone and said he was busy in a meeting.

Preah Vihear Environment Department director Ear Sokha said Try Pheap received more than 9,000ha of dead forest land from the government in an economic land concession in the Beng Per Wildlife Sanctuary.

… The government issued a letter taking the land back from the community and classified it as a protected area, Sokha said.

Lor Chan, the provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said people had reacted so strongly because Try Pheap was using the reserved land only for its benefit and had not fulfilled its promises…

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Related companies: Try Pheap Engineering & Construction