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Thailand: Cambodian villagers plan to appeal civil court rejection of class action suit against Mitr Phol

"Cambodians to appeal ruling in Mitr Phol case," 05 July 2019

Cambodian villagers will appeal a Thai court decision rejecting their class action lawsuit for rights abuses allegedly committed by Mitr Phol, the country’s biggest sugar producer...

The lawsuit, filed in April last year on behalf of more than 3,000 Cambodian plaintiffs, accused Mitr Phol of violently displacing them...Mitr Phol withdrew from the sugar project in 2014.

Mitr Phol said it had invested in Cambodia in “a good faith partnership” with the Cambodian government and obtained temporary concessions in compliance with all local and national laws.

...[A] Bangkok civil court ruled that the case brought by the Cambodians was not suitable to be treated as a class action due to communication issues, as the plaintiffs live in remote areas in Cambodia and do not speak Thai.

The villagers plan to appeal the decision, and if that fails, they would file individual civil lawsuits, said the US-based non-profit group Inclusive Development International, which is helping the Cambodians with the case.

Mitr Phol did not immediately comment when contacted by Reuters, saying it was working on a statement.

The class action lawsuit was said to be the first such lawsuit filed in a Thai court by plaintiffs from another country against a Thai company operating outside Thailand. 

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