作者: Environmental Justice Atlas
Tbeng Meanchey district is comprised of various villages, most of them inhabited by the Kuoy ethnic minority, who are engaged in small-scale farming and the collection of Non-Timber Forest Products…Most villagers live there since the fall of the Khmer Rouge Regime in 1979, which makes them…the legal and legitimate land owners…However, in 2011…two Chinese firms, Lan Feng and Roy Feng International [both subsidiaries of Chinese company Hengfu Sugar], were granted ELCs on villagers’ land, amounting to 9,015ha and 8,841ha, respectively…
Conflict exacerbated as the companies started to demarcate villagers’ land and community forests for the development of sugarcane plantations, clearing the area and cutting down valuable Resin trees. No measures were reported to be taken regarding an environmental or social impact assessment…the companies further stumbled across 8th century relicts such as a sandstone carving of Buddha and villagers feared they would keep it. All kind of resistance and mobilizations started, supported by local NGOs and Buddhist monks. Villagers watched the area during night and day, protested in front of local authorities, pulled out plantation crops and destroyed harvested sugarcane…
In several occasions, villagers as well as NGO members and monks were temporarily held by the police and the company filed a lawsuit against the villagers for destroying their sugarcane. The villagers in turn, filed a lawsuit against the companies, demanding a compensation of 600,000$ for the destruction of their ancestral lands, community forests and farming lands…
作者: Jack Davies & Kong Meta, Phnom Penh Post
…On Saturday, provincial police, military police and Forestry Administration officials carried out what eyewitnesses have described as a violent eviction of six families from Bos Thom village in Tbeng Meanchey district’s Brame commune. The village sits in the middle of five economic land concessions held by subsidiaries of Chinese sugar manufacturer Rui Feng.
The evictions, however, appear to be in contravention of Sub-Decree 154, signed by Hun Sen on July 18, ordering that several hundred hectares be returned to the state by Rui Feng subsidiary Lan Feng to be allocated to ethnic Kuoy families living in Bos Thom and Sre Peng villages. Government spokesman Phay Siphan said yesterday that if the sub-decree indeed involved the six families’ land, unless an overriding sub-decree had been issued subsequently, those responsible for the evictions could find themselves in jail…
作者: Phak Seangly, Phnom Penh Post
More than 200 angry ethnic Kuoy villagers who claim their land has been stolen by a Chinese-owned sugar company were blocked from protesting as Prime Minister Hun Sen inaugurated the firm’s mill in Preah Vihear province…The mill will process sugarcane grown on 40,000 hectares of land granted as economic land concessions to Rui Feng and four sister companies.
However, groups of villagers claim the land is theirs and have been involved in a protracted dispute with Rui Feng since 2012. In the latest action, the villagers…prepared 400 thumbprints on a petition to cancel the concession…
Addressing attendees yesterday, Hun Sen hailed the project as a major job creator, but cautioned that Rui Feng would need to provide suitable compensation and facilities to attract workers…The premier warned the company that if it “want[s] workers to work here, you need to build houses for them, provide a proper salary and . . . build a school and hospital.” He also discouraged Rui Feng from expanding onto new land, and admonished them to “have good relations with farmers”. “The land is still their land…” he added.
Company reps could not be reached for comment on past disputes or relations with locals.
作者: Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact Foundation (AIPP)
"Contribution to the UNSR Thematic Report on Natural Resource Exploitation and the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association", 31 Jan 2015