Home > Local News > Svay Rieng authority lease border farmland to Viet citizens

Svay Rieng authority lease border farmland to Viet citizens

Map of Svay Rieng province (Photo courtesy of eac.gov.kh)
Cambodian farmers have accused the
Svay Rieng provincial authority of leasing vast areas of farmlands
along the border to Vietnamese companies and Vietnamese citizens since
November, 2010.
Villagers said 10 Vietnamese
tractors are actively ploughing the land inside Cambodian territory in
Thlok village, Chrork Matess communein Bavet town of Svay Rieng
province near an ancient canal for the last two months.
A Cambodian farmer, whose land
bordered the area leased to the Vietnamese citizens and who spoke on
condition of anonymity, told RFA that he is concerned that his land and
the land belonging to many other Cambodian farmers nearby will be taken
over by these Vietnamese families one day. “The canal belong to all the
people. Every year we take our cattle and buffaloes to drink there.
Now, it’s been filled up to grow the crop, so there is no water for our
cattle and buffaloes. They have cut off the oxcart track where the
villagers used to transport their firewood and timber. Now it’s all
been toiled. Now, the villagers have no track to drive their oxcarts
because they have only this dirt road (to drive through)”, he said.
Another villager, who has 5
hectares of land bordering the land leased to the Vietnamese families,
said he dare not drive his oxcart through that ancient oxcart track
anymore. “When they surveyed the land I was standing nearby as well.
And my land is located at that point also. I dare not drive (my oxcart)
anywhere because if I drive it and it touches their land, they will sue
me immediately”, he said.

Many villagers said they dare
not protest because they are afraid of the village chief who had
threatened to sue or arrest them if any body dare to protest.
Mr. Kong Ron, chief of Thlok
village, said villagers had sold their lands to a local company and
that company leased those lands to the Vietnamese families to grow
cassava under a six-monthly contract. “It’s true that they have formed
a company with the Vietnamese people, but we live there and we don’t
have markets to sell our produce. They have farmed and grown (cassava)
with the Vietnamese and they transported (exported) the produce to
Vietnam. But we formed a joint venture with them, we did not lease the
lands to them. They leased from us for a six-monthly contract. We made
a contract with them for every (six-monthly) season and we charge them
for every season”, he said.
Mr. Var Kimhong, chairman of
Cambodian Border Committee, has asked the local authority and the
Cambodian company to cancel their contract immediately because their
contract has not been approved by his committee. “I request the local
authority in the border areas to ban the lease of lands or not to do
anything else. I will not allow them to do anything. If they do it, the
provincial and the local authorities must take full responsibility. We
will not allow them to do anything inappropriate”, he said.
Mr. Var Kimhong said the
government has no policy of allowing any lease of lands along the
border to citizens of neighbouring countries. He promised to look into
this case.
By Khmerization
Source: RFA

Categories: Local News
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