Land IssuesStatement: Response to Phnom Penh Sugar Company’s Allegations Against Equitable Cambodia Executive Director Eang Vuthy
August 21, 2014 On August 18, 2014, the Phnom Penh Sugar Co. Ltd., took out advertisements in several major Cambodian newspapers accusing Equitable Cambodia’s Executive Director, Mr. Eang Vuthy, of making false and misleading statements about Oknha Ly Yong Phat, and causing “irreparable damage” to the Senator’s reputation as well as that of his business, Phnom Penh Sugar.
While the Senator may currently have no involvement in the management or ownership of Khon Kaen Sugar Company’s in Koh Kong province or Mitr Pohl Sugar Company’s in Oddar Meanchey province, there is strong evidence that Ly Yong Phat was involved with each of these companies and with the forcible eviction of thousands of villagers.
August 12, 2014 LICADHO condemns the violent dispersal of more than 50 villagers from Lor Peang community who had begun their 60km-long peaceful march from Kampong Chhnang province to Phnom Penh, calling for a resolution to their long-standing land dispute. Amid the violent dispersal, three villagers – including the husband of the main Lor Peang community representative Um Sophy – were arrested and sent to the provincial court.
April 1, 2014 The number of people affected by state-involved land conflicts in Cambodia since 2000 passed the half-million mark in March, according to data collected by LICADHO.
To mark this somber milestone, LICADHO has published a new video and map which together illustrate the wide distribution of conflicts and the rapid growth of land grabbing as an issue over the past 13 years. The first few months of 2014 have seen a renewed wave of violent land grabbing that has affected 2,246 families across the provinces monitored by LICADHO.
April 1, 2014 Between January 2000 and March 2014, LICADHO documented more than 500,000 Cambodians affected by state-involved land conflicts in investigations covering roughly half the country. After 13 years, land grabbing shows little sign of slowing down and the first few months of 2014 have seen continued destruction of homes, forest and livelihoods.
March 21, 2014 Elections aside, land remained the single most contentious issue in Cambodia in 2013, as it has been for at least the last 10 years. Over 2.2 million hectares of Cambodian land have been granted to large firms in the form of economic land concessions (ELCs).
February 14, 2014 At about 7am this morning, the road leading to Borei Keila was blocked and riot police, military police and security guards were deployed to remove the families from the building. Six people were seriously injured in the ensuing clashes, including one 7-month-pregnant woman.
January 28, 2014 Today, the United Nations will conduct a Universal Periodical Review (UPR) of Cambodia to look into some of the key human rights issues affecting the country, from systematic attacks against human rights defenders to labour trafficking and obstacles against basic freedoms such as right to assembly and expression. LICADHO, by itself and with partners, has contributed to this process by submitting a number of documents.
September 4, 2013 Today marks one year of detention since the arrest of Boeung Kak activist and prisoner of conscience Yorm Bopha. This video tells her story, from her strong stance in support of detained community members to her arrest and groundless conviction.
July 23, 2013 The Guardian newspaper recently ran a damning expose of child labor on the KSL Group sugar plantations in Cambodia that supply the sugar giant Tate & Lyle Sugars. Rather than acting quickly to address the abuses, the companies seem to have resorted to a strategy of denial and legal bullying in an attempt to defend their tarnished reputations.
July 3, 2013 In the wake of another two days of protests by members of the Boeung Kak community in Phnom Penh, who are demanding just resolution to a long-standing land conflict affecting their community before the national election on 28 July, we the undersigned non-governmental organizations (NGOs) wish to condemn the use of disproportionate force against protesters by the municipal police and other security forces. These protests are just the latest in a series of protests which have resulted in the use of violence or disproportionate force against protesters calling for an end to land disputes.
May 31, 2013 Two Cambodian NGOs, LICADHO and Equitable Cambodia filed a petition on behalf of 602 complainants about serious human rights violations linked to large sugar concessions held by Thai sugar giant, Mitr Phol Sugar Corporation.
May 22, 2013 This year's Mothers Day coincided with the 250th day of imprisonment Yorm Bopha, a key Boeung Kak lake representative. The video highlight some of her activism and call for her release.
May 8, 2013 On the morning of May 8, 2013, Boeung Kak community activists gathered in front of the South Korean Embassy in Phnom Penh to call for the release of Boeung Kak activist Yorm Bopha, declared Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International earlier this year. The action was in solidarity with a similar gathering in front of the Cambodian Embassy in Seoul, where South Korean activists were joined by a visiting Boeung Kak community member. The simultaneous gatherings in the two countries each culminated in the supporters submitting letters calling for the release of Yorm Bopha to Embassy officials.
May 2, 2013 The Boeung Kak community and the undersigned civil society groups call for the inclusion of all remaining families into the 12.44ha concession area by the former lake. A new plan unveiled today by the community shows in detail how this could be achieved in a just and equitable fashion.
On August 11, 2011, Prime Minister Hun Sen signed Sub-Decree No. 183, awarding 12.44ha of the Boeung Kak lake area to the community, which since 2007 has been involved in a land dispute with Shukaku Inc., owned by CPP Senator Lao Meng Khin. Since then, 631 families have received titles for their land. However, over 70 families, whose homes are not located within the confines of the concession zone as outlined in the Sub-Decree, have been excluded.
April 23, 2013 There has been some recent confusion surrounding the criminal case against Boeung Kak community activist Yorm Bopha. The muddling of the facts causing this confusion has been no accident – it reflects an intentional campaign by the authorities, complete with plausible allegations of payments to counter-protestors and even a disturbing weighing-in by the Prime Minister himself. In reality the facts underlying Bopha’s unwarranted conviction are simple, and reveal beyond any doubt that the authorities have targeted her to create fear and self-censorship among the remaining active members of the beleaguered Boeung Kak community.