About 100 villagers took possession of two bulldozers owned by the Rui Feng company and detained the drivers, who they said were clearing property the community uses as grazing land, said villager Sath Say, 63.
The incident was not the first time villagers had stopped and held machinery owned by the company and its affiliates.
“They had promised not to clear that area and they’ve cleared almost all of our forest . . . They even bulldozed the demarcation posts – they cleared about a dozen hectares,” Say said.
“The district governor, police, military and company came to compromise with the villages . . . They promised not to do it again and if they do, [the authorities] said villagers can do whatever they want to.”
Reached yesterday, district police chief Chhuon Mady said the district governor had resolved the problem, but was unable to give further details about the incident.
When asked who was at fault in the incident, Mady said he didn’t know. “I was only checking on security.”