Farmers Sue Top Officials, Blame Them for Flooding

The Cambodian Independence Farmer’s Association has filed a lawsuit against Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly Pres­ident Prince Norodom Ra­na­riddh in Phnom Penh Municipal Court, accusing the top officials of damaging their crops by allowing logging companies to cut trees throughout the country, which led to massive flooding.

Claiming that CIFA has a duty to protect the rights and interests of farmers, association President Chham Chhany said the lawsuit “has had enough reason” to bring both Hun Sen and Prince Rana­riddh to court because they have permitted logging companies to destroy the countryside.

“Hundreds of people lost their lives in floods and a big number of farmers’ plantation and property were damaged and destroyed in recent floods,” stated the complaint, filed by Sok Pheng, lawyer for CIFA. “Based on technical factors, the deforestation is an intention of pre-thought murder [of innocent people].”

Two months ago, CIFA filed a similar complaint but withdrew it immediately “be­cause the previous president feared about his security,” Sok Phen said. The president re­signed after the complaint was withdrawn, Sok Phen said.

“If the court keeps our complaint we will go up to the Su­preme Council of Magistracy,” Sok Pheng said.

Phnom Penh court clerk Kim Chheng Bun said the courts received the complaint six days ago and the case is being investigated by Prosecutor Chhim Chiva, but Chhim Chiva said he was not aware of the complaint.

CIFA, formed in early 2000 with an estimated 40 members, has helped thousands of flood victims, Chham Chhany claimed.

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