Ministry Requests Governor Response to Minorities

The Interior Ministry on Friday released a letter that it sent to Mondolkiri provincial governor Eng Bunheang asking him to respond to a petition—filed last month and thumbprinted by 900 members of 17 ethnic minority Bunong communities—requesting his removal.

The letter was dated November 4 and signed by Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak.

“I wish to inform His Excellency the governor that the Interior Ministry received the complaint from Bunong ethnic minority people demanding that he be removed from his position as governor,” said the letter, which was released after a representative from the community went to the ministry to check on the status of their petition.

“Please His Excellency the governor file a report explaining the case to the Interior Ministry,” the letter said.

In their petition, the Bunong villagers said Mr. Bunheang should be removed because he allowed authorities to prevent them from marching on International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and did not make any efforts to assist with their land disputes.

The governor said yesterday that he would respond soon. “I already received the letter and I will give an explanation soon to the Interior Ministry,” Mr. Bunheang said.

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