Officials: Wuzhishan Disrupts Japanese Dam Plan

Wuzhishan LS Group, the Chi­nese plantation company accused of grabbing land from Phnong minority villagers and a Japanese company in Mondolkiri, has also dis­rupted a Japanese plan to build a hydroelectric dam in the area, of­ficials said Tuesday.

The Japanese International Co­operation Agency had proposed to build the dam, which would provide power to the area, on a two-me­ter tall waterfall built during the French Protectorate in Sen Mono­rom district, said third provincial Deputy Governor Nha Rang Chan.             “Wuz­hishan planted baby pine trees and took the water from that dam to water their baby pine trees,” he said.

Wuzhishan is already believed to have planted pine trees on 7,000 hectares of land originally reserved for a Japanese company  proposing a 10,000-hectare rubber plantation.

Nha Rang Chan encouraged the two companies to negotiate their differences. “Mondolkiri has no other land to offer, so please just ne­­gotiate.”

Nuth Sa An, Interior Ministry sec­retary of state, said,  “[Wuzhi­shan] just built a road leading to that area.” The head of an inter-ministerial committee charged with resolving the dispute between Wuzhi­shan, the villagers and the Ja­panese entities, he said he was optimistic the Chinese company’s de­velopment wouldn’t affect the dam project.

The committee has ordered the Agriculture Ministry to resolve the dispute between the two companies and between Wuzhishan and the Phnong villagers, who allege the Chinese company is stealing their farmland and sacred forests.

Agriculture Minister Chan Sa­run could not be reached for com­ment Tuesday, and JICA officials said they could not comment.


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