Rice Seeds Spark CNRP Border Complaint in Svay Rieng Province

A CNRP official from Svay Rieng province has filed a complaint with the provincial governor over what he claims are intrusions by Vietnamese farmers into border areas prohibited for farming, the latest salvo in an ongoing series of opposition claims concerning border disputes between Cambodia and Vietnam.

Kong Mas, a member of the CNRP’s provincial working group, said on Monday that he had filed the complaint on Thursday after he and other party officials visited border marker 189 in Chantrea district’s Tuol Sdei commune the day before.

He said the Vietnamese farmers were not there at the time because they were warned of the visit, but piles of leftover rice seed confirmed their presence.

“I don’t understand why Vietnamese farmers can farm the land on the line of border marker 189 when Vietnamese authorities banned Cambodian people from farming there,” Mr. Mas said.

He said about 1,000 hectares of land were also being leased to farmers in Tuol Sdei and Chantrea communes, despite the Interior Ministry banning the practice last year.

Deputy provincial governor Pich Savann said he had been ordered on Monday to inspect the farmland in question.

“I want to find justice clearly, and find out who rents that land and who is the landowner,” Mr. Savann said, declining to comment further.

The complaint comes about two months after acting CNRP President Kem Sokha urged hundreds of youth activists at the CNRP’s Phnom Penh headquarters to focus on the party’s plan to strengthen border protection while campaigning for upcoming commune elections.

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