Lumber Tycoon Denies Allegations of Illegal Deforestation

The assistant of a lumber tycoon accused of major deforestation and forced evictions rejected Thursday the findings of a recent report by local rights groups. The Cambodian Human Rights Task Force said in its report that some 1,400 families had been pushed from their land by the company of Try Pheap, and that the company had deforested some 70,000 hectares of land across 11 provinces. … Cheam Yiep, a lawmaker for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, said he plans to initiate a fact-finding mission over the allegations. “And if it is true, we’ll summon the ministers of Agriculture and of the Environment to come and explain,” he said.

Kong Sothanarith