The Imam who leads a congregation of more than 2,000 Sunni Muslims in Tboung Khmum province’s Rokapor Pram village in Tboung Khmum district has openly declared that some villagers are actively involved in land grabbing activities.
Imam Mohd Soleh, 62, said that generally there is no conflict in the village because all the Muslims there are from the same Sunni sect of Islam.
“We cultivate rubber, cassava and cashew and supplement it with rice cultivation,” he said. “We will not claim we are poor and neither are we rich but we have enough means to live a decent live.”
“However, there are some people in our village who have ventured out to other provinces to grab forest land,” he added.
Imam Soleh said that though land grabbing is an illegal activity, he could not stop the villagers who embarked on this illegal scheme to get rick quickly. They grabbed the land and then ventured into real estate business to sell forest land to other people.
“The land grabbing is in faraway provinces such as Rattanakiri, Mondulkiri and Kampong Thom,” he said.
“In Kampong Thom, a number of Muslim villagers had settled there and got involved with agricultural activities as paid farmers while some who had grabbed land and managed to get some form of ownership, did their own farming.”
Full story in Friday’s paper