PHNOM PENH - 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.
Try Pheap’s assistant, Chey Piset, told VOA Khmer on Thursday that the company was cutting within the bounds of an economic concession granted by the government, and that it had broken no laws.
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.