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Tuesday's News Brief

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Tuesday expresses grave concerns that the Ratanakiri provincial Governor allegedly rejected the prosecutor decision on 16 November 2006 in halting the planned bulldozing of 115 hectares of disputed land in Chrung and Kachok villages, Kok commune, Bokeo district, and Ratanakiri province.

According to AHRC the land belongs to the local indigenous community, has been protected by the villagers in Kok commune and is used for sustainable cultivation. Ratanakiri provincial governor, Mong Poy, cannot be reached for comments.

In another development, the Kampong Thom Electric Authority reportedly raises the price of electricity to 1,600 riels from 1,400 riels.

Opposition lawmaker Sok Pheng who represents Kampong Thom says he has received phone calls from people who complain about the price increase. Director of the Kampong Thom Electricity Authority can not be reached for comments.

The families of the 6 men who were arrested on terrorism charges right before the Water Festival say the six men were arrested without proper warrants and without clear reasons, according to the Cambodian Center for Human Rights.

The Cambodian government announced the arrests right before the start of the traditional water festival earlier this month. Neither the Director of the Anti-Terrorism office in the Ministry of the Interior nor the ministry's spokesman can be reached for comments.

In another development, FUNCINPEC officials in Kampot province reportedly told human rights workers that the district councils had forced them to make thumb print declaring their loyalty with the party as Prince Ranariddh is forming a new political party under his name.

A Cambodian Center for Human Rights worker says a FUNCINPEC representative last week ordered his colleague to collect thumb print from district chiefs and council members to show their loyalty to the party.

FUNCINPEC representative in Kampot denies the allegation. He explains that the party did not force anyone to declare their loyalty. He says the purpose is to find out the numbers of party members because the party needs to select candidates for the upcoming local elections.