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Minority Groups Protest Forest Destruction

More than 500 people from several ethnic minority groups staged a protest in Ratanakkiri province Thursday, upset by forest destruction and exploitation by rich and powerful men.

Several thousand hectares of forest across the province have been damaged or destroyed, including ancestral burial grounds, protesters claim.

Authorities have not done enough to stop powerful business interests from infringing on forest land the ethnic minorities say is important to their culture and survival.

The group held a march around the town of Ratanakkiri, passing provincial headquarters, courts, police headquarters and the offices of the Ministry of Agriculture’s forestry department.