He died by trying to protect the ramaining forests

I could not believe, even one word, from the “fake story” of the death of Mr. Chhut Vuthy and of Mr. In Ratana on 26.04.12, offered by the government’s investigating committee during the recent press conference. How many people still need to die or suffer for this injustice? We are against this impunity culture! I wrote this phrase on May 5, 2012, on my facebook page after hearing a liar described in a TV program about the death’s cause of this environmental activist, who lost his life to serve the forest in a National Park. To the members of his family, my heartfelt condolence. I strongly hope that the real culprit could be brought to justice, one day.

During a fly from Bangkok to New Delhi, I read the same news in The Economist, which reported about this fatal shooting. In 2010, 2011 in early 2012, there is increasing trends of violent acts against civilians, land protestors; including women and children, human rights activists; who stand up against powerful people, influential businessmen, corrupt politicians and autocratic authorities. They are mainly on the loser side, but they do not give up. In a recent report of Amnesty International: since 2003 around 420,000 people were affected by economic land concessions and evictions in Phnom Penh and across the country. According to Licadho, around 2 million ha (11% of total land area) as economic land concessions, were granted to private companies and influential newly rich guys around the political elites. It is amazing to see how these people turned themselves (from a poor background, mostly farmers) from  “Revolutionaries to Millionaires”, just in two decades. They betrayed the revolution.

He was shot in the driver seat of his own car. Photo shared by fb user

He was shot in the driver seat of his own car. Photo shared by fb user

Before the war, in the 60th, natural forest-covered 73% of the Cambodian territory. Now, it is estimated that this country has about 58% forest coverage (official version), may be even lower. Some observers believe it would be much less, between 30-40%. Beside, the good timber were gone due to illegal logging and anarchic land grabbing activities.

So far, I have not seen a single person behind bar because of illegal logging, but many people (journalists, forests advocates, innocent villagers etc) lost their life or in prison, WHY?



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