An investigation has been launched by district authorities in Sanamxay, Attapeu Province, following reports of a foreign company encroaching on villagers’ farmland without their consent.
Lao National Radio reports that the district authorities are aware of the issue and have requested relevant officials to collect information and investigate the cause of the incident.
The report, which was shared on social media on May 13, alleges that a Chinese company has encroached upon land used by villagers to cultivate coffee and cassava, in a protected plateau forest area.
A video highlighting the confrontation between the villagers and the company has gone viral on social media as Sanamxay district villagers plead to authorities to immediately investigate the incident so that they regain ownership of the land.
Mr. Phouvanh Manisot, Sanamxay District Deputy Party Secretary, called on the public to be patient and to avoid spreading rumors about the incident as the district is committed to resolving the issue in a fair and transparent manner that safeguarded the rights of the affected villagers.
He said that the district has asked the relevant authorities to investigate the incident and take appropriate action, however, he admitted that forest land management is a complex issue for the local government.
The invasion of villagers’ production land is a serious issue. It is important that the district authorities take swift action to investigate the incident and protect the rights of the villagers.