Svay Rieng denies cutting ancient tree for profit

Source : Khmer Times

Authorities say the tree showed signs of rot and had to be cut down. DAP News

Svay Rieng Provincial Hall yesterday shot down local media reports that the administration was responsible for cutting down and selling a 200-year-old tree and warned that legal action could be taken if the rumour persists.

Last week, local media reported that the ancient tree was cut down and sold for about $1,000,000.

In a statement, the administration defended itself by saying that the tree was cut because it had begun to show signs of rot.

“The Provincial Hall decided to cut it down on July 21,” it said. “The tree wasn’t cut by loggers to make a profit.”

The administration lambasted the media report as inciting the public and noted that signs of decay were clearly seen on the tree, meaning that it could pose a danger during strong weather.

It added that the tree will be repurposed as tables and chairs for the Provincial Hall.

Provincial Hall spokesman Ros Tharith said yesterday that the news was fake and baseless and that legal action could be considered.

“It’s not like the how the media reported that the tree was stolen and sold for $1,000,000,” Mr Tharith said. “The cutting of that tree was necessary and it will now be used to make chairs, tables and doors.”

“Such a story pollutes and confuses the general public,” he added. “It deserves to be investigated. If they stay quiet, then we will just stop there. However, if not, we’ll take legal action.”



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