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Logging Lord - Laos

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Uploaded on Oct 26, 2007

June 1996
On the Nakay Plateau of Laos, the logging trucks of General Cheng's Mountainous Area Development Company (BPKP) are a 24 hour concern. Ironically, he is also in charge of the Human Resettlement Programme, moving native people out of the forest into the modern world. The BPKP says traditional 'slash and burn' cultivation is destroying the forest, justifying the relocation of 20% of the population. After work Cheng often wanders into his own private zoo. With many rare animals caged-up, Cheng seeing no contradiction in saving a few specimens whilst destroying their natural habitat. The General is also fascinated by the diverse cultures in the forest and has plucked 95 children away from their families to receive an education at the BPKP's expense. 9 year old Noy tells of being frightened as the General whisked her away in his Russian helicopter, to study in Lak Xoa. Si Tea, as Village Chief, has been given the largest house in a BPKP model village, but whilst the BPKP claims Si Tea 'owns' his new home, he is not allowed to sell it. The first families live in relative comfort, but as the rest arrive, there simply won't be enough land to resettle everyone.

Produced by ABC Australia
Distributed by Journeyman Pictures

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