Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - B’bang village heads for border

B’bang village heads for border

B’bang village heads for border

A village of 212 hectares in Battambang’s Bavel district has nearly become a ghost town after an alleged land grab by three tycoons has forced hundreds to find work abroad, locals and a rights group said yesterday.

In 2004, Boeung Raing commune’s Boeung 2 village was cleared by 128 families, who cultivated the land there until it became a village in 2006, according Chut Mao, 67, an early settler of the area whose children he said have since illegally immigrated to Thailand out of desperation.

Young villagers began leaving in droves last year after wealthy tycoons Song Thorn, Sorn Bunthoeun and Pen Ke began claiming the area as their own, according to locals.

Chan Soveth, deputy chief for Adhoc’s investigation department, confirmed yesterday that about 50 per cent of the village’s population was pursuing work abroad.

Phorn Pan, 62, a resident whose five children immigrated to Thailand in pursuit of work, also expressed sorrow that only the elderly remain left in the village.

“Before the election [last year], authorities came and promised to find a solution,” he said yesterday. “Instead, we only see court summonses to clarify the violence.”

Commune chief Chhea Ny was unable to outline any solutions yesterday, explaining that meetings were under way between people up the chain of command and NGOs.

Thorn, Bunthoeun and Ke could not be reached for comment yesterday.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all