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Evictees lobby bank for payment

More than 200 villagers from Kampong Speu protested in front of ANZ Royal Bank’s headquarters in Phnom Penh yesterday, demanding the bank pay them compensation.

The group, which also demonstrated outside the National Assembly, represented 800 families from Thpong and Oral districts who are locked in a long-running land dispute with Phnom Penh Sugar Company.

Oral community representative Cheng Sopheap said the bank owed the villagers compensation because it financed the industrial plantations that displaced them.

“They are trying to avoid responsibility,” he said, adding that demonstrators had sent a petition to the bank’s director.

ANZ has repeatedly said that the company – owned by the wife of tycoon and ruling party senator Ly Yong Phat – is no longer a customer.

Sin Satha, a representative of Phnom Penh Sugar Company, pointed to a recently announced decision by the EU to investigate the eviction as a step forward.

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