Villagers representing hundreds of families embroiled in a land dispute in Kratie’s Snoul district returned to Phnom Penh yesterday to seek a resolution from a number of national government offices.
The same villagers handed over a petition to the prime minister’s Cabinet on May 3 after 200 houses were allegedly razed by Kratie provincial police.
On May 7, the authorities banned the families from returning to their Ksem commune homes because they have been living in a protected forest area, village representative Nguon Vibol said. “We were threatened with jail for between five and eight years,” he said.
More than 400 impoverished families living in the area since 2008 say that Bin Pheurk, a Vietnamese rubber firm, began clearing their farmland in 2012.
Kratie Deputy Governor Khan Chamnan said yesterday that 104 families had already been granted new land nearby and that a social land concession had been earmarked for others in a different district.