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Families plan march over Koh Kong land dispute

Some 400 people representing 554 families locked in a decade-long land dispute with two sugar companies in Koh Kong province – subsidiaries of a Thai company that sells to producers of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo products – are planning a march to deliver petitions to four commune halls on January 20 requesting intervention from local authorities.

Om Phon, a community representative from Sre Ambel district’s Chi Khor Krom commune, said the demonstrators will ride 200 motorbikes and tractors to deliver petitions to the Dang Peng, Chi Khor Leu, Chi Khor Krom and Kandorl commune halls over the 2,436 hectares of disputed land.

“The local authorities did not note their names down in the land dispute list, so we are gathering to protest and ask for a solution,” he said.

Koh Kong Provincial Hall spokesman Uoch Touch said that he has not yet received the letter filed on Monday by the communities notifying officials of the planned march but said authorities are trying to solve the dispute.

“Overall, we have tried according to the set conditions, and we have never left the problem unsolved,” he said.

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