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Kampot fishermen protest by leaflets

TWO hundred fishermen from three villages in Kampot province briefly stopped vehicles Wednesday on National Road 3 to hand out leaflets detailing two ongoing marine development projects they say have negatively impacted their livelihoods, but some said police interrupted their activities and tore their handbills.

The construction of a deep-sea port in Kampot and the reclamation of coastal land for an ecotourism development planned by the Keo Chea company have prompted concerns from local residents.

Chan Dara, a villager from Kep Thmey village’s Boeung Touk commune, said that since the operations began, they could not access traditional fishing grounds. “We stopped passengers driving along National Road 3 towards the coast to tell them that we need the authorities’ help to find a solution for us,” she said, adding that 500 leaflets were distributed Wednesday.

Cheav Samith, provincial police deputy chief, denied villagers’ allegations that authorities destroyed the leaflets.

“We ... deployed police to the location of the incident to prevent any big protest from happening,” he said.

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