More than 70 people from Ponhea Leu district, Kandal province, protested at the National Assembly in Phnom Penh yesterday, where they petitioned the prime minister’s cabinet for government intervention in a land dispute with Société Khmer des Distilleries (SKD).
Provincial authorities sought to appease villagers earlier this month with additional compensation; however, according to protester Koy Chanthorn, the community refused and continued the bid for their property’s return – a request that has gone unheeded in a two decades-long dispute.
The land covers 155 hectares in Chhvang and Chrey Las communes and has been a source of contention since authorities redistributed the land in 1996, allowing some smallholders to sell plots to SKD. Company rep Lem Kea said that they have documents to prove their lawful ownership. Chan Cheng, a member of the National Assembly, said he will arrange for the site to be inspected in order to reach a resolution.