Koh Kong Governor Bun Leart has promised villagers evicted from their land by Chinese-owned Union Development Group that he will give their petition to Minister of Environment Say Sam Al today.
The villagers are demanding a review of the company’s $3.8 billion concession, which led to the eviction of about 1,000 families.
“I will take your request to submit to the national level,” Leart said following a meeting with petitioners yesterday.
Pum Tour, 45, said the villagers had struggled to make a living in relocation sites since the company took over the land more than five years ago.
“We need our farmland back. We depend entirely on our plantations,” he said.
In Kong Che, provincial coordinator for rights group Licadho, said the petition was one of many attempts by communities across the country in recent weeks to raise their disputes following a speech by Prime Minister Hun Sen last month in which he blamed local officials for the scale of land rights abuses and forced evictions.