Kratie provincial authorities met with more than 500 Pi Thnou commune families seeking a social land concession yesterday, making good on a promise made last week in order to get villagers to end their blocking of national road 6A.
The director of Snuol district council, Sum Chuon, said the meeting, which included Kratie’s deputy provincial governor and the Snuol district governor, determined a mechanism to verify the status of villagers living in the commune.
“District authorities will provide a letter to villagers on Wednesday to gather the names of the families’ members for provincial authorities to see. According to our check, they really don’t have land; the province will prepare a social land concession for them,” Sum Chuon said.
The 500 families blocked the road last Saturday to force a meeting with provincial authorities to air their grievances with the land-clearing activities of the Memot Rubber Plantation, Sovann Rithy, Samnang Angkor and Day Nam companies.
Villagers say repeated requests for social land concessions have been denied by authorities.
Villager representative Huo Nayuth, 48, said that the land of some villagers had already been bulldozed by the companies.
“Some villagers live by taking wood oil and pulling vines. Those trees are cut by companies for development. The villagers need the land to live,” she said.
Villagers are asking that a five-hectare social land concession be given to each family for housing and farming, warning if the issue is not resolved, they will block the road again in greater numbers.
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