Around 100 villagers from Kampong Chhnang province’s Kampong Tralach district protested in front of the provincial governor’s office on Monday to ask that they be allowed to plant rice on a 145-hectare area of land that has been the subject of an ongoing dispute involving the wife of a government minister, villagers said Monday. The villagers also asked for the release of seven people who were jailed between 2002 and 2009 in connection with the land row. Of the 108 families originally involved in the dispute, 64 are still holding out against KDC International Company, whose president Chea Kheng is the wife of Suy Sem, the minister of industry, mines and energy. Chheng Rum, a villager, said, “We just want to ask the provincial governor to allow us to plant rice on the disputed land because we have missed out on planting rice for one year already.” He added that they would also request pardons for seven imprisoned villagers. Touch Marin, Kampong Chhnang provincial governor, declined to comment, and Hou Chanthou, Kampong Tralach district governor could not be reached.
Land Dispute: Villagers protest in KChhnang