About 200 residents of Svay Rieng province’s Romeas Hek district staged a protest in front of the district police office on Monday to demand the release of a representative who was arrested in the morning in connection with a land dispute involving a rubber company. Pao Chhat, one of the protesters, said Yea Yeoung had been arrested one day after he and 100 residents of Tras commune gathered in front of the Peam Chaing Rubber Company in an effort to convince the company to reopen a road that had been cut off for five days. “We want to ask district police why they arrested him. They should arrest all of the villagers because we went together. It wasn’t just him,” he said. Roughly 400 families in Romeas Hek have accused the company of impinging on their cassava and cashew plantations. Representatives said they filed a complaint with the district governor against the company in December 2009 but have yet to receive a response. District police chief Chum Ry accused Yea Yeoung of threatening military police during Sunday’s protest. Company owner Neang Sarin could not be reached for comment.
Land Dispute: Villagers in Svay Rieng demonstrate