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Land fight in Kampong Speu

Some 250 families in Kampong Speu province’s Phnom Sruoch district have sought intervention from rights group Adhoc to help resolve a land dispute involving a business they allege is headed by the son of former provincial governor Kang Heang.

Families from three villages say Heang, who left his position last year, offered a 910-hectare land concession to Master International Perison Group in 1997.

“We have filed to every government institution … our last choice is to depend on NGOs for help,” community representative Sao Pom said.

In 2011, the company began clearing fields, which prompted violent clashes.

Villager Sao Yuy, 64, said Prime Minister Hun Sen’s student land measurers had promised to demarcate the families’ land if they voted for the ruling party at last year’s election.

“We have already fulfilled our jobs, so this time we’ll act through our own means,” she said. “The authorities have given economic land concessions to the company blindly without knowing the land belongs to families farming yearly, so the authorities stoke disputes.”

A document signed by former Agriculture Minister Chan Sarun says the concession was Heang’s idea. However, he denied wrongdoing yesterday.

“We never seized people’s land. It is state land.… We do not know where these stupid people and idiots come from,” he said, adding his son was not involved in the company.



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