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Omlaing villagers take case to capital

120213_05

Villagers who have been locked in a land dispute in Kampong Speu province’s Thpong district are set to take their grievances to several government institutions in the capital today,  as they continue to push for the release of a mother who has been detained since December.

Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post
Villagers protest outside the Kampong Speu provincial court last week.

Resident Phal Vannak told the Post yesterday five representatives of Omlaing commune, armed with the thumbprints of about 1,000 residents, would deliver a statement of demands to the Ministry of Interior, the National Assembly, the Council of Ministers, the Royal Palace and Hun Sen’s residence.

The villagers are involved in a dispute that involves  land granted to the Phnom Penh Sugar Company.

At the top of villagers’ list of demands is the release of 49-year-old Chum Srey Noun, who was detained on December 15 after being summ-onsed for questioning.

Previous attempts at securing her release, including one last week in which villagers claim to have been threatened with guns, have been ineffective.

“We have tried to protest at the provincial court several times, but they don’t care about our requests and instead deploy police . . . to threaten to arrest us,” Phal Vannak said. “Now we need the Prime Minister and the King to help us.”

The villagers also want authorities to issue proper land titles to residents and to stop threatening them and issuing court summonses.

Provincial deputy governor Pen Sambou could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Phnom Penh Sugar Company representative Chheang Kim Sun denied that any problems existed between the company and villagers.

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