Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Protesters complain of broken promises

Protesters complain of broken promises

Protesters complain of broken promises

About 300 villagers in Preah Vihear’s Rovieng district gathered in front of Romdoh commune hall yesterday to protest against a mining company drilling on their land and what they characterised as a broken promise by the company and commune officials to return to the negotiating table.

Demonstrators said that authorities and company representatives had failed to meet them yesterday as promised, but commune chief Som Virak maintained yesterday that he had told villagers on Wednesday that the meeting would have to be postponed.

Villagers, however, were unconvinced.

“They should have informed us in advance if they were not coming, and they let us wait for them all morning for nothing,” said Sreung Simphorn, 60. “It is a trick and a lie [from the authorities] to their own people.”

Simphorn added that his family had bought 25 hectares of land in Romdoh in 2004, but risked losing it to the company for what he thought was an unfair price of $1,000 per hectare.

TPB-TV Development was granted licenses to drill for marble, but was told in the grants that drilling must stop if it affected locals, villagers say.

Lor Chann, a provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said he had visited the mining site yesterday, and saw workers there – armed with an air-powered homemade rifle – drilling on the disputed land to depths of 25 to 30 metres.

However Virak, the commune chief, said yesterday that officials would inspect the works, and that most villagers’ claims were not legitimate.

“There are only 63 affected families,” he said. “Among those, there are only three to four old families. Besides them, all of them are new settlers who have just cleared state land to own and sell without listening to authorities.”

TPB-TV representative Kim Nhor, meanwhile, denied affecting villagers’ lands, and said villagers had not been constructively negotiating.

“They have not even said how much they want” for the land, he said. “If they did, it would be easy for us to suggest it to our superiors for … resolution.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all