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Protesters take land dispute to parliament

About a hundred villagers from Preah Vihear province who have been staying in Phnom Penh for almost three months gathered in front of the National Assembly yesterday to ask the government for a speedy resolution to their land dispute with a ruling party lawmaker.

“If it is not solved, we will stay in the capital until we get a settlement,” said community representative Yon Sokhun, adding that some of the group were allowed into the assembly.

Opposition lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang said he would urge the members of the parliamentary human rights commission he chairs to summon the Preah Vihear provincial governor and UNESCO to explain the matter, according to community representative Phan Thouen.

The villagers’ petition accuses Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker Sous Yara, the nephew of Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, of using armed force to destroy 253 houses, pagodas and schools in Kantuot village.

Yara denied the villagers’ claims.

“I do everything based on the law, and what I am doing is not for my own benefit but for the nation, so we have to clearly examine who arranged the protest.”

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