Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Residents set to protest after villagers' arrest

Residents set to protest after villagers' arrest

Residents set to protest after villagers' arrest

About 200 villagers from Banteay Meanchey province’s Malai district will protest in front of the provincial court today to request the release of two village representatives arrested on Thursday in connection with a land dispute, villagers said yesterday.

Ly Khley, 43, a villager and former Khmer Rouge soldier from Tuol Pongro commune’s Santipheap village, said that provincial police had arrested Yin Vang, 49, and Saing Ban, 53, as they ploughed a rice paddy on the disputed land.

“It is very unjust because they arrested our two representatives and told us not to protest, and they said that if anybody resisted, they would be shot,” Ly Khley said, adding that about 60 villagers had already protested in front of the provincial court on Saturday.

Provincial court judge Theam Chan Piseth confirmed that police had arrested the two men for clearing Ly Out Ny’s land.

Ly Khley said that after former Khmer Rouge soldiers joined with the government in 1996, a local military commander had given about five hectares of land each to 376 families, which villagers did not use until 2009 because they had been “working” elsewhere.

He claimed that after businessman Ly Out Ny declared ownership of the land in 2009, villagers filed a complaint to the Defence Ministry. In response, Defence Minister Tea Banh decreed that each family should receive one hectare and that Ly Out Ny should receive 28.

Ly Out Ny said yesterday that he had bought 459 hectares of land in the area in 1998 and had documents recognised by local authorities.

“After I cleared parts of the land [of mines], people came to take over my land,” he said, adding that the villagers had no land titles to support their claims.

Soum Chankea, Banteay Meanchey coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said yesterday that Ly Out Ny had filed a complaint in 2009 in relation to the dispute to the provincial court, which awarded him the 459 hectares of land this year.

Defence Ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat and provincial police chief Kheng Soum could not be reached for comment.


  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • American ‘fugitive’ arrested in Cambodia outside of US Embassy

    An American citizen was arrested on request by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, according to Cambodian police. Major General Uk Hei Sela, chief of investigations at the Department of Immigration, identified the man as American Jan Sterling Hagen, and said he was

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which