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Villagers camping to resist companies

Villagers in Prey Vihear province’s Tbeng Meanchey district embroiled in a land dispute with two Chinese-owned companies have been camping on the land since Sunday in an effort to prevent it being cleared.

“The companies brought seven machines to clear land,” said Nuon Mun, 63, a village representative.

“We have just been camping here to guard the land; we are having the land registered, but they keep trying to clear it, now we will stop them whenever they try.”

Rui Feng and Lan Feng were awarded 8,841 hectares and 9,015 hectares, respectively, to plant sugarcane and rubber in 2011.

But about 6,000 hectares of the economic land concession in Tbeng Meanchey’s Brame commune includes land important to villagers for residential, farming and spiritual purposes, said Luot Sang, a staffer at local NGO Ponlok Khmer.

Sang on Tuesday submitted more than 10 documents to district government officials, which, he said, proves the land belongs to villagers.

Ing Thing Kong, a representative for Lan Feng, could not be reached for comment yesterday nor could representatives for Rui Feng.

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