Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers stopped en route to capital

Villagers stopped en route to capital

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Police officials stop villagers on National Road 4 yesterday on their way from Kampong Speu province to deliver a petition in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

Villagers stopped en route to capital

Nearly 300 villagers from Kampong Speu were intercepted by district police yesterday while departing for Phnom Penh to submit a petition seeking Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet’s intervention in a seven-year-long land dispute with a sugar company.

The disputed land is part of a 9,000-hectare concession to the Phnom Penh Sugar Company, owned by Cambodian People’s Party Senator Ly Yong Phat, who also owns sugar plantations in Koh Kong and Oddar Meachey provinces that were developed following evictions.

One of the villagers, Nhang Ran, 38, said 290 locals from six villages in Thbong district boarded 12 vans destined for Phnom Penh before being halted, without reason, by a barricade erected by more than 20 district police officials, some of whom were armed.

“We asked the district police chief [for the reason] but he only said that he would not let us go. He said that he got an order to stop us and he just walked away,” he said.

District Police Chief Hun Sok Hun denied villagers’ allegations that the police stopped them, saying that they were merely making way for a convoy of unspecified “delegates”.

Another villager, Im Kong, 33, claimed that 571 families lost a total of 1,280 hectares of rice fields and 754 hectares of other farmland to the company in 2010 following the granting of the concession.

He also claimed that no proper compensation or other solutions were offered to villagers.In an email yesterday, the managing director of the company, Nhak Seng, expressed doubt about Kong’s estimate of land lost, saying “2,000 hectares of farming land is an unbelievable figure”.

He added that the company is willing to seek a solution with the villagers.

“The people that bring the petition are [representing] who? Do they have the authorised letter from Thbong villagers? If yes, our company [is] pleased to meet up with them and discuss any issue together and find the solution together,” he wrote.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • 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

  • 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