Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Violent dispute is far from over

Violent dispute is far from over

Violent dispute is far from over

110711_3
A bloodied policeman and a villager receive treatment from a doctor after the violent land dispute last month in Kampong Speu province.

OFFICIALS are reportedly planning another attempt to enforce a Supreme Court-ordered eviction in Kampong Speu province, villagers said yesterday, following an effort last month that ended in violence.

Bun Sokhom, a 46-year-old resident of Stok Slar village in Oudong district’s Phnom Toch commune, said yesterday that authorities had warned villagers during a forum on Saturday that they would take any legal action necessary to seize a 65-hectare area that has been the centre of a dispute since 2004.

A 2009 Supreme Court verdict ruled that the land belonged to the Meng Keth Company, owned by Taiwanese businessman Kuo Sheng, but villagers who disagree with the outcome have continued to occupy and plant rice on the land.

Deputy provincial governor Satthya Vuth reportedly accused residents of an “illegal occupation”, and said that the villagers had “no rights” to the land as they had sold it to the company and lost their case at three different courts, Bun Sokhom said.

Satthya Vuth and Oudong district governor Poul Nov, who attended the forum sponsored by the United States-based National Democratic Institute with villagers, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Yan Sokhom, a 40-year-old from Por village of Dom Nak Rieng commune, said yesterday that villagers were united in their determination to protect land they believed was rightfully theirs.

While Nut Romduol, a lawmaker for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party from Kampong Speu province, said yesterday that he had submitted a letter to National Assembly President Heng Samrin requesting further investigation into the dispute.

Last month, about 300 policemen attempted to carry out a Supreme Court-ordered eviction of villagers in the 65-hectare area, but encountered a force of roughly 250 armed residents from Damnak Raing and Phnom Touch communes.

A skirmish in Stock Slat village left at least 11 injured, including one villager who had been shot by police, and a police officer who was beaten unconscious by locals.

Another policeman was taken hostage by villagers who discussed whether to kill him.

Local authorities later filed a complaint against villagers for injuries to four policemen.

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