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Apsara to file suit in land row

Apsara to file suit in land row

Photo by: Rann Reuy
Villagers in Siem Reap’s Kokchak commune on Thursday gather near the remains of a house that was
demolished by the Apsara Authority.

Siem Reap Province
THE Apsara Authority plans to file a complaint against villagers who tried to prevent the destruction of an illegally built home in Siem Reap’s Kokchak commune Wednesday, saying they threatened workers and damaged government property.

Prom Karona, acting director of the Order and Cooperation Department at the Apsara Authority, which protects and manages the Angkor temple complex, said a complaint would be filed against seven or eight villagers who incited others to violently attack the officials.

“Government forces defended themselves, because some villagers carried machetes and gasoline bottles to burn [officials’] cars,” he said.

The house was built inside a protected area without permission from the authorities, he added.

Soeut Sey, the 24-year-old pregnant woman who owned the house, said it was destroyed while she was away.

“I want them to rebuild my house and give back my belongings,” she said, adding that she lost US$300 and a water jar in the demolition.

Before building the house, she said, she was granted permission from the village and commune chiefs.

Say Sun, 26, said he was assaulted by authorities as they tried to demolish the dwelling. “I came to ask them not to destroy the house because she is pregnant and her husband is away, but they pushed me down, and when I stood up they slapped me,” he said.

Prom Karona dismissed accusations that the woman lost $300. “We saw only the house, the water jar and two beds,” he said. Bun Narith, director general of the Apsara Authority, could not be reached for comment.

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