Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Armed group blocks Pheapimex workers

Armed group blocks Pheapimex workers

Armed group blocks Pheapimex workers

MORE than 200 armed villagers yesterday occupied a rice field to prevent a company owned by Choeung Sopheap, the wife of Cambodian People’s Party senator Lao Meng Khin, from digging a channel through their rice fields in Pursat province’s Krakor district.

Sok Charoeun, a representative of the villagers, who live in Ansa Chombok commune, said the Pheapimex investment company had sent bulldozers in to begin digging the channel on Tuesday evening.

“Now villagers are ready to fight against the company, and they are sitting on that land to wait for the company,” he said yesterday. “If they come to clear the land today, the villagers don’t have guns but they do have knives and axes.”

He said that if villagers were made to give up all the land granted to the company, they would “lose everything”.

Soeng Senkaruna, provincial coordinator for the rights group Licadho, said that the villagers’ land had been granted to Pheapimex in 2000 as part of an economic land concession that spanned 315,028 hectares in Kampong Chhnang and Pursat provinces.

He noted that the Land Law calls for such concessions to be capped at 10,000 hectares, and that he did not understand why the company had been granted such a large concession.

“The government should be rethinking this land concession, and should study the impact it has on people,” he said.

A company proposal to grow cassia trees on the land was approved by Prime Minister Hun Sen in February.

Representatives of the company could not be reached for comment yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • Cambodia nabs 12th place in best retirement destinations

    Cambodia is an expatriate hotspot for those dreaming of living a more luxurious lifestyle at an affordable cost, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2019. For the fourth year in a row, Cambodia took the top spot in the Cost of Living category.

  • EU starts EBA withdrawal

    The EU on Monday announced that it has begun the 18-month process of withdrawing the Kingdom’s access to its preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement over “a deterioration of democracy [and] respect for human rights”. However, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) said

  • PM: War result of foreign meddling

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Cambodia’s recent history of conflict was caused by foreign interference. “The wars that happened were caused by provocation, incitement, support, smearing and interference from foreign powers, and the group of ignorant people who pushed Cambodia to