Amid rising tensions, authorities in Tbong Khmum province yesterday pledged to intervene in a long-running land conflict between Dambe district residents and a Chinese company by demarcating the disputed area with wooden posts.
The decision came after authorities met yesterday afternoon with community representatives who had been leading large protests outside of the district hall for two days.
The 200 protesting Trapaing Praing commune residents say Chinese company Haminivent Investment has been using excavators to clear a 600-hectare plot of land they claim to own.
“Now the excavators have stopped clearing the land and the authorities have ordered the company to wait until we start to put up the land posts,” said District Governor Neat Ravuth.
Vong Seng Thuy, an investigator with local rights group Licadho, welcomed the decision.
“The authorities fear violence from villagers over the land dispute so that is why they agreed to demarcate the land with posts. I think it is a good solution because that dispute has been going on since 2010.”
But those involved in the dispute were less optimistic.
“We find it hard to believe the authorities will find a solution because they used to promise us [it would be resolved] but . . . it still happens,” said villager, Phim Seima.
Company representatives could not be reached.