Ninety-five out of the 317 families who were locked in a long-running land dispute with Oknha Ly Yong Phat’s sugar company since 2006 accepted the solution to end the dispute under a compromise negotiated by the Koh Kong provincial authority.
Provincial deputy governor Sok Sothy, who led a team to work on finding a compromise, said on Monday that 222 of the 317 families had already agreed to the compromise and only the 95 families had remained.
The 95 had initially agreed together with the other families to receive the land located at Blocks A and B in Koh Kong province’s Chi Khor Leu village, Chi Khor Leu commune, Sre Ambel district. But they later protested, claiming the land they received was stony and therefore not conducive to farming.
He said the families had previously protested at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction in Phnom Penh because they did not understand the settlement process and wanted their demands to be quickly met.
“Under a compromise from the Koh Kong provincial authority, the families have accepted the land at the village’s Block C instead,” Sothy said.
“The compromise notes that each family would get 2ha of land and $3,000. Though the dispute was with the sugarcane company, the government decided to intervene and solve it. The provincial administration is willing to solve land disputes involving the people,” he said.
Villager Sar Kimsun confirmed that the 95 families had agreed to relocate to Block C. “Now, we are clearing the land that we got, so that the authorities can measure it for us. The 95 families are the last group of people locked in the land dispute,” she said.
Provincial coordinator for the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (Adhoc) Bey Vanny welcomed the solution over the long-running land dispute.
“We ask the authorities to speed up the process of finding solutions for other people who are also locked in land disputes in the province. We hope that others will get a solution like the one they had just made,” Vanny said.