Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chinese firm builds fence around Koh Kong ELC while families refuse to move



Chinese firm builds fence around Koh Kong ELC while families refuse to move

A fence erected by Chinese company Union Development Group, which locals say blocks access to the road to the village pagoda in Koh Kong's  Kiri Sakor district. Photo supplied
A fence erected by Chinese company Union Development Group, which locals say blocks access to the road to the village pagoda in Koh Kong's Kiri Sakor district. Photo supplied

Chinese firm builds fence around Koh Kong ELC while families refuse to move

Chinese firm Union Development Group (UDG) surrounded its government-granted economic land in Koh Kong province’s Kiri Sakor district with a 900-metre-long fence last week, burdening the four families there who refuse to relocate and threatening their livelihoods, locals say.

Uk Sana, 29, who is part of one of four remaining families in Prek Smach Chas village, said checkpoints were set up preventing everyone but the families from entering the area, causing her husband’s motorbike repair shop to lose customers.

“The fence is putting an end to our income,” she said. “It closes our way in and out and we need to ask every time we need to go anywhere.”

Explaining their yearslong refusal to relocate, she said her family wanted to live on their native land where they can fish and farm.

Sana, who owns 1 hectare of land, has asked for compensation of $300,000, a sum the company refuses to pay. According to her, the three other families have asked for over $1 million total.

In Kongchit, provincial coordinator for the rights group Licadho, who visited the village on Friday, called the fence a “serious violation” and said yesterday that the villagers have not asked authorities for intervention as they suspect authorities’ motives.

Nearly 1,200 families in Kiri Sakor and Botum Sakor districts have been affected by UDG’s 36,000-hectare land concession, more than 150 of whom still refuse to relocate despite pressure from the company and the authorities.

Sun Dara, provincial deputy governor in charge of dealing with the dispute, could not be reached yesterday, and Provincial Hall Administration Director Ouch Touch declined to comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Lost in translation: ‘Starvation’ in capital’s designated red zones

    “DACH bay” is a Khmer slang meaning a “loss of income”, that could also be literally translated to «deprived of rice”, which alludes to starvation. However, civil society organisation (CSO) officials have independently confirmed the government’s prior assertions that there are no cases of