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Common cause: Villagers unite to seek aid in dispute

Common cause: Villagers unite to seek aid in dispute

Representatives from villages in three districts in Kampong Cham province embroiled in land disputes had joined forces to deliver petitions to provincial governor Hun Neng requesting his intervention in the pending eviction of more than 3,000 people, villagers there told the Post yesterday.

Long Sokhum, from Chamkar Leu district, said the petitions were on behalf of 649 families in her district, Memot and Stung Trang districts. Villagers feared being “relocated to make way for rubber trees” and were asking for Hun Neng’s assistance, she said.

Hun Neng is Prime Minister Hun Sen’s older brother.

Three companies were trying to force families to vacate the area but were offering them land elsewhere half the size of their current plots and only US$600 per family, Long Sokhum said.

Oun Sou Cheng, of Memot district, said villagers were delivering their petition to Hun Neng because their previous petitions to the official in charge of economic land concessions had gone unanswered.

She said they had delivered petitions to Chan Tong Iv, secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, many times.

“The provincial cabinet told us that we did not send our petitions to H. E. Chan Tong Iv because Hun Neng did not get a reply from the secretary,” Oun Sou Cheng said.

Kun Navuth, director of the provincial cabinet, said he had not received any petitions. “I didn’t see anybody in the provincial hall,” he added, declining to comment further.

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