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Commune chief denying alleged land-grab scheme

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People protest against a land survey by officials in Sa’ang district of Kandal province on September 23. FACEBOOK

Commune chief denying alleged land-grab scheme

Th chief of Prasat commune in Kandal province’s Sa’ang district denied allegations that he had conspired to take residents’s land in village II.

The commune chief, Chheang Ly, said on September 28 that he and Sa’ang district authorities on September 23 went to demarcate land boundaries in village II at the request of a resident named Ly Hak. Then more than 100 people staged a protest, claiming that authorities had conspired to take their land.

He noted that before authorities went to inspect the boundaries, they had posted a notice for nearly 10 days so that landowners in the area bordering each other could file a complaint if they objected to the move.

He said the allegations against him were baseless because the land had been bought and sold since 2017 before he took office.

“Those who have no land keep causing trouble and accusing authorities of conspiracy. How can authorities take the land from others just like that? They would kill us because they rightfully own the land,” he said.

Ly said the protesters, including the locals and outsiders, objected to the demarcation for fear that it would affect the land they are occupying.

“We asked the people, why are they protesting? We invited them to the commune hall to inquire about their protests. They said they are protesting for their land. Some of them said they would keep going and when we asked them where their land is, they all left suddenly,” he said.

Sa’ang district deputy governor Mao Dara said on September 28 that he had led a team to inspect the land’s location proposed by some people to form the basis for a report to the provincial administration.

“But, during the survey the people came to obstruct our work, so the working group had suspended the search.

“The working group had informed stakeholders that the measurement could not be completed due to the protests,” he said.

None of the protesters could be contacted for comment on September 28.

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