Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Communities protest sugar disputes

Communities protest sugar disputes

Community members protest outside Prime Minister Hun Sen's house yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Community members protest outside Prime Minister Hun Sen's house yesterday in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Communities protest sugar disputes

Hundreds of people representing communities locked in long-running land disputes in four provinces came to Phnom Penh yesterday to seek the intervention of Prime Minister Hun Sen, asking him to sign off on an EU-backed initiative to evaluate the conflicts.

The communities from Koh Kong, Preah Vihear, Oddar Meanchey and Kampong Speu provinces yesterday filed a petition to seek the government’s intervention in their disputes with several sugar companies whose state-granted economic land concessions (ELCs) had led to serious human rights violations.

The petition called on the prime minister to sign a draft proposal – financially supported by the EU – for the ministries of commerce, land, agriculture and environment to review their disputes.
The ministries submitted the proposal months ago, Equitable Cambodia head Eang Vuthy said yesterday, but since then, it has languished.

Soeng Sokhum, a representative of more than 700 families in Kampong Speu, said his community’s dispute with tycoon Ly Yong Phat’s company had been ongoing since 2010. “We come for Samdech [Hun Sen] to accelerate the signing.”

Pal Chandara, director of the prime minister’s joint committee for complaint reception, said that he would assign the Ministry of Land Management to solve the issue, “because the ministry has more than 20 teams in the provinces”.

Sit Setha, Yong Phat’s director of land dispute mediation, admitted that 700 families were affected, but maintained most of them had been compensated.

“In the past, we cooperated with the authorities and ministries and solved the problems,” he said.

However, many of those compensated have said they took the money out of desperation.

“I took the compensation because I was hopeless,” said Suon Phorn, 50. “There is no point for [others] to take that $500. They will not be able to purchase a rice field with that amount.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Num banh chok pizza a new fusion hit

    Num banh chok is a traditional fish curry with fermented rice noodles, prahok fish paste, kroeung paste, flowering plants and seasonal vegetables that is arguably a strong contender for “national dish” status in Cambodia and typically served for breakfast or eaten as an afternoon snack.

  • Cambodia detects new Covid cases after 52 days: PM

    After 52 days of zero new Covid-19 cases, Cambodia has now detected new infections, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. In his special audio address to the nation late on June 28, Hun Sen said the new cases were detected on people who had undergone PCR tests

  • Higher education leaders tour US

    With support from the US Department of State, 10 Cambodian leaders in higher education participated in the 10-day International Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP) in three US states from June 19 to July 1. They included nine university rectors and directors of higher education institutions who are members of

  • Gold-covered boundary stone found within Angkor Thom’s West Gate

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) announced that their working group in charge of restoration work at Angkor Thom's Takav Gate or the West Gate recently found an ancient stone slab commonly known as a boundary stone. The boundary stone is 53 cm by 53 cm and 12 cm

  • Angkor ticket sales jump by 1,000 per cent in the first half

    Angkor Archaeological Park netted more than $2.4 million from ticket sales in the first half of 2022, an increase of more than 1,000 per cent year-on-year, Angkor Enterprise reported. According to a July 1 statement issued by Angkor Enterprise, the state-run institution that manages tickets sales for international visitors