Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court date set for Koh Kong farmers

Court date set for Koh Kong farmers

Court date set for Koh Kong farmers

More than six years after a sugar company bulldozed their farms in Koh Kong province, some 200 families who have held out ever since, arguing the action was illegal, will finally get their day in court on Thursday.

Seng Kao, one of 24 villager representatives from Chikhor Leu village in Sre Ambel district, said 100 villagers will join them at the provincial court as they make their case.

“We are ready and have witnesses and evidence, such as family books, identity cards, election cards, local administration lists and letters recognized by commune authorities that we have occupied the land since 1979,” He said.

In August 2006, a joint venture now majority owned by Thai firm Khon Kaen Sugar Industry Public Co Ltd and then part-owned by Senator Ly Yong Phat was awarded a roughly 20,000-hectare economic land concession in Chikhor Leu commune.

The villagers have argued that four months prior, partner companies Koh Kong Sugar Industry Co and Koh Kong Plantation Co illegally bulldozed 1,490 hectares of their farmland.

Aim Sokha, a coordinator for the Community Legal Education Center, said the government should nullify its agreement with the company.

“According to the law, we find that the villagers have a more firm legal base, because the companies started clearing villagers land before receiving [permission] from the government,” he said.

Koh Kong Sugar Industry Co lawyer Touch Chhay told the Post he might not attend the hearing as he had duties in Thailand that day.

“For us, we also have evidence,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chhay Channyda at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh