Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Evicted villagers protest sugar firm in the capital

Evicted villagers protest sugar firm in the capital

Villagers wait outside the Land Management Ministry, where they submitted a petition relating to a long-standing land dispute in Koh Kong province on May 2.
Villagers wait outside the Land Management Ministry, where they submitted a petition relating to a long-standing land dispute in Koh Kong province on May 2.

Evicted villagers protest sugar firm in the capital

Hundreds of villagers evicted from their homes to make way for a sugar company owned by businessman and ruling party politician Ly Yong Phat protested in Phnom Penh on Monday over an ongoing land dispute in Koh Kong and Preah Vihear provinces.

The 300 protesters, representing some 500 families, appealed to the Ministry of Land Management for help resolving the dispute, after unsuccessfully appealing to provincial authorities.

Kit Ten, a Preah Vihear villager representing the families, said some had received new plots of land as compensation, but cannot accept them.

“That’s why we continue protesting again and again,” he said.

The protestors submitted a petition claiming ruling party spokesman Sous Yara and Chouch Phoeun, national authority in Preah Vihear, colluded with provincial authorities and deployed armed forces to clear the area, destroying homes, schools, hospitals and pagodas.

Yara claimed that the villagers are creating the problem and they had already been paid reparations.

“The problem is created by a small group of bad people only,” he said. “For me, I was not involved in this area.”

Lor Chan, Preah Vihear provincial coordinator for human rights group Adhoc, said the area is subject to chronic land disputes and urged authorities to find a solution.

“Provincial authorities should call the people’s representative to discuss and end the dispute because it has lasted for many years,” he said.

Chan said the new land offered to the displaced villagers has not been developed as originally promised, and is not fully inhabitable.

Preab Rotha, representing 210 families from Koh Kong, said villagers were also forced off their land by Yong Phat in 2005. The dispute intensified in 2016 when company officers brought environmental officials to demarcate their land, Rotha said.

Ol Sok Yous, deputy director of the Land Management Ministry, received the petitions from both provinces, and said ministry officials will examine the issue.

“We will check the technical things and it won’t take long to declare the result,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The

  • Health ministry issues SOP for travellers

    The Ministry of Health released their official Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on October 20 for all travellers to Cambodia, with the specific instructions varying according to whether the traveller is fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or unvaccinated. The SOP document is essentially identical to the updated quarantine