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. Sreng Meng Srun

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

  • PM responds to Rainsy ticket claims

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday expressed frustration over claims by Sam Rainsy that he had altered Rainsy’s ticket with Thai Airways to prevent him boarding his November 7 flight to Thailand, from where he had claimed he would enter Cambodia. Hun Sen made the

  • Phnom Penh International Airport wins award as passenger traffic soars

    The Phnom Penh International Airport has been awarded Best Asia Pacific Regional Airport 2019 for its sustained high growth in passenger traffic in recent years. The award was presented by the Capa Centre for Aviation (Capa) – a world-leading and trusted organisation that provides market intelligence to

  • PM urges ‘democracies’ to learn from horrors Cambodia faced

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday chided countries that he said declared themselves a democracy while supporting a military coup that eventually gave birth to the Khmer Rouge regime. Speaking during the 2nd Asia-Pacific Summit at the Peace Palace, Hun Sen said without naming those

  • Princess Buppha Devi passes away aged 77

    Princess Norodom Buppha Devi, who was famous for her skills and key roles behind the Kingdom’s Royal Ballet, passed away on Monday from unspecified illness at a hospital in the Thai capital Bangkok, according to the official Facebook page of King Norodom Sihamoni. “May

  • PM: Request for release of plotters not due to pressure

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday said his request to have the supporters of former opposition leader Sam Rainsy and his “coup plot” released on bail was not made under international pressure. Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of 34 roads in Preah Sihanouk

  • Ministry deplores RFA report on EBA

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Friday deplored as fake news a Radio Free Asia (RFA) report that it had received a copy of the European Commission’s assessment on the human rights situation in Cambodia as part of the Everything But