Twelve families from Koh Kong province on November 6 filed a complaint with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s youth volunteers and the Department of Land Management, requesting assistance in a land dispute with businessman Heng Huy.
Pok Yon, the families’ representative, said that earlier this year, Heng Huy claimed that the Kandorl commune land on which the families had lived since 1979 belonged to him and forced them to sign a contract ceding him half the land.
“I reject the contract, because he intimidated us into dividing the land with him,” Yon said. “We also reject the measurements of our land completed by the youth volunteers in favour of Heng Huy.”
Villager Chhav Phalla agreed: “We want the prime minister’s youth volunteers to re-measure the land for us, because we are the real owners.”
Kandorl commune chief Kim Doun said that dealing with the villagers’ request was beyond his authority and that they should take their complaint to court.
Neang Boratino, Koh Kong coordinator for rights group ADHOC, also pointed to the legal system as the proper mechanism to settle the dispute, saying that Heng Huy should not have threatened the villagers.
To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at [email protected]