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Farmers seek court hearing delay

Farmers seek court hearing delay

Twelve representatives of 50 families in Preah Vihear’s Kulen district filed an appeal yesterday after being summonsed to court over a land dispute with a Malaysian company.

The villagers gathered in Adhoc’s office in Srayrong commune to draft and submit a letter requesting that their court hearing, due to begin yesterday, be postponed, provincial coordinator Lor Chann said.

Signed by provincial judge Sor Savuth, the summons lists the plaintiff as Fephy Malaysia (Cambodia) and requests villagers appear for questioning over “property damage and illegal clearing of state land”, Chann said.

But villager Yeav Vantha, 45, said Fephy Malaysia had fenced off access to their crops last October, after locals had been clearing the area for farming since 2002.

“We gathered to protest and we set fire to their fence. We did not do anything wrong, because they used wood to illegally block our land,” she said.

The company was granted an economic land concession spanning 8,200 hectares in 2012.

Fephy Malaysia could not be reached.

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