Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fifty houses bulldozed overnight as S’ville land dispute escalates

Fifty houses bulldozed overnight as S’ville land dispute escalates

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The families claim they have been living on the land since 2002 with full ownership. Photo supplied

Fifty houses bulldozed overnight as S’ville land dispute escalates

Fifty families claiming ownership of 5ha in Koki village, Bit Traing commune, in Prey Nop district, Preah Sihanouk province, on Monday protested on the site over claims that Ouk Sineth and his associates illegally encroached on their land, bulldozing their homes and crops during the night.

Keo Chantha, a representative of the 50 families, told The Post on Monday while protesting at the site that residents demanded that Ouk Sineth and his companions come forward to settle the disputed land. However, no one turned up.

“Those in question are not coming forward to solve the problem. Instead, the people they rented our land to are fighting with us.

“There have been clashes, pushing backwards and forward. Some people threatened to hack us. If it had escalated further then it could have turned into a very dangerous situation,” she said.

Chantha said that all 50 families had submitted a letter of intervention to provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun at the provincial hall on February 16, but there had been no intervention as of Monday.

The people requested that Chamroeun helped return their land, stating that the 50 families have been living there since 2002.

The letter said: “In the first week of February, Ouk Sineth and his associates bulldozed the land at night. During the day they took the bulldozer out to deceive the villagers, leaving crops and 50 homes damaged.

“We would like to request the intervention of your excellency to find justice for us so that we can return to our land and the crops we rely on for our livelihood.

“All of us are suffering. Now powerful people have bulldozed crops and houses. So, your excellency, please help us, the 50 families, with justice.”

Provincial hall spokesman Kheang Phearum said on Monday that he had not obtained the letter yet. However, he said he would follow it up.

Prey Nop district governor Sar Kakada could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Koki village chief Sok Chan Dara said on Monday that the land in the disputed area is mostly forest cover and that the 50 families have yet to ask for intervention from the village and commune authorities.

“They are citizens whose data is not on the commune listings yet. Where and which provinces they are from is not known. They came to grab the land in 2017 and 2018 and have been living on it until now.

“Some people have built houses in the area and no action has been taken from the upper-level authorities yet,” he said.

Ouk Sineth and his associates’ could not be reached for comment on Monday.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro