Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fishing community in Kampot protests

Fishing community in Kampot protests

Fishing community in Kampot protests

AROUND 30 representatives from a fishing village in Kampot province held protests Wednesday to block trucks belonging to the Keo Chea Development Company, which is reclaiming coastal land for the construction of an ecotourism resort.

Chiev Samith, deputy police chief of Kampot province, said the villagers held peaceful protests for a few hours but “lacked information” about the company’s development plans.

“Some protesters returned to their home after the local authorities explained to them about the company’s development plan. The company has a legal document approved by the government to fill the coastal area,” he said.

In contrast to the developer’s claims of pursuing peaceful persuasion, Lor Chhean, a representative of the Thnuat Community Fishery, which encompasses several villages, said he has been repeatedly threatened with arrest if he continues organising villager demonstrations.

“I am now afraid of arrest by the local authorities, so I could not participate with the villagers in today’s protest,” he said.

He said Keo Chea’s plans to reclaim 200 hectares of coastal waters would affect the residents of Kep Thmey and Torteng Thngai villages, destroying up to 1,000 jobs. The company began reclaiming coastal land on October 8 in preparation for the project.

Villager Chan Dara, 47, said that at least 80 percent of the residents depend on the community fishing zone for their survival and called for the government to provide appropriate compensation.

“We do not oppose the government’s development plan because the fishing zone belongs to the state, but if the government needs it, there should be an appropriate resolution for us as poor people,” he said.

“I am not 100 percent sure, but the company told me that it will donate 100 fishing boats to the community fishery,” Chiev Samith said, adding that no arrests of villagers had been made in connection with the protests.

Doeu Sokhom, a human rights monitor for the rights group Licadho, said that about 30 police were deployed to clear the roads leading to the development site.

Despite pushing and pulling a handful of the protesters from in front of the trucks, he said, there was no violence.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman