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Governor vows action in dispute with tycoon

Governor vows action in dispute with tycoon

Banteay Meanchey’s provincial governor, Ko Sumsaroeut, is reviewing a complaint about a land dispute between 107 families in Sisophon district’s Kampong Svay commune and a company that mines limestone.

Villagers are challenging the granting of 136.5 hectares of land adjacent to Pongro Kongva Mountain to the CYL Investment company. Families say that they have been living and farming the area since 1979.

“We have . . . grown crops on our farmland, and have never abandoned it,” the complaint reads. “We have annually harvested rice, cassava, peas, corn and other crops, which help our daily livelihood.”

The November 24 letter granting CYL the land names tycoon Kith Meng, chief executive of the Royal Group, as the owner, human rights officials said.

Meng could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Sumsaroeut plans to submit a report to national authorities.

“We are preparing the document to submit it to the national government for a resolution, because the business cannot use land that has already been settled,” he said.

Sum Chankea, a coordinator at rights group Adhoc, decried the frequency of land disputes in Banteay Meanchey.

“Many land disputes have occurred in Banteay Meanchey province, giving rise to the rich and powerful from Phnom Penh.”

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