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Kandal face-off over land

Kandal face-off over land

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Villagers involved in a land dispute protest at the Muk Kampoul district hall in Kandal province yesterday. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

More than 200 villagers rallied outside Muk Kampoul district hall in Kandal province yesterday demanding titles to land they said 200 families had occupied since 1979 but that a company had cleared in 2006.

The villagers say the company CT Mart cleared 86 hectares of their land in Sambuor Meas commune’s Peang village to build a dam, preventing them from planting their dry season paddy there ever since.

Chhay Chhun, a representative of the protesters, said the land had been flooded as ruling party Senator Ly Yong Phat began building a nearby satellite city.

“We occupied the land for a long time, but did not make titles, and [then] the company showed its land title. We protested at all places, but there were promises only,” he said.

Yim Buntha, another village representative, said district authorities had come to receive the villagers’ complaint which they promised to forward to provincial governor Chhun Sirun and Prime Minister Hun Sen, though he was sceptical about this.

Muk Kampoul deputy district governor Yin Sam said he had received the complaint but it would be up to “national-level authorities” to settle the issue.

CT Mart representative Cheng Send could not be reached for comment yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at [email protected]

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