A COALITION of local Khmer Krom advocacy groups has appealed to the Vietnamese government to intervene on behalf of an ethnic Khmer community that they said has lost farmland to a state construction project in the country’s An Giang province.
In a letter to the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh dated Tuesday, nine Khmer Krom organisations called on the Vietnamese government to pay appropriate compensation to those affected by a channel-building project, which began last month.
Thech Phoun, deputy president of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Cultural Centre, said that in August, Vietnamese authorities cracked down on a group of 40 ethnic Khmer demonstrators who were defending their rice fields against the construction, which has claimed 400 hectares belonging to Khmer families.
“I hope the Vietnamese government will help resolve the problem for the affected Khmer Krom families fairly and respect their rights,” he said.
Vietnamese Embassy spokes-man Trinh Ba Cam said the embassy had not yet received a letter from the groups, but that the government has a “clear policy” for compensating people who lose their land to development projects.