FORTY-THREE families from Koh Kong province’s Sre Ambel district are to be forced from their land this week following a provincial court ruling Sunday in favour of two real estate tycoons who have plans to develop the land.
Community representative Khao Nherng said Monday that the court had a set a deadline of today for the villagers to voluntarily tear down their houses or face forced evictions.
“We have lived here since 1980, but the tycoons say we are living on their land because they have held a land title for it since 1993,” she said.
Nhem Ann, another resident affected by the verdict, demanded to know where the two businessmen – Sok Hong and Heng Huoy – had secured the rights to the land.
“Where did they get their land title? We have been here since 1980, and we don’t have one, so we want to see their land title in the Supreme Court,” she said.
Yuth Puthong, the Koh Kong provincial governor, said that he had requested that Prime Minister Hun Sen provide land to the displaced families, but that he had not yet received “clear information” about the case.
Sok Hong and Heng Huoy could not be reached for comment, nor could Mean Vattana, the Koh Kong deputy prosecutor who handled the case.