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Koh Kong protests drag on

Koh Kong protests drag on

Koh kong villagers fighting for their land against two firms continue to protest in front of Provincial Hall, where they began demonstrating on Monday.

Protesters represent about 300 villagers across six different communities in Koh Kong affected by Chinese firm Tianjin Union Development Group’s massive $3.8 billion tourism development in Botum Sakor and Kiri Sakor districts and Heng Huy Agriculture Company’s concession in Sre Ambel district.

Those camping out in front of the provincial hall are beginning to suffer from health issues including colds and diarrhea caused by dirty drinking water, said Phav Nheoung, community representative from Sre Ambel.

“We will continue to be sick if the authorities do not resolve this for us and we will not return home,” Nheoung said.

When protesters began demonstrating on Monday, they called for their cases be resolved before next month’s national election.

The protest follows demands made last month that the contracts be annulled, while earlier this year, they threatened suicide.

Hundreds of families have fought Tianjin Union Development Group since the firm was granted a 36,000-hectare concession to develop its mega tourism project in 2008 and a subsequent 9,100-hectare concession to build a hydropower dam.

Officials yesterday invited 12 representatives of the protesters to state their cases to provincial authorities, Koh Kong Provincial Governor Bun Leut said.

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