After more than a month with no response from the government, four village representatives from Koh Kong province’s Botum Sakor and Kiri Sakor districts arrived in the capital yesterday with hopes of checking-in with officials, who they believe are helping to resolve their land dispute with the Chinese company Union Development Group.
Village representative Merng Ang said he and his counterparts represent only 193 of the more than 1,000 families from the two districts who have been locked in a land dispute with the Chinese firm since 2008, when they were granted 12,000 hectares of land to develop a gambling resort.
He added that on March 12, the 193 families sent requests for a resolution to the premier’s cabinet, the Royal Palace, the National Assembly, the Senate, the Ministry of Environment and several embassies, but have yet to hear any response.
“Based on the information we got on the phone, the National Assembly and the Senate have already signed our requests, but we don’t know about its content. So we came to Phnom Penh out of curiosity,” he said.
Adhoc provincial coordinator in Koh Kong, Neang Boratino, said that even if the National Assembly and the Senate have indeed signed off on the request for intervention, it does not necessarily mean a positive outcome for the villagers.
“We can’t draw conclusions on the [supposed] signing from the National Assembly and the Senate yet,” he said.
The representatives will attempt to meet with government officials today.
To contact the reporter on this story: Tep Nimol at [email protected]