Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Koh Kong villagers bitter over longstanding land dispute

Koh Kong villagers bitter over longstanding land dispute

Villagers wait outside the Land Management Ministry, where they submitted a petition relating to a long-standing land dispute in Koh Kong province.
Villagers wait outside the Land Management Ministry, where they submitted a petition relating to a long-standing land dispute in Koh Kong province. Sreng Meng Srun

Koh Kong villagers bitter over longstanding land dispute

Around 400 villagers from Koh Kong province allegedly affected by ruling party Senator Ly Yong Phat’s sugar plantations petitioned the Land Management Ministry on Wednesday, demanding compensation packages like those given to a separate group of villagers in March.

In March, 375 families were given compensation packages, including cash and land allocations, after longstanding land disputes against Yong Phat’s Koh Kong Sugar and Koh Kong Plantation.

One hundred and seventy five of those families, led by villager representative Phav Nheung, received $2,500 and 3 hectares of land, with the remainder agreeing to take 1.5 hectares of land.

The 400 villagers who went to the ministry on Wednesday were affected by the same two firms, as well as Heng Huy Agriculture Company, and were monitored by around two dozen Chamkarmon district security guards. They represent around 300 families from Sre Ambel and Botum Sakor districts in the province.

Village representative Chim Srey Thourn said her group wanted similar compensation packages to those received by Phav Nheung’s group.

“The Land Management Ministry allowed 10 of us to meet and discuss the issue, but we did not reach a solution,” she said. “They said they need time to discuss, and I asked when can we can get an answer, and they said, ‘after the elections’.”

Heang Sokhom, one of the villagers, said that initially, more than 600 families protested the land dispute together, but there was a split in 2016, after local authorities told Srey Thourn’s group to stop protesting if they wanted compensation.

“Please help us to solve our dispute, because in the past we did not protest and we listened to the authorities,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Ranariddh 'seriously injured', his wife dies in accident in Preah Sihanouk

    THE wife of former first prime minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh has died. Ouk Phalla succumbed to injuries sustained in a traffic accident on National Road 4 in Preah Sihanouk’s Prey Nub district this morning. She and the prince were immediately rushed to the Preah Sihanouk

  • US slammed over BGU head as Foreign Ministry says sanctions violate international principles

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFAIC) has condemned the US Department of Treasury for its sanctions, announced on Tuesday, against Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang for his alleged role in infringing human rights. In a statement, the ministry said it is disturbing