Seeking a resolution to a decadelong land dispute with two Koh Kong province sugar companies, about 100 villagers representing more than 500 families delivered petitions yesterday to four commune halls in Sre Ambel and Botum Sakor districts appealing for action.
Provincial Governor Bun Leut, notified of the planned demonstration last week, had previously announced it would not be permitted. However, the demonstrators proceeded according to plan, said community representative Nget Sem, delivering petitions requesting action over 2,446.5 hectares disputed with the Koh Kong Sugar and Koh Kong Plantation companies.
In Kongchit, provincial coordinator for Licadho, said all four commune chiefs confirmed receipt of the petitions and urged the commune authorities to work with higher levels of government to resolve the dispute.
Chi Khor Leu commune chief Chhau Vuth yesterday said the case was beyond his authority to solve. “I can only articulate this to the superiors at the district and province [level] so that they can consider, solve and contact with that company.”
Similarly, Meng Yuy, Dang Peng commune chief, said he could only forward the petition to district and provincial authorities as well as the companies.
Neither Koh Kong Governor Bun Leut nor company representatives could be reached for comment yesterday.
But Koh Kong Provincial Hall spokesman Ouch Touch said authorities will try to solve the dispute. “We try to solve it by the law. We never forget to keep any documents related with this dispute.”