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Land-grab fears: Villagers put on edge by firms’ signs

Land-grab fears: Villagers put on edge by firms’ signs


Representatives of more that 200 Kouy ethnic minority families in Preah Vihear’s Chey Sen district filed complaints with rights group Adhoc yesterday claiming two separate companies have encroached on nearly 6,000 acres of their farmland.

Oeun Art, a representative from the Saang commune, said the villagers decided to file a complaint after the companies began placing signs claiming ownership around the land last month.

“We are deeply worried, because this is our farmland, which we have depended on for making a living as far back as my ancestors,” the representative said.

Adhoc’s monitor in Preah Vihear, Lor Chan, identified the two companies in question as the Heng Noung Company and the Heang Rouy Company, and said authorities had “taken no action” despite the companies’ putting up signs for “many years”.

Chey Sen governor Thoung Sokern said the companies were simply studying and measuring the land for a potential land concession and that the villagers should not “panic or worry”.

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