About 130 villagers and more than 20 of their children demonstrated in front of the Ministry of Land Management from 8am to noon yesterday, demanding that the government exclude their villages from a proposed development plan and protect their homes by granting them land titles.
The demonstrators came from two villages, Preak Takong 1 in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, and Kva village in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district.
An ING Holdings project intends to develop the area, located in the south of Phnom Penh, into a satellite city. Preak Takong 1 village representative Om Nary, 45, said the villagers did not oppose development, but wanted the government to reserve some land within the slated development area for the villagers. To preserve their claim to their homes, said Nary, the villagers should receive land titles.
‘We are worried the villagers will be forced to leave for the company’s development,’ he said. Ministry of Land Management official Chea Srun told the demonstrators that his ministry would examine the case in order to find a solution. ‘On May 3, please return to the Ministry of Land Management,’ he told the crowd. ING Holdings could not be reached for comment.