Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pailin land face-off continues with arrest

Pailin land face-off continues with arrest

Pailin land face-off continues with arrest

A village representative was arrested yesterday as about 50 locals gathered outside Pailin provincial police station calling for the release of three detained villagers who had protested against a forced eviction on land they believe is owned by provincial governor Y Chhien and his wife Ban Srey Mom.

Tout Mak was arrested by authorities after a speech decrying the 15 days locals were given to vacate an area in early March that officials maintain is state land, despite the fact that the land was allegedly given to them by local authorities more than a decade ago as part of a Khmer Rouge integration plan. Pailin province was one of the last strongholds of a Khmer Rouge faction that laid down its arms in the late 1990s.

On March 2, provincial deputy governor Kert Sothea said that authorities had granted the land to villagers, but said later the land had to be taken back after provinces were instructed by the government to set aside parcels of state land for future development.

The first group of three detained protesters, representing 19 families in a land dispute in Pailin’s Sala Krao district, were arrested on Monday after District Deputy Governor Sam Sarat filed a complaint alleging they were ignoring a government directive to vacate the disputed area, provincial police chief Chea Chandin said.

Yat Lav, 27, Sothea’s niece, said authorities informed Sothea that they would be released if all three agreed to thumbprint a letter committing to vacate the land. They didn’t agree.

District Deputy Governor Sarat denied that Chhien and his wife owned the land. Chhien, a former bodyguard to Pol Pot, couldn’t be reached.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen

    A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern” on Tuesday over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter

  • Cambodia, states clash at UN session

    Cambodia traded shots with the international community in a heated exchange at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday evening, with states condemning the Kingdom’s ongoing crackdown on the political opposition and civil society, and an increasingly agitated Cambodia accusing member states