Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Parties promise KDC solutions

Parties promise KDC solutions

Ruling party lawmakers address a crowd during a visit to Lorpeang villagers staying in the Boeung Kak community
Ruling party lawmakers address a crowd during a visit to Lorpeang villagers staying in the Boeung Kak community yesterday. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Parties promise KDC solutions

Lawmakers from both the ruling party and the opposition yesterday met with and promised Kampong Chhnang villagers they would seek a solution in their 12-year-long land dispute with KDC International.

Five Cambodia National Rescue Party representatives visited the Lorpeang villagers jailed over their involvement in the bitter dispute between 82 villagers and an agribusiness owned by Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem’s wife.

At the same time, lawmakers from the Cambodian People’s Party met with protesting villagers camped out in the capital’s Boeung Kak community to protest their case. The ruling party politicians promised to help arbitrate a solution, and asked the villagers to return to their hometown, according to Ke Chan Mony, a CPP lawmaker for Kampong Chhnang.

In response, the village representatives delivered a blunt, three-point petition: first, release and drop charges against the five jailed representatives; second, settle their land dispute with KDC; and third, stop building fences around their land.

Chan Mony told the villagers she would intervene regarding the contested land, but added the caveat that the ruling party “cannot solve the dispute on our own”.

“We will do whatever we can to get the five released, but we have to discuss how, because it is under the court’s jurisdiction,” she said.

Om Sophy, a representative for the Lorpeang villagers, said she’s heard the same lukewarm promises from the ruling party representative before.

“If she could settle the dispute, she would have done it a long time ago and not let it drag on for over 10 years, making us suffer by getting beaten and jailed,” Sophy said.

At the Kampong Chhnang provincial prison, CNRP representatives echoed similar promises to four detained village representatives. A fifth arrested has been hospitalised due to injuries allegedly sustained during a clash that led to arrests.

“We will work together to get the five released and ask the provincial authorities and cadastral offices to give back the land that was seized by KDC,” said Ho Vann, one of the lawmakers visiting the prison.

KDC representatives could not be reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,