Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Preah Vihear land dispute families block tractors

Preah Vihear land dispute families block tractors

Kuy indigenous villagers block tractors at a protest on Tuesday against Chinese-owned Hengfu Sugar company, which they accuse of grabbing their land. RFA
Kuy indigenous villagers block tractors at a protest on Tuesday against Chinese-owned Hengfu Sugar company, which they accuse of grabbing their land. RFA

Preah Vihear land dispute families block tractors

Representatives of 40 families locked in a decade-old land dispute with a Chinese sugar company in Preah Vihear province blocked tractors from clearing land that the villagers say belongs to them, while 50 families in a separate land dispute in Koh Kong took their complaints to a newly-promoted provincial official.

The ethnic Kuy villagers in Preah Vihear’s Tbaeng Meanchey district were blocking tractors from Chinese state-owned Hengfu Group Sugar Industry, parent company of Lan Feng and Rui Feng, among other firms. Lor Chan, Preah Vihear coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said when families had sought a resolution from authorities in the past, officials “instead blamed one another”.

“If the authorities do not know [how to resolve it], who knows then? I really feel for [the villagers]. They spend time guarding their land without earning a living,” he added.

Meanwhile, in Koh Kong, villager representative Ngin Phalla, 41, said Deputy Provincial Governor Orn Phearak met with her and three others on Tuesday, but had asked villagers to wait until after Sunday.

Roughly 1,000 families were evicted to make way for Union Development Group’s $3.8 billion tourism project in Botum Sakor National Park.

“I told him that we have been facing difficulties for seven years already, so I asked him to solve it for me before the end of 2017. I’m in hard times now,” Phalla said.

Phearak refused to comment when contacted yesterday. Vang Virak, a representative of UDG, also declined to comment because he was “afraid of making a mistake”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said