Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Protesters block road to ministry




Protesters block road to ministry

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Around 300 people representing hundreds of families in Koh Kong province protested at the Ministry of Land Management yesterday.

Protesters block road to ministry

Around 300 people representing hundreds of families in Koh Kong province, who were evicted from their homes to make way for a sugar company owned by businessman and CPP Senator Ly Yong Phat, blocked the road that leads to the Ministry of Land Management on Thursday to protest the ministry’s inaction in resolving the decade-long conflict.

The villagers were requesting a similar deal as was reached in March, when 375 families were given compensation packages, including cash and land allocations, after ending their longstanding land disputes with Yong Phat’s Koh Kong Sugar and Koh Kong Plantation.

Tith Pheng, a representative of 300 families living in Sre Ambil district’s Dong Paeng commune, said the group decided to travel to the Ministry of Land Management to check if there was a response to a petition they delivered last week.

There was no reply, so they decided to block the road for around an hour to force officials to address them.

During the blockade, the ministry spoke with 10 representatives, and told them that the ministry was unable to resolve the dispute for them.

“The Ministry of Land Management told us the ministry has no authority to resolve this case, and it has created a committee made up of Koh Kong provincial officials to deal with us directly,” Pheng said.

“So they told us to return home to work out a solution with provincial authorities. But we’re losing faith. If the ministry can’t work this out, we have no reason to believe a provincial committee can.”

Tep Thun, Land Management Ministry deputy secretary of state, told those at the meeting that he had created a joint committee, led by the provincial governor, to resolve this issue by the end of the month.

Suon Vannat, 50, an affected villager, said he travelled to the capital in the hope of being offered a similar deal to the one the other group of families reached in March.

“The ministry permitted 10 of us to discuss the issue with them, but the sides found no common ground. We raised the possibility of getting the compensation as a group led by Phav Nherng,” Vannat said, referring to the representative of a group of villagers also in a land dispute with Yong Phat.

“We asked for a compensation package of 3 hectares and $2,500, but the ministry refused to help and told us to return home.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • Singapore Fintech start-up enters Sihanoukville

    Singapore-based fintech start-up Fincy on Wednesday announced the expansion of its cashless payment system to Sihanoukville to tap into the southwestern coastal city’s ever-widening business and investment landscape. The move is in line with the National Bank of Cambodia’s (NBC’s) recommendations to