Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Protesters target sugar firm

Protesters target sugar firm

Villagers from Kampong Speu, some of whom gathered on Wednesday outside the Phnom Penh Sugar Company offices, congregate in 2016 to withdraw their consent for the NGO Equitable Cambodia to represent them.
Villagers from Kampong Speu, some of whom gathered on Wednesday outside the Phnom Penh Sugar Company offices, congregate in 2016 to withdraw their consent for the NGO Equitable Cambodia to represent them. Hong Menea

Protesters target sugar firm

A group of some 70 people gathered on Wednesday outside Phnom Penh Sugar Company’s factory in Kampong Speu asking for compensation in a long-running land dispute.

At least some of those at the demonstration on Wednesday participated last year in protests against the NGO Equitable Cambodia, which had been working to settle the dispute on behalf of villagers – leading to allegations that they had been hired to smear the NGO by the company, which is owned by ruling party Senator Ly Yong Phat.

Mao Men, 40, one of the affected villagers from Sangke Satoap, said that 70 families in the commune had received certificates from a working group with the Land Management Ministry in April 2017 saying their land had been impacted by the company’s economic land concession and that they should be compensated.

“It’s been nearly a year they have not compensated us,” he said.

He said he was among the group that protested outside the Equitable Cambodia offices last year but only because the NGO was “not loyal” to villagers.

“They asked us to join many protests in Phnom Penh . . . but in the end, other groups of villagers who have not joined protests got compensation instead,” he said, denying he had ever received payment from the company.

Representatives of the NGO could not comment before press time and Phnom Penh Sugar declined to comment.

Vy Samnang, Kampong Speu provincial governor, said disputes with 144 families in the province were ongoing. He appealed to villagers with documents to file them to the provincial hall.

“If they really have documents, why don’t they come to submit them to us?” he asked.

Reached again for comment, Men said authorities had not informed families they needed to file paperwork with the provincial hall.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42