Angry residents in Kratie province’s Snuol district who accuse the provincial governor of deliberately cutting them out of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s national land-titling scheme blocked a road in protest yesterday.
About 200 residents of Krasang village, who have been battling the firm Herasy Co Ltd in a land dispute since 2008, blocked National Road 7 in front of the Thaomyuth pagoda in Snuol commune.
Representative Ouk Pov accused governor Sar Chamrong of phoning his district level subordinate Man Vanna, to illegally order him to forbid volunteer student surveyors from measuring their land.
“The residents conducted the roadblock to seek a solution, because of a lack of specific reasons for the prohibition,” he said.
When probed, Pov said the volunteer students were strangely quiet, merely stating that they were there to measure land, not intervene in disputes.
“We dispersed our roadblock after the district governor assured us that he will send the report concerning this issue to the provincial hall to elaborate on the reason,” he said.
Man Vanna denied he had ever been given such an order, and said he would meet with the provincial governor on Monday to tackle the issue.
“The authorities didn’t ban the voluntary youths from measuring the land for the residents at all, and we always wanted to measure the land, with real land tenure for the residents,” he said.
“Moreover, how can we measure the land for them if they just point out the land that was already bulldozed by the company?” he said.
Samrith Vanna, a Kratie-based investigating officer at Adhoc, said this was just the latest outcry in a long-running dispute between the residents and Heracy Co Ltd, which had exploded because officials had taken so much time to address the issue.
Rights groups said they were unable to find Heracy’s contact details, which could not be sourced elsewhere either.
To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at [email protected]