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Small victory for villagers

Small victory for villagers

120411_03

The Kampong Chhnang provincial court yesterday ordered the KDC company to produce proof of ownership for 105 land titles in the Kampong Tralach district, the subject of a land dispute that dates back to 2007.

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Long Lun, attorney for 70-year-old Chat Batt from the Lorpeang village, who claims KDC unlawfully grabbed her land without payment, said  yesterday he welcomed the court’s decision, which will force the company to prove their debated ownership of the land.

“The court also requested cadastral officials to file all relevant land measurements,” the attorney said.

In 2007, Lorpeang villagers claim that the KDC company, owned by Chea Kheng, wife of the Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy Suy Sem, took more than 500 hectares of their farmland with no payment or agreement.  The company insists the land was purchased properly.

Since then, almost all of the working-age men in the village have gone to Thailand to work on fishing boats because they no longer have any land to farm.

Twenty-two families affected by the land dispute have filed individual complaints against KDC seeking the return of their farmland.

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