Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Village protests halt Phan Imex land clearing in Kandal



Village protests halt Phan Imex land clearing in Kandal

Phanimex Company owner Suy Sophan shows ownership documents to the press in 2015.
Phan Imex Company owner Suy Sophan shows ownership documents to the press in 2015. Heng Chivoan

Village protests halt Phan Imex land clearing in Kandal

A 20-year-old land dispute in Kandal province between residents of Por Miev village and the Phan Imex construction company hit a new snag on Wednesday when villagers discovered that workers had brought excavation equipment to a parcel of land that borders communal property at the heart of the conflict.

Koki Thom Commune Chief Chan Thou said the Phan Imex workers were clearing the land to build canals but that about 30 families owning some 40 hectares of land next door feared access to their property would be blocked.

The news that Phan Imex representatives were working on the land brought 30 villagers to the area to protest on Wednesday morning. Authorities were present but did not intervene. By about 1pm, the demonstration had put a halt to the construction of the canals.

“After we went to protest, the company ceased its activities, but there were conflicts. There were three or four policemen, and they just stood there,” said Leab Chab, one of the protesting villagers.

The communally owned land has been whittled down over time in incremental sales and Phan Imex has expressed the desire to buy the remainder, though villagers disagree with the price offered.

“The authorities are not working to find a solution for the people, and they also urged people to sell land to the company at the cheapest price, so we cannot sell,” said Chab.

Prak Sophal, a spokesman for Phan Imex, said that he knew that vehicles were brought to the area, but was unable to comment further.

This is not the only land dispute Phan Imex is involved with. As of early 2017, the company was embroiled in conflicts with as many as 554 families in Phnom Penh and Kandal.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting