Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers appeal over Sokimex dispute

Villagers appeal over Sokimex dispute

Villagers appeal over Sokimex dispute

110318_4
Villagers from Kampong Speu’s Treng Trayeong district protest in front of Hun Sen’s house in Takhmao town yesterday.

Sixty-six people representing 73 families from Kampong Speu province in a land dispute with petrol conglomerate Sokimex yesterday gathered at Prime Minister Hun Sen’s villa in Kandal province’s Takhmao town to ask for intervention after provincial officials prepared to evict them.

Mam Mao, a representative of families living in Treng Trayoeng commune’s Village 3 in Phnom Sruoch district, said yesterday that provincial authorities planned to remove their houses on March 25 and give their land to Sokimex representative Choem Savong.

“We arrived at Takhmao town on Wednesday to request for mercy and intervention from Samdech Hun Sen,” he said. “Samdech is our last hope.”

Mam Mao said that villagers had lived on the land since 1992 before a Sokimex representative filed a complaint against them in 2000, claiming that the land belonged to Sokimex.

Choem Dara, another representative of the villagers, said that a verdict was handed down against the villagers in January 2001, but villagers were not informed until April that year.

Choem Dara said that villagers sent a letter to the Ministry of Justice and a petition to the National Assembly after hearing the verdict and both bodies  told them they could return to their homes.

“I think that authorities and Choem Savong colluded together to evict and grab 7,500 square metres of our residence land,” said Choem Dara.

Villager Lai Im said that the villagers would not return until they had received an intervention letter from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“If we go back now or with empty hands, the authorities will remove and demolish our houses,” said Lai Im.

“I heard that Sokimex owners have hundreds of thousands of hectares of land.”

Kampong Speu  provincial prosecutor Kuth Sopheang said that a village representative lost the case in early 2001 after the court found that they had destroyed a fence to illegally live on the company’s land.

“On March 25 we will lead 172 relevant officials to implement the verdict to declare the return of the land to Sokimex,” he said.

“We hope that they will volunteer to move from the land by themselves.”

Sokimex representative Choem Savong could not reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group