Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers camp out to protest ‘land grab’

Villagers camp out to protest ‘land grab’

Villagers camp out to protest ‘land grab’

4 Kratie province

More than 100 people from two communes in Kratie province’s Sambor district gathered yesterday for a three-day protest in front of the provincial office of Think Biotech, a Korean-owned timber company villagers say is encroaching on their land.

Company officials have told residents of Sambor district’s Kampong Cham and Boeung Char communes that they cannot farm the disputed land after May, community representative Sam No, 54, said yesterday.

“We are planning to protest with a total of more than 1,000 people,” he said. “Now we have just gathered 100 people, but more and more are coming.”

As of yesterday evening, 10 armed policemen and six soldiers had taken guard at the office’s entrance, said Nam Nak, 33, one of the protesters setting up tents out front.

Since the company, granted an economic land concession, came to the district in April 2012, its activities have threatened about 4,000 families and 48,000 hectares of forest land, Nak said.

Villagers have requested the prime minister’s youth volunteers measure their land but have been told that receiving titles depends on their loyalty in the upcoming election, Nak and No said.

“Sok Chenda, president of the youth volunteers, and Kim Lour, a CPP local official, said in a meeting on May 19 that villagers must vote for the CPP,” Nak said. “If the party is not elected, they will not measure the land and give them land titles, and all the land in the district will be given to the company.”

CPP official Kim Lour yesterday denied Think Biotech was encroaching on villagers’ land.

“For the accusation that I pressured them to vote for the CPP, I think they misunderstood,” he said. “I said we cannot issue titles because it is near the election. When it is finished, we will . . . give them titles.”

Sok Chenda, youth volunteers president, and Kang Meng, head of Think Biotech, could not be reached.

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