Families in Tbong Khmum province embroiled in land conflicts with two rubber plantations last week sent a letter to the Ministry of Land Management for intervention.
The 524 families, who say they have been living on the land in the province’s Memot district since 1979, said in the letter to Minister Im Chun Lim that the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries already confirmed their ownership of more than 20 hectares.
“Procedurally, when we receive a complaint, we need to investigate the whole dispute before making a decision,” said Seng Lot, spokesman for the Ministry of Land Management.
Villagers claimed in the letter that land was previously measured when they had a row with Memot Rubber Plantation Co, Ltd. But with that controversy lingering, nearby Boeung Ket Rubber Plantation Co Ltd now claims they own some of the land.
Neang Sovath, a provincial coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said villagers are merely asking for a small plot of land.
“They are just demanding legitimate ownership. The companies own thousands of hectares of land.”