Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers petition Prime Minister over land dispute

Villagers petition Prime Minister over land dispute

Villagers petition Prime Minister over land dispute

Thirty villagers from Banteay Meanchey province’s O’Chrou district came to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house in the capital yesterday to deliver a petition concerning a decade-long land dispute.

Representative Keat Kith said officials from the Banteay Meanchey provincial hall had grabbed 113 hectares of land from more than 50 families since 2002 and, in turn, sold it off to land merchants without the villagers’ consent.

Keat Kith accused several officials in particular of stealing land, including provincial chief of land management Or Narath and former Banteay Meanchey deputy governor Sar Chamrong.

“The local authorities conspired with local officers, starting with the provincial, then at the district level.

“They invaded and grabbed villagers’ land. They have threatened and prohibited the people from entering the land for agriculture or planting,” he said, adding that excavators had ruined the farmland.

Prin Chhaem, 42, of O’Chrou’s O’Beichoan commune, said that for the past 10 years, authorities in the area had done nothing to help the villagers and that, because of the substantial amount of time they had been off their farmland, many villagers had been forced to cross the border illegally to seek work in Thailand.

Sar Chamrong said yesterday he was in no way involved in the conflict and claimed there had been no land dispute in the area during his term in office, as the villagers alleged.

“The villagers argued with each other because they were provoked by outsiders,” the former deputy governor said, without providing more detail.

Banteay Meanchey’s current governor, Oung Oeun, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Yuthana at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen defends decision to dock Westerdam cruise ship

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday hit back at critics who say he allowed the Westerdam cruise ship to dock in Sihanoukville for political reasons. Speaking at an annual gathering of the Ministry of Interior, Hun Sen said he acted to avert a humanitarian catastrophe

  • Cool heads will defeat Covid-19

    Since Covid-19 was first reported as a world health issue, cruise ships have been the worst to suffer after airlines. The experiences of those who were initially trapped on the Covid-19-stricken Diamond Princess are unimaginable. The cruise ship was rejected from docking at one

  • Hun Sen asks Cambodians to believe in government

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday asked citizens and investors to trust that the government will overcome the challenges brought about by Covid-19 and the loss of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme. Speaking to reporters at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh,

  • Westerdam passenger ‘never had’ Covid-19

    The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the US citizen that allegedly tested positive in Malaysia after travelling on the Westerdam was never infected with Covid-19 in the first place. In an article published in the newspaper USA Today on Friday, CDC

  • ‘Ghost staff’ found, $1.7M returned to state coffers

    The Ministry of Civil Service said more than seven billion riel ($1.7 million) in salaries for civil servants was returned to the state last year after it discovered that the books had been cooked to pay ‘ghost officials’. This is despite claims by the Ministry of

  • Affordable housing project in Kandal nearing completion

    Worldbridge Homes Co Ltd’s $73 million affordable housing project in Kandal province’s Koh Kor village, in Sa’ang district, is on track to be completed at year’s end or at the beginning of next year, its general manager Yuk Sothirith told The Post