Hundreds of residents in two villages in Kandal province yesterday gathered to protest the alleged sale of 10 hectares of land containing a natural stream, and demanded that it be kept for collective use.
Local authorities, however, dismissed villagers’ concerns, saying they were misinformed.
Soung Sophon, one of the protesters, said the villagers from two communes in Khsach Kandal district, were surprised to see cement poles installed in the middle of the dry stream bed.
“Just two weeks ago, we [began] to see the poles across the stream,” he said, adding that about 1,000 thumbprints had been collected to petition against the alleged sale.
But commune chief Hun Kawy denied the stream had been sold at all, as did district governor Kong Sophorn, who said villagers who live near the stream had received land titles and some of them had installed the poles to demarcate their land.
There will be a meeting next Wednesday to find a solution for the villagers protesting, he added.
“I told them to avoid problems with the authorities and villagers who have land titles,” he said.