Source: Khmer Times | Thu, 15 September 2016, by Pech Sotheary
Nearly 100 people representing more than 300 families from three communes in Chroy Changvar district protested at the Land Management Ministry yesterday, asking for a resolution to their land dispute with the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC).
The protesters came from six villages in Prek Leap, Kien Khleang and Prek Tasek communes and asked for their land to be excluded from the OCIC’s satellite city development project.
Hun Sarith, representing 124 families from Prek Leap village, said they submitted the petition for intervention because there had been no response from local authorities and related institutions to their previous requests for resolution.
OCIC still has plans to clear the disputed land which made them really concerned about losing their land and homes, causing them to ask the ministry to provide land titles and spare their homes.
“Please ministry, do whatever to find a solution for us to trust 100 percent, and solve it properly for those six villages,” he said.
Kan Sokhorn, representing 85 families in Kien Khleang village, said authorities had promised to remove their land from the development and provide land titles to affected citizens, but they had yet to see any results.
He requested the ministry resolve the dispute by taking their land out of the development plans and providing adequate compensation to citizens from other villages who were affected
Ol Sok Yos, an official in charge of receiving complaints at the ministry, told residents that he would take their request to ministry leaders for consideration.
OCIC project manager Touch Samnang confirmed the company had leased 280 hectares of land from the state to develop as a satellite city in which 520 families were affected. He said nearly 400 families had already received compensation in the form of houses in Rung Reung City, while City Hall was working to resolve the dispute with remaining villagers.
“Those protesters are the last ones. Some people who lived there have already moved to Rung Reung City,” he said.
Executive director of the Housing Rights Task Force Sia Phearum urged authorities and the OCIC to resolve the dispute agreeably, saying that otherwise both City Hall and the company would be violating the villagers’ rights.