Kampot, Kandal land disputes

Source: Phnom Penh Post

Community members gather yesterday outside the Land Management Ministry to demand government intervention to resolve a land dispute in Kampot province. Hong Menea

Villagers from two provinces gathered in front of the Land Management Ministry yesterday to seek intervention in land disputes in Kampot and Kandal, a day after villagers from Koh Kong province scuffled with police at a similar protest.

The protesters were met yesterday by Ol Sok Yuos, deputy administration director at the Ministry of Land Management, who took their petitions but said solutions will be left up to a ministry committee.

“We will check it based on technical conditions,” Sok Yuos said. “We will not take a long time. We will try our best to help them.”

Roughly 100 of the protesters were from Takhmao district’s Doeum Mean commune, where 350 families are embroiled in a long-running land dispute with a company owned by Oknha Oeng Bunhov. The company is attempting to build a satellite town on land spanning several districts in Kandal province.

Another 100 protesters from Kampot province came from Chhouk district’s Techo Apivhat commune, where 308 families are fighting with a company owned by tycoon Chan Sothea over 1,000 hectares of farmland.

That land dispute turned violent this month after villagers clashed with company workers and security forces.

Land Management Ministry spokesman Seng Lot declined to comment yesterday.

Su Sen, a villager from Kampot province’s Derm Mien commune, said that he came to Phnom Penh because local authorities had so far been unable to find a solution.

“I feel hopeless about the solution because they promised to solve it, but we do not know when they will,” Sen said.

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