Villagers protest closure of road

Source: Khmer Times

Protesters stand outside the gate blocking the road. Supplied

About thirty residents from six villages in Poipet town protested against the closure of a road leading to their homes yesterday outside the Star Vegas Hotel and Casino in Kbal Spean village.

Soum Chankea, coordinator for rights group Adhoc in Banteay Meanchey province, said the gate had been closed for months and people gathered to protest because their requests to local authorities and the casino had gone unanswered.

“According to my observation, there are about 30 of them protesting,” he said. “The road belongs to the hotel and casino. The gate has been closed for a long time, about three months.”

Online video of a protester showed a man saying the road was once just dirt and hundreds of villagers were free to use it.

“I have lived here for ten years. We came here to request that the authorities and hotel open the road for people to travel on,” the man said.

“Before, it was just a dirt road. After they developed it, they started to close the road, not allowing the people to travel.”

Calls to the hotel went unanswered yesterday.

Provincial governor Suon Bava said that he would let the Poipet town authorities deal with the issue.

Town governor Ngor Mengchruon declined to comment.

However, he told local media that he would hold a meeting with the casino owner.

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