Koh Kong families protest tycoon’s land concession

Source:  Khmer Times

The company says it is not clearing land that belongs to families that have not accepted compensation. Supplied

More than 30 families living in Koh Kong province’s Kiri Sakor district yesterday protested against the work of a Special Economic Zone company owned by tycoon Ly Yong Phat.

The company, which has an economic land concession in Prek Khsach and Samrong Takeo communes, is clearing forest for development in the area.

Residents are concerned about the loss of their land, so went to stop the work of heavy machinery being used to clear the forest.

Citizen representative Ven Hout said the firm was clearing forest yesterday and on Sunday, despite land disputes between the company and local people.

“The company has previously resolved disputes with more than 100 families, but there are still more than 30 families that have no solution, so we were afraid they would clear our land and went to stop them,” he said.

“We would like to ask them to resolve the disputes with citizens first before clearing the land.”

In Kongchit, Koh Kong coordinator for rights group Licadho, said officials from the local authority and the SEZ went to negotiate with residents following their protest. They have pledged to settle the dispute in the next five days, he added.

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