Land protesters vow capital return

Source : Khmer Times

The protesters in Phnom Penh. Supplied

Representatives of about 400 families locked in a 670-hectare land dispute with NK Venture in Svay Rieng province’s Romeas Haek district have warned that protestors will return to Phnom Penh if negotiations with local authorities fail to yield results.

Negotiations began yesterday between local authorities and eight family representatives at the Romeas Haek District Hall.

Khieu Saron, a family representative, said she was disappointed by the negotiation process after local authorities promised to study the case without confirming when the case will end.

“We will wait for a resolution from the district authority, so we will give them additional time,” Ms Saron said. “However, we would again seek intervention from ministries in Phnom Penh if there’s no solution.”

The negotiations began following the submission of petitions to various ministries in Phnom Penh for intervention.

After yesterday’s negotiations, Hem Piseth, deputy provincial governor, said that officials have been studying the dispute in accordance with legal procedures.

“As the authorities, we are trying to resolve the issue,” Mr Piseth said. “We will work hard to resolve this case as soon as possible.”

Theng Savoeun, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Farmers Community, said local authorities must do more to speed up resolution.

Mr Savoeun said that the dispute, which began in 2010, has prevented residents from cultivating land.

“People need the land to cultivate crops in order to sustain their livelihoods,” he said.

According to the family representatives, the land dispute between the families and NK Venture first began when the company received an Economic Land Concession from the government for agricultural development.

 

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