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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Koh Kong families call on firm to resolve decades-old row

Source : Khmer Times

Villagers embroiled in a land dispute with UDG in Koh Kong work on a boat that a family had been using for shelter after the firm allegedly burned down their house in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Three families that have held out for fair compensation from a Chinese-owned company in a decade-old land dispute in Koh Kong province urged the firm on Sunday to provide a speedy solution.

The three families – the last holdouts after hundreds of others have moved out – said Union Development Group (UDG) had built fences around their properties in Kiri Sakor district’s Koh Sdach commune, blocking their access, in an attempt to force them to give in and accept an unfair deal. Continue reading

NGOs decry vulture decline

Source : Phnom Penh Post

Vultures pick at an animal carcass on the Kingdom’s eastern plains. WCS Cambodia

Vultures in the Kingdom are facing an increasingly high risk of extinction as the birds have shown a 50 per cent decline in numbers since the late 2000s, a joint announcement from environmental organisations said on Saturday, quoting a report. Continue reading

Court sentences land protestor to 18 months

Source : Khmer Times 

Protestor Heng Sok after he was arrested. Supplied

Koh Kong Provincial Court yesterday sentenced a man locked in a land dispute to 18 months in prison for destruction of property after a complaint was filed by representatives of tycoon Ly Yong Phat.

The court prosecuted Heng Sok, a 48-year-old representative of 50 families locked in a 103-hectare land dispute with Mr Yong Phat’s company, which was granted an Economic Land Concession in the province. Continue reading

Villagers in Sihanoukville ask for parcels of forest

Source: Phnom Penh Post

Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities on Wednesday made a field visit after villagers from the local communities requested a carve-out of parts of a 303-hectare forest land for 68 families in Prey Nub district’s Samrung commune.
Soum Sophat who represented the 68 families said the villagers were happy with the authority’s response, though they had little hope that their requests would be granted. Continue reading

Koh Kong Authority Announces Plan to End Land Disputes with Chinese Corporation

Source: VOA 

FILE PHOTO – Land dispute villagers from Koh Kong province ​gathered to submit a petition to the National Assembly in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, August 4, 2016. (Leng Len/VOA Khmer)

Chinese corporation Union Development Group (UDG) has forced more than 1,000 families from their homes over the past 10 years.

The Koh Kong provincial authority has announced a plan to demarcate land subject to a dispute between local villagers and Chinese corporation Union Development Group (UDG). Continue reading

UN, Licadho stopped from Oddar Meanchey dispute probe

Source: Phnom Penh Post

Anlong Veng district authorities in Oddar Meanchey province on Wednesday allegedly prevented a civil society organisation and United Nations officials from investigating a land dispute involving 122 families living in Anlong commune.

The villagers have accused the authorities of grabbing their land illegally. Officials, however, claim that these people came and cleared land owned by the state, according to In Kongchit, a coordinator at NGO Licadho.

Kongchit confirmed that on Wednesday, he and two UN officials were blocked by Anlong Veng authorities from meeting the people and investigating the situation. He said it was illegal as they were prohibiting a civil society organisation from helping people.
Continue reading