The governor of Battambang province has promised to attempt to find a resolution in a long-running land dispute after 250 people held a protest in front of Battambang Provincial Hall yesterday.
Villagers representing more than 300 families from Stuk Bravek and Prey Tralach communes in Rokhakiri district gathered to demand authorities stop an alleged land grab of 500 hectares of forest they say is theirs.
According to villager representative Chrun Puth, the King issued a royal decree in 2012 saying the disputed land should be divided up and distributed to the community.
But recently, he claimed, a number of wealthy government officials had colluded with commune and forestry authorities to take the land.
But Stuk Bravek commune chief U Eang said that agreements that had been signed concerning the land were not about its distribution, but simply gave permission for a company to take soil from the forest to use to build a road.
He added that the supposed government officials were in fact poor villagers who had migrated from other provinces and asked for a temporary place to live.