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Kok Kong villagers accept government land deal

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Villagers from Koh Kong province protested in the capital over the weekend. Pha Lina

Kok Kong villagers accept government land deal

Villagers from Koh Kong province have accepted compensation and returned home after protesting in the capital over the weekend, according to the provincial governor.

Koh Kong Provincial Governor Mithona Phouthorng said representatives of 317 families, who previously rejected land they were given as too rocky, have now made a deal. She said the lottery for the plots has already started.

Phouthorng met with villagers on Friday at Samakey Rangsey pagoda in Phnom Penh.

“They accepted the compensation in the form of land and cash. Now they will return to the province. They accepted the lottery for the land. It takes time to complete such deals, we need all the villagers to participate,” she said.

Choem Sreythoun, 30, from Koh Kong’s Sre Ambel district said she protested for three days in the capital and claimed the deal was made for the lack of an alternative solution.

“We are being practical in that we have no other choice or solution. And it is nearly the election. The provincial governor promised to make a road for us. I am not happy about it because the land I really want is just one kilometre away from my house, but now my land is five kilometres away,” she said.

Another villager from Sre Ambel, 45-year-old Ly Chanratha, said: “We thought [the land] was a waste of time for earning a living. The governor came to talk with us in Phnom Penh.

“She talked for more than two hours and urged us to accept the compensation. We finally agreed to accept it,” he said.

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