Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police, land protesters clash

Police, land protesters clash

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
During Wednesday’s gathering, the authorities clashed with protesters for almost 10 minutes. No one was seriously injured, but some protesters suffered minor bruises. Heng Chivoan

Police, land protesters clash

More than 100 villagers, representing 197 families from Chi Khor Krom and Chi Khor Leu communes in Koh Kong province’s Sre Ambel district, protested again on Wednesday and clashed with authorities in front of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction after the ministry had rejected their claims on Monday.

Det Hour, a representative of the families who hail from Chhouk, Chi Khor and Tany villages in Chi Khor Leu district and Chambak village in Chi Khor Krom commune, told The Post on Wednesday that she came to Phnom Penh to protest again because the ministry had declined to solve their land dispute.

She said the protesters gathered in front of the ministry to demand it find a resolution to their dispute with Heng Huy Agriculture Group, which has been ongoing since 2007.

During Wednesday’s gathering, the authorities clashed with protesters for almost 10 minutes. No one was seriously injured in the incident, but some protesters suffered minor bruises.

Hour said the police warned the protesters not to return because the ministry had decided not to address their concerns.

“I cannot accept it. It’s very unjust. They grabbed my land and gave my rights away, but the officials refuse to give us justice. We need our land back,” she said.

Another protester, In Thou, 40, also told The Post that the ministry’s decision was unfair. She said most of the 197 families had lived and grown crops in the area since 1993, with some villagers coming to live and farm there in 1995.

“In 2007, a private company owned by Okhna Heng Huy cleared the land and destroyed the villagers’ agricultural crops, and even threatened to kill me if I dared to protest,” she said.

Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction spokesman Seng Lot could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

A statement issued by the ministry on Monday said a related land dispute involving 987 families over sugar plantation concession land, used to produce sugar for export, had already been resolved.

“For the 197 families who came to protest at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction on June 1, claiming they were involved in the land dispute, in fact, they are not involved and will not be given a resolution,” the statement said.

The villagers’ petition requested that 421ha be removed from Heng Huy and returned to villagers. They also demanded compensation of $7,000 per family.

Heng Huy Agriculture Group owner Heng Huy could not be reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • ‘Pesticide-laden cucumbers’ kill two, poison 150 in Banteay Meanchey

    At least two youths have died and 243 others are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, dizziness and muscle weakness after they ate cucumbers suspected to consist of pesticides. The incident happened on Saturday, said Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem. He told The

  • Three dead, 13 injured in collapse at Siem Reap pagoda

    At least three people were killed and more than 10 others injured on Monday after a dining hall under construction collapsed at Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Kokchak commune, Siem Reap province. Provincial police chief Tith Narong said Military Police, soldiers and local volunteers had successfully recovered 16

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • China Unicom enters Cambodia

    China Unicom, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has expanded into Cambodia to build optical telecommunication pathways in the Kingdom as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Hong Kong-listed company officially opened its China Unicom (Cambodia) subsidiary on Monday to become the

  • PP-SHV Expressway on track for completion in early 2023

    The construction of the $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which broke ground at the end of March, is on track to be completed by early 2023, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Monday. The 190km high-speed highway linking the capital to the