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

  • CNRP supporters rally in the streets of Tokyo

    Supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Monday rallied on the streets of Tokyo, demanding Prime Minister Hun Sen’s resignation and urging the Japanese government to “save democracy in the Kingdom”. Some 400 protesters in the rally, which was organised by

  • Over 100 Chinese nationals to be deported for online scam

    The Ministry of Interior is planning to deport 128 Chinese nationals after they were arrested in Preah Sihanouk province on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in an online money extortion scam. Y Sokhy, the head of the Department of Counter-terrorism and Transnational Crime, told The Post

  • LPG gas explosion injures 13 people, including foreigners, in Siem Reap

    An explosion on Wednesday at a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) car and tuk-tuk refuelling station in Siem Reap city has left 13 people, including an American and a Briton, suffering burns. The seven most severely burned, including a provincial police officer, were sent to a Thai

  • The French mother navigating the capital in her own personal tuk-tuk

    French woman Cecile Dahome gracefully manoeuvres her tuk-tuk through the manic streets of Phnom Penh with the precision of a Japanese katana before a herd of motorcyclists, attempting to perform illegal U-turns, cuts her off. The riders, like baby ducklings following their mother’s tracks,