Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Protesters want an end to satellite city dispute

Protesters want an end to satellite city dispute

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Chea Sophat speaks to the media outside the Ministry of Land Management in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. Pha Lina

Protesters want an end to satellite city dispute

Thirty villagers from Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district presented a petition to the Ministry of Land Management on Wednesday, seeking to resolve their dispute with the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC) before the July 29 national elections.

The petition contained thumbprints of five villagers: Mao Vantech, 46; Seng Sariem, 41; Ith Navy, 41; Pol Amreth Kitya, 37; and Chea Sophat, 64.

Sophat, who represents 100 families involved in the dispute, said they are victims affected by the $1.6 billion Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC) satellite city project.

“Our petition urged the ministry to intervene and stop [the company’s] activities until the dispute is solved. We want some of the land [granted to the OCIC] given back to the people,” the petition said.

Sophat said the company had already filled their 4,153 square metres of land with sand.

“My land has been filled with sand, and the disputed area has been fenced up. I hope the land minister will not ignore our predicament and expect us to deal with Phnom Penh authorities,” he said.

In September 2016 and then again in March last year, Phnom Penh City Hall presented a take-it-or-leave offer of 10 percent of the land, which the villagers declined.

They are demanding that the dispute be resolved before the elections, and are seeking compensation based on current market prices, Sophat said.

He said the villagers had noticed that the ministry was stepping in to help resolve land disputes in various provinces, and hoped it would help them too.

“Why would [the minister] ignore us?” he asked.

The villagers, Sophat said, submitted a similar petition to Chroy Changvar District Hall in March this year, but it was ignored. He claimed they had gone to the Ministry of Land Management multiple times as well.

“This is the fourth time we are petitioning the ministry. On all previous occasions [the ministry] just sent us to Phnom Penh City Hall.

“Now that it has accepted our petition, I hope the ministry will handle the matter directly,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the