About 800 people representing more than 2,000 families in Kandal province yesterday gathered at the Provincial Hall to file a complaint against multiple private companies operating in their commune.
Phok Phanny, a representative of the villagers, said that they are appealing to authorities for intervention in a land dispute involving 400 hectares in Kandal Stung district’s Ampov Prey commune.
Mr Phanny said that various private companies, including the Heng Development Company, and land traders have cleared the land, despite previous complaints from villagers.
“Because there is no solution from the district, and seeing how close we are to election day, people are worried there will be no solution,” he said. “So we went to the Provincial Hall asking for intervention to be provided as soon as possible.”
According to the complaint filed yesterday, villagers are willing to escalate protests in order to expedite a solution.
“If there is no solution, people who are present this morning will occupy the land in protest and will not give in to company demands,” the complaint said.
Bo Savoeun, an official with the Provincial Hall, told protestors to return to their homes while provincial leaders find a solution for them.
Mr Savoeun noted that provincial leaders will meet representatives of the villagers today.
Bo Nareth, Kandal Stung district governor, said that the area was bought by Heng Development Company in 1996 and 1997.
The villagers warned yesterday that if their case is not solved by provincial authorities, rallies will be held at the national level.