KOH KONG, Nov. 4, (Khmer Times) – Villagers locked in a long-running land dispute with tycoon Ly Yong Phat blocked the Koh Kong Bridge Monday.
One woman was injured in the protest on the bridge, which spans the Mekong River and connects Thailand and Cambodia. The demonstration was the latest in a series of protests sparked by the building of fences on a sugar plantation owned by Ly Yong Phat. The villagers say the barriers will block access to the fields they farm.
Over 100 villagers from Preaek Khsach Commune have been protesting for two days, claiming provincial governor Bun Leut broke a promise to meet with them to discuss the release of their representative, Phorn Nol. The villager was charged last week with the theft of materials being used to erect the fences.
The villagers wanted to hand Mr. Bun a petition asking for the release of Phorn Nol, but the governor didn’t show up.
One protester, Youn Nov, said that the police and para-militaries used force to disperse the protesters. He alleged also that women were beaten and inappropriately touched during the crackdown on the demonstration.
At least one woman was injured during the confrontation. Yan Ny, a 72-year-old, who owns land in the disputed area of Koh Kong province, was hospitalised after clashing with the security forces.