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Villagers again demand land resolution

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
The villagers vowed to return to Phnom Penh if the issue is not addressed. Supplied

Dozens of villagers representing 170 Prek Khsach community households in Koh Kong province’s Kiri Sakor district gathered at the Provincial Hall yesterday to petition authorities to speed up land dispute resolution involving two development companies.

A total of 50 villagers gathered at Provincial Hall to demand their right to a deed. They also lobbied for the release of a community representative jailed over the dispute.

Chhai Kimhuch, a representative, yesterday said a petition was submitted along with thumbprints of 170 households. Ms Kimhuch said the Provincial Hall has been slow to provide a solution to a dispute the community has with the Union Development Group.

“We have been asking for intervention from the [Land Management Ministry] ever since before the election. There has not yet been any progress,” she said. “So we are gathered here today to petition Provincial Hall to speed up the resolution for us.”

Community representatives also demanded the release of Heng Sok, who was jailed over the dispute.

Mr Sok, a representative of 50 households, was sentenced by the provincial court to one year and six months in prison for property damage after he placed poles on disputed land.

Koh Kong Governor Mithona Phouthorng yesterday said she has not yet received the petition. Ms Mithona said she would only act once she has received the petition.

“I have not yet seen this [petition], but I will check on this because right now the case is with the courts,” she said. “I will check the evidence in accordance with procedure.”

Following the submission of the petition, the villagers said they would return if no solution was provided.

The villagers also said they will again gather at relevant ministries in Phnom Penh if no solution is found.

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