Chinese Company Guards Raze 21 Homes in Koh Kong

The Chinese-owned Union Development Group (UDG) last week demolished 21 houses on its sprawling $3.8-billion tourism development in Koh Kong province, residents and local officials said Sunday.

UDG, which began construction on the 45,000-hectare site inside Botum Sakor National Park in 2010, has so far evicted more than 1,000 families from the land.

On November 10 and 11, about 40 UDG-employed security guards razed the homes of 21 more, said Prak Nouen, 33.

“[The security guards] started to demolish and burn down my house without any notice or a compensation deal,” Ms. Noeun said, adding that she has been farming the two hectares of land her house sat on since 1995.

All 21 displaced families are now staying at the local Poyo Chorpon pagoda, she said. District governor Khem Chandy on Sunday said that he has already investigated the incident and found that UDG acted without permission from local authorities.

“The company did not inform or cooperate with local authorities,” he said, declining to comment further. Ly Tek Hey, a UDG foreman, declined to comment.

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