Cobra-Attack Land Dispute Victim Assaulted With Iron Bar

A man involved in a land dispute with a powerful land development company in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kok district on Tuesday filed a complaint with commune police after he was attacked with an iron bar as he drove his motorbike to a local market.

Ly Sreang Kheng, 58, the patriarch of one of three families locked in the dispute with the Khun Sea Import Export Company, alleged that an employee of the private firm carried out the attack.

“There were two people following me on a motorbike and one used the [iron bar] to hit me across the back,” Mr. Sreang Kheng said, producing a photograph of the wound on his shoulder.

“I know the attacker. I have seen him many times before,” he said, adding that he would file a complaint with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court today.

Mr. Sreang Kheng said he had provided all details of the attack and the attackers to commune police, but that he had little hope of a result, as the three families had already filed three complaints against the Khun Sea Import Export Company, to no avail.

In October, Mr. Sreang Kheng filed a complaint with the court, alleging that a man had thrown a bag containing three deadly cobra snakes through the window of his home. They also claimed that agents of the company had poisoned their pets.

Ham Kea, Boeng Kak I commune police chief, said Tuesday that identifying a suspect in the attack would be difficult.

“It is hard for us to do an investigation as we cannot identify the suspect and know nothing about him,” Mr. Kea said.

The three families in dispute with the Khun Sea company claim they have been living on their land since the 1970s in a building that once housed the local commune office and a CPP branch office.

However, the building containing the commune office and ruling party office were traded to the well-connected Khun Sea company by Phnom Penh municipality in 2013, leaving the three families fighting to hold on to their homes in the same compound.

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