Kampot Villagers Protest Alleged Land Grab

More than 50 residents from Kampot province protested in front of the National Assembly Mon­day against alleged land grabs by authorities.

Most of the protesters came from the Trapaing Krachet village in Kampot and accused the commune chief there of stealing near­ly 60 hectares of land.

Villager Vao Than, 55, said he and others came to ask the government to return the land to its right­ful owners.

He said authorities took his land, promising to build a village for displaced and refugee families, but no such activity ever took place. Instead, he said, they sold the land to local businessmen.

“We want our land back for sur­vival. This is injustice for us,” Vao Than said.

Protester Um Siv, 40, said get­ting her land back is critical for the survival of her 10 children. “The commune chief took our land and sold it,” she said.

The commune chief couldn’t be reached for comment Mon­day, but Kampot District Chief Khuy Sean denied the allegations. He said the dispute was not between villagers and the government but instead between old villagers and new villagers.

“As long as I have researched this case, there are no officials in­volved in it,” he said.

Khuy Sean said he sent the case to his provincial superior for a ruling. “Let’s leave this case to the court to make the judgment.”


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