Rainsy Meets With Villagers From Land-Dispute Community

CNRP President Sam Rainsy continued making the rounds of land dispute-affected communities who have traveled to Phnom Penh seeking help Friday by paying a visit to villagers from Kratie province’s Snuol district who are locked in a dispute with a South Korean agriculture firm.

The opposition leader’s visit to Wat Samakki Raingsey on the outskirts of the city, where the Kratie villagers have been staying for two weeks, comes a day after he visited Kompong Chhnang villagers who walked to Phnom Penh earlier in the week seeking intervention in their dispute with the wife of Mines and Energy Minister Suy Sem.

CNRP President Sam Rainsy meets with villagers from Kratie province, who are demanding Prime Minister Hun Sen’s intervention in their land dispute, at Phnom Penh’s Wat Samakki Raingsey. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
CNRP President Sam Rainsy meets with villagers from Kratie province, who are demanding Prime Minister Hun Sen’s intervention in their land dispute, at Phnom Penh’s Wat Samakki Raingsey. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

The Kratie villagers that met with Mr. Rainsy Friday say that land was titled to them in 2012 but then taken away after a complaint was filed to provincial officials by Horizon Agriculture Development, which says it purchased the land in 2010.

The villagers have three times this month petitioned the cabinet of Prime Minister Hun Sen to intervene, as student volunteers working for the prime minister’s land-titling scheme measured off the land for the villagers in 2012.

“We will help and support all the villagers to receive their land,” Mr. Rainsy told people gathered at the pagoda.

“Even though I am a lawmaker for Kompong Cham, I still work to protect all the people.”

Villager Eak Sambath said the visit had lifted his spirits.

“We were really happy to see him today. My last hope is with Sam Rainsy—that he can help and have the power to call on the [provincial] governor to end our problem,” he said.

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