Russei Keo Officials Protest Over Land Disputes

Some 120 commune and village officials protested against a businessman in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district on Wednesday morning, accusing him of trying to take their land, officials said.

Samrith Math, 50, a CPP candidate for the upcoming commune elections, said he joined the protest against okhna Dy Po to try to stop the land developer’s trucks from dumping landfill onto 30 hectares of land claimed by residents of Chrang Chamreh I commune.

“I request Samdech Prime Min­ister [Hun Sen] and City Hall to help us get justice,” he said. He added that he has sent a complaint to both the National Assembly and the municipality about the case.

Dy Po could not be reached for comment.

Mom Phai, 57, chief of Village 3 in the commune and also a CPP candidate in April’s elections, said all the protesters belong to the ruling party.

Klaing Huot, the CPP’s Russei Keo district governor, said Dy Po ob­tained the land legally.

“It is the land of Dy Po, he has the right land titles,” he said. “Any­one who complains will be punished—the country has laws.”

Chrang Chamreh I commune chief Huy Mora, who did not at­tend the protest, said the demonstrators included councilors, village chiefs and their deputies.

“The 120 people just want a compromise so that they can get the land back,” he said, though he add­ed that he was unclear of the details of the case.

On Monday, Hun Sen declared “war” on land grabbers and warn­ed that CPP officials had a week in which to return state land or they would lose their jobs.

National Assembly and CPP Hon­orary President Heng Samrin said he had not received a complaint from the protestors, and that if he does he will forward it to the National Authority for the Reso­lu­tion of Land Disputes.

“I do not know who Dy Po is yet,” he said.


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