Villagers Hold Land Protest

About 90 villagers, angry over what they claim is a government attempt to confiscate land from 335 families in Banteay Mean­chey province to create a park, protested in front of the National Assembly Thursday.

The protesters held signs criticizing the local authority as corrupt. Moa Burn, the 52-year-old representative of the group, said villagers want the government to take down a sign, which reads “King Norodom Sihanouk Park,” from land in Preath Panlea commune in Serei Saophoan district.

Moa Burn claimed most villagers had been living there since the end of the Khmer Ro­uge regime and were the rightful owners of the land. But Thach Khorn, governor of Banteay Meanchey province, said the villagers had been paid compensation in 1993 after Untac helped the land authority move the villagers to clear mines.

Moa Burn said this is the third time villagers have come to Phnom Penh seeking a resolution. He handed out a proposal that he said was sent to the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly.


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