Villagers Plan to Curse Minister’s Wife Over Dispute

Families locked in a years-long land dispute with Chea Kheng, the wife of Mines and Energy Minister Suy Sem, said Wednesday they plan to hold a two-day cursing ceremony after her company, KDC, failed to adequately compensate them for lost farmland in Kompong Chhnang province’s Kompong Tralach district.

“We don’t want to spill the blood of the company’s workers, because the majority of them are local villagers in this commune,” said Snguon Nhoeun, a member of one of 16 families who have held out for more than seven years as Ms. Kheng’s company has pressured them to take compensation they say is insufficient.

“The company has been building a concrete fence on disputed land, so the best option to avoid bloodshed is to hold a traditional cursing ceremony,” Mr. Nhoeun said.

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