With New Neighbors, Villagers Want Land Concession

About 300 villagers protested in front of the Siem Reap provincial hall on Tuesday to demand the government provide them with a social land concession as it did last month for a group of 85 families that moved into their district in 2006.

The protesting villagers were representing a group of 562 families who say they have been living in Banteay Srei district’s Tbeng commune for more than two decades.

“We have lived in that area since 1992, but we do not have enough farmland for rice fields,” said Kun Eng, 44, a representative of the villagers.

“But for 85 families who just came from another province in 2006, the authorities gave farmland to them.”

Deputy provincial governor Sin Ron said he received a petition from the group Tuesday.

“We just received the residents’ petition today, so we could not respond to their request now,” said Mr. Ron, who confirmed the 85 families that moved into the district in 2006 received a 96.4-hectare concession last month.

“We need to check on the case first.”

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