04/05/2019, 13.11
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Farmers protest in Phnom Penh against large-scale sugar plantations

In 2010, over 1,500 families were evicted from land they had farmed for 31 years. The farmers want the ministry to speed up the compensation process. Previous agreements were reached without any participation from the communities concerned.

Phnom Penh (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Almost 700 people from different communities in Kampong Speu province yesterday protested (pictured) in front of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, seeking a solution to their long-running land dispute with three sugar companies.

The villagers petitioned the Ministry to speed up the settlement for the residents in 14 villages in Oral district’s Trapaing Chou commune, three in Rasmey Samaki commune and six in Thpong district’s Omlaing commune.

The litigants have been embroiled in the dispute since 2010 with Phnom Penh Sugar Company, Kampong Speu Sugar, and Sugar Plantation.

The former is owned by tycoon Ly Yong Phat, whereas the existence of the other two could not be ascertained, local media said.

Nine years ago, more than 1,500 families were evicted from the land they had farmed since the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979.

Yub Noeun, a Trapaing Chou commune resident, said she had lost 3 hectares of land, adding that she wanted to be compensated US$ 5,000 per hectare instead of the US$ 500 pay-out each family received from Phnom Penh Sugar in 2016.

Seng Sokhom, who represents the litigants from Oral district, said 20 people were invited to have a talk regarding their dispute with a ministry working group. The protesters, he said, agreed with the ministry’s idea to involve the communities in finding solutions.

Another representative Sok Siengheng said previous settlements were made without any participation from the communities.

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