May 7, 2019

Villagers appeal for road access to disputed land

More than 100 families in Preah Sihanouk province’s Tracheak Chet and Bat Khteah communities gathered on Monday to submit a petition asking the Prey Nop district administration to order the Thansuor Chamkat company to open an access road for them to transport their crops through disputed land.

You Veasna, the villagers’ representative, told The Post on Monday that the dispute has been unresolved since 2011.

He said the villagers gathered at the Preah Sang Doek Dai Khmeng roundabout on National Road 4, about 2km from the Prey Nop District Hall, before marching to the hall to deliver their petition.

“The district authority accepted our petition but said it was beyond their jurisdiction. The villagers were told to request a form and have it recognised by village and commune chiefs and the district administration and then send it to Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall,” Veasna said.

He said he will prepare a document in the next two or three days.

“More than 60 families in Tracheak Chet community have more than 303ha of land whose ownership has not been resolved, while Bat Khteah community has more than 40 families with more than 250ha of land.

“The company has encroached on the land without a licence or ministry recognition,” Veasna said.

Prey Nop district deputy director Khorn Morn, who met with the villagers, told The Post on Monday that they had submitted petitions to the Provincial Hall, the National Assembly and the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.

“Their petition only covers one subject – a request to open the road to provide access to their land."

“But with regard to their land, they had already submitted petitions to the National Assembly and the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction. Pending that result, the matter is beyond the district’s authority,” Morn said.

Samrung commune chief Kuoy Saran said he knew some of the elderly villagers but not the younger people, as they had only come to live in the area about a year ago.

“I only know the old people. As for the younger people, I don’t know. They just recently came to live here and find land. Some people came about a year ago. I know about 30 per cent of them,” he said.

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