Protesters in Kratie Stop Bulldozers in Land Dispute
December 7, 2012 | Posted in: Press
On November 28, 119 Prey Lang community members (29 women) from three villages in Kratie demonstrated against Think Biotech Co. Ltd., which they claim has encroached on land belonging to 79 families as well as forest areas in Prey Lang. Protesters stopped four bulldozers from clearing land and encountered three workers on the premises, but were unable to meet with company representatives who had left the scene. This protest came on the heels of one on November 18. In May, the Korean company received an economic land concession (ELC) of 34,007 hectares from the Cambodian government, well over the 10,000-hectare maximum provided by law. The ELC is located next to the Chhoun Hong rubber plantation.
Demonstrators said they were not only left alone by police, but that Kampong Cham commune officials even joined them. Community representatives asked officials for a meeting with commune, district, and provincial authorities to try to resolve the issue. On December 1, community representatives reported hearing that local and provincial authorities were working on a resolution, but did not believe it. They said they planned to continue their protests until the dispute was settled.