Eight families involved in a land dispute in Kompong Chhnang province with Chea Kheng, the wife of Mines and Energy Minister Suy Sem, on Wednesday walked away from a meeting that was set up at their local district administrative office to resolve the dispute, an official said.
Kompong Tralach district governor Hul Chantho said the meeting had been called to discuss the possibility of compensation for the families, who have been in dispute with KDC International, owned by Ms. Kheng, since it took over 145 hectares of farmland in 2007.
“We invited those families for a meeting to solve the problem today, but they did not listen to the committee, and they walked out of the meeting because they are not happy with the compensation policy,” he said.
Mr. Chantho said that of the 52 families involved in the dispute, 35 had already agreed to a solution.
“We are trying to find a solution for the rest of the families, but we face a problem, because some of the families do not have the intention to solve the problem with us,” he said, explaining that he thought someone was encouraging them not to cooperate with authorities.
Reach Seima, 43, who owns a hectare of the land in dispute, said his family walked out of the meeting due to the low sum on offer.
Mr. Seima said he believed the land in question was worth $10,000 per hectare but that KDC was only offering lump sums of between $250 and $1,500 to each family.
pheap@cambodiadaily.com
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