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8 Jun 2023

Runn Sreydeth & Khuon Narim, CamboJA

Cambodia: Kandal provincial residents protest against landfill by new airport development company; company denies

"Kandal Residents Protest New Land Filling Near Airport Development", 8 June 2023

Kandal village residents protested … against the filling in of land near their homes at the $1.5 billion airport development project, with a company official saying they were only filling the homes of three people who had agreed to leave the site.

Villagers in four communes of Kandal province have been locked in a dispute with construction activity around the Techo Takhmao International Airport, which is being developed by the Pung Khiev Se-owned Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation to serve as Phnom Penh’s new airport.

Around 30 villagers from Ampov Prey village in Kandal Stung district’s Kandork commune said they saw local officials and construction crews filling in land next to a waterbody called Canal 94 ....

Photos and a video from the protest site show a lineup of local officials and airport company security guards blocking the villagers, as three excavators continued to move land…

Youn Sreymom, a 49-year-old resident, said she was concerned her house would be demolished if village residents had not intervened.

“I was worried that they would quietly clear my house this morning,” she said. “Fortunately, the villagers came to stop it, otherwise my house might have been demolished.”

… Chiv Kok Say, who is in-charge of land acquisitions for the new airport project, said the company was only filling in the houses of three families in the village who had agreed to vacate their homes after getting $2,000 each.

“We did not demolish houses of [other] villagers. We filled up the land of families who have already received compensation,” he said during a phone interview…