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Sugar company's compensation deals leave families bitter in Kampong Speu

Author: Jack Davies & Bun Sengkong, Phnom Penh Post, Published on: 20 June 2016

16 Jun 2016

In 2010, more than 1,500 families in Kampong Speu’s Oral district were evicted from the land they had cultivated since the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979 to make way for a Phnom Penh Sugar Company mega-plantation.

After years of campaigning, many of those families in recent weeks accepted compensation packages from the company…While the money offered was minimal, the deals received the stamp of approval of Suon Bunsak, head of the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC), a prominent umbrella NGO.

However, recipients, community leaders and NGOs have since raised concerns that the company – which has previously been accused not only of forced evictions but also using child labour – obtained the settlement agreements in a climate of bullying and coercion, and only after co-opting other community representatives, former NGO employees and even Bunsak himself…

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