‘This is my land’: Cambodian villagers slam Chinese mega-project
A few families in Cambodia’s southwest lead resistance effort against large resort including casino and golf courses.
Koh Kong, Cambodia | “I’m Cambodian, I’m not illegal here,” said Se Say Hieng, one of the last remaining villagers who refuses to leave land that now belongs to China’s Union Development Group.
Construction on a port and resort city in Koh Kong, southwest Cambodia, began in 2008. While it appears to have stalled, villagers claim that authorities have continued threatening and harassing them as they refuse to leave the leased land.
UDG was granted a 99 year lease on 20 percent of Cambodia’s coastline, deep within one of the country’s largest protected areas, for a pittance. Less than $100 per hectare each year. A royal decree was needed to make it available for development.
The area leased is more than three times the size of the legal limit for land concessions, villagers and rights groups have said.