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Marchers Get Promises of Help in Land Dispute

After walking for three days from their village in Battambang province, marchers on the way to Phnom Penh on Tuesday were promised talks with the government over a land dispute.

The marchers, numbering nearly 200, had reached Krakor town, in Pursat Province.

Bovel village representative Sao Mony said the marchers would meet with officials from the Ministry of Interior Wednesday to find a solution “in accordance with our goals.”

“If not, we will continue on to Phnom Penh,” he said. “Tomorrow we will send four people to join in the solution.”

The marchers say they have lost at least 100 hectares of land in sales in 1999 and 2005.

Sieng Sothorng, Battambang’s deputy governor, who brokered the proposed resolution, said a solution was like “bargaining,” and if a resolution was not found at first, “we will try again.”

Adhoc rights worker Phuong Sothea expressed doubt, saying the proposed solution could be a means to preventing the marchers from reaching the capital.