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Villagers Oppose Coastal Backfill Plan and Leaflets are Seized

Authorities in the coastal Kampot province seized on Wednesday leaflets expressing opposition to a plan to backfill a seaside plot for development, activists said.

The measure was taken while residents in Boeung Touk commune were distributing the leaflets to passengers on National Road 3. Villagers said Cambodian government allowed the company Keo Chea Property and Development to backfill 200 hectares of Cambodian sea and that the backfilling destroys sea resources on which they are depending on.

“It will destroy crab population and fish sanctuary,” said Saing Pov, who publicly expressed opposition to the project.

Activists said some 500 households will be affected. The developer says the project will create up to 1,000 jobs.

“I would like to ask them to reconsider about this development. We have already studied on [environmental] impact from this investment that’s why the government grant us permission,” Keo Chea, president of the company, told VOA Khmer.