Friday, 4 March 2011

Residents demand sacking of village chief


via CAAI

Friday, 04 March 2011 15:02 Tep Nimol

Villagers in Stung Treng’s Nhean village in Sesan district say they are awaiting a response from the provincial governor over demands that he discharge the current village chief from his position, after villagers filed a complaint to provincial hall yesterday.

Kim Heng, village representative of Nhean village, said that 33 villagers travelled to the provincial hall to file a complaint letter containing 101 thumbprints and seeking the removal of Nhean village chief Se Darakham in Sdao commune.

“The village chief committed corruption, threatened to withdraw land documents and looked down on villagers many times since he was appointed as the chief, so the villagers want to have a new chief,” Kim Heng said.

She added that provincial authorities prevented 33 villagers from protesting in front of the provincial hall yesterday and deployed armed police to break up the protest.

They did, she added, allow four village representatives to meet with provincial officials to discuss the complaint.

“We met for two hours with them, but they did not decide a thing because the governor was absent, so we were asked to go back to the village and wait for the results,” Kim Heng said.

Se Darakham could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Loy Sophat, provincial governor, said he had asked his officials to investigate the allegations.

However, he said it would be “difficult to remove him from village chief” as Nhean village is not an official village recognised by the Ministry of Interior.

He added that the area was designated for the use of military families to plant rice and that his officials would investigate the matter further and report back to him.

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