The The Phnom Penh Post reported that activists have continued their campaign to drive out sand dredging companies from Koh Kong province’s Botum Sakor district, refusing a meeting with local authorities and instead holding a 100-strong protest outside the district hall.
Concerned Koh Kong residents, joined by environmental activists from the campaign group Mother Nature, began an ambitious protest last weekend in the province’s Andong Teuk commune.
Sun Mala, an activist with NGO Mother Nature, said that a large number of Vietnamese boats suspected of illegal sand dredging are still floating offshore Koh Kong’s Andong Teuk commune. As of Wednesday evening, about 100 villagers and activists were protesting near Botum Sakor district office.
But a mining official in Phnom Penh said the operations are legal. He said “radical” protests were motivated by anti-government politics.
Efforts from authorities to negotiate with Mother Nature protesters have been unsuccessful, according to a mining ministry source.Other government officials told Khmer Times authorities will first try a “soft approach” with protesters. “But this approach won’t last forever,” one warned.