Interview with a Senator

[Phnom Penh Post, 2011-07-14] Cambodian People’s Party senator Ly Yong Phat is the owner of Phnom Penh Palm Sugar and Kampong Speu Palm Sugar companies and has received controversial government land concessions spanning more than 18,000 hectares in Kampong Speu province. Recently, he came under fire for his firm’s sand dredging operations in Koh Kong province. Earlier this week, WikiLeaks released a 2007 US Embassy cable which described him as “The King of Koh Kong” for his prominence in the province. Post reporter May Titthara spoke to Ly Yong Phat on Tuesday about his developments.

What is your response to villagers who have rallied and blocked national roads in protest against your company’s sugar cane plantation in Kampong Speu province’s Thpong district?
Some political parties are behind the demonstrations and road blocks held by villagers. We all are Khmer: what is the use of harassing each other? What the villagers did was backed by someone. If no one was behind it, the villagers could not do it.

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