Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lengthy Banteay Meanchey land dispute finally ends in payout

Lengthy Banteay Meanchey land dispute finally ends in payout

Lengthy Banteay Meanchey land dispute finally ends in payout

After a seven-year struggle, a Banteay Meanchey teacher finally got $8,000 in compensation for her land, which was seized by the Cambodian military during a border flare-up with Thailand.

Souk Ratha, a high school chemistry teacher, said that her father bought a hectare in Pong Rong village in Sisophon district in 1994 but, during the 2009 standoff between Cambodia and Thailand, a tank division took up defensive position on her land.

“They closed the gate, not allowing me to enter. Whenever I went there, they blocked me and told their subordinates to say unpleasant words to me,” Ratha said in an interview yesterday. “When I asked permission to plant, they said they were afraid it would block their armaments.”

Ratha said she wrote countless letters of complaint to local authorities and civil society over the dispute and staged multiple demonstrations. Over time, the military agreed to give $3,000, which she deemed insufficient.

The breakthrough came on Friday, when Provincial Governor Korsum Saroeut offered $5,000 more in provincial funds. “It is hard for her to earn a living and it’s definitely difficult [for her] to get new land for settlement; so let’s help her,” he said.

Sum Chankea, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, called the governor’s compensation a “good deed” under Buddhist tradition.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all