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People displaced by Asian Development Bank-funded railway protest at the Ministry of Land Management.
Residents displaced by Asian Development Bank-funded railway renovations protest at the Ministry of Land Management yesterday. Pha Lina

Residents displaced by railway renovations protest at Ministry

Two groups of aggrieved residents visited the Land Management Ministry today, one to file a petition and the other to check up on one filed in May.

The former, a 37-strong group representing 65 families from Takeo province’s Tram Kak district, has been in a land dispute with retired soldier Touch Panha over his claim to 915 hectares since 2005, according to village representative Un Lim.

Panha was not reachable yesterday. However, Cheab Neang – chief of Trapaing Kranhoung, one of the affected communes – said that Panha bought the land in 1997. Lay Phalim, part of one of the Land Management Ministry’s 27 land dispute resolution teams, promised the ministry would review the petition.

Meanwhile, 40 representatives from Por Sen Chey district’s Samrong Krom commune who were displaced by Asian Development Bank-funded railway renovations in 2010 also arrived at the ministry.

Representative Chea Vang said they were there to request a progress report on a petition they lodged in May requesting land titles. Lay Phalim said they could expect a response within a fortnight. Equitable Cambodia executive director Eang Vuthy said a legal analysis by his NGO confirmed the people were entitled to land titles.

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