Vietnam has agreed to ban its citizens from leasing land in Cambodia to avoid increasing tensions along the border following a request from Prime Minister Hun Sen, according to Interior Minister Sar Kheng.
Kheng yesterday said that Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung had agreed to a proposal from Prime Minister Hun Sen that would prohibit Vietnam from renting land on the Cambodian side of the border.
Kheng said that he had been authorised by Hun Sen to continue to investigate the border situation and was awaiting final reports from the provinces.
“We are waiting for information from the provinces. We let those provinces make reports until February,” he said.
“We will resolve this problem according to each case, without treating all cases the same, to avoid affecting people’s interests.”
Opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party spokesman Yim Sovann said the CNRP welcomed the government’s policy “in principle”.
“We do not want to have land rented to each other. We are worried about the deals being unclear along the border, which could in effect mean we lose territory,” he said, adding that he suspected that local authorities along the border had leased land illegally to Vietnamese.
Kem Ley, a social researcher who founded the Khmer for Khmer political movement, said the probe should also be accompanied by wide-ranging deportations of ethnic Vietnamese living in Cambodia illegally.