Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t issues own dispute data



Gov’t issues own dispute data

People dismantle a dwelling in Sen Sok district during a land dispute
People dismantle a dwelling in Sen Sok district during a land dispute. The Ministry of Land Management released its figures on land disputes recently, claiming that there has been a reduction of land dispute cases since 2013. Vireak Mai

Gov’t issues own dispute data

After heaping criticism on rights group Licadho for allegedly exaggerating the seriousness of Cambodia’s land rights crisis last month, the government has released its own annual report on land disputes.

However, the report omits an overall figure for the number of disputes or affected families, making comparisons with Licadho’s findings difficult.

In a statement on February 19, Licadho said that land disputes had surged in 2014, after it received complaints involving more than 10,000 families. The figure had leapt from fewer than 3,500 in 2013, prompting condemnation from activists and claims the data were a “fabrication” from the government.

The government called on Licadho to submit its records for review, which the group did on Thursday.

In a letter the following day, the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction said that its own figures showed land disputes had significantly declined over the past few years, from 990 cases in 2013 to 750 cases last year, after the ministry “resolved” 240 cases. But its annual report released yesterday offered different figures still.

The government had ended 330 disputes covering a total area of 1,598 hectares and involving 2,432 families, it said. Twenty-four cases were dismissed and 62 withdrawn by the complainants, the report noted.

Ou Vordy, an undersecretary of state at the ministry, stressed the difficulty of assessing and mediating land disputes during the launch of the report yesterday.

“The process of solving the disputes takes a long time, because we need to conduct site inspections, and the land management of the dispute sides is unclear, and all of them want to win,” she said.

Bin Chhin, a deputy prime minister who includes land dispute resolution in his portfolio, said the government was hard at work to improve land management and distribution in the hopes of meeting its poverty reduction goals.

“We keep working towards land solutions through all of the national land management committees and administrative committees in order to reduce the number of land disputes,” he said.

But the government is working with insufficient data, according to Licadho.

Am Sam Ath, senior investigator at the rights group, said the government’s reliance only on official data from its agencies meant it was not in a position to assess the true scale of the current land rights crisis.

“I think the Ministry of Land Management should study our report and find resolutions for people who have suffered real land disputes,” he said.

Data released by Licadho last April showed that Cambodia had passed what it called a “shameful milestone”, with land conflicts having affected more than half a million people since 2000.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (