Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - EU calls for suspension of land rights NGO to be lifted



EU calls for suspension of land rights NGO to be lifted

EU ambassador George Edgar speaks at a press conference hosted at the European Union office in Phnom Penh last year.
EU ambassador George Edgar speaks at a press conference hosted at the European Union office in Phnom Penh last year. Heng Chivoan

EU calls for suspension of land rights NGO to be lifted

The European Union’s ambassador to Cambodia, George Edgar, yesterday called on the government to end its ostensibly temporary suspension of land rights organisation Equitable Cambodia.

Edgar said he had raised the issue with the Ministry of Interior, which had issued a letter to the organisation at the end of September ordering their suspension for 30 working days for allegedly failing to comply with the controversial Law on Associations and NGOs and their own bylaws.

Equitable Cambodia has worked with villagers in land disputes nationwide, many of whom claim that their land was grabbed by powerful companies, such as Phnom Penh Sugar, owned by ruling party Senator Ly Yong Phat.

“Equitable Cambodia . . . is one of those organisations which have been working with the affected communities for a long time, and we believe it’s important that the NGOs that have a worked with the communities should be involved in the process of resolving the [conflicts] around the sugar land concessions,” he said. “Equitable Cambodia is an important one of those organisations. We hope that they will be able to play a full part in the process.”

Prak Sam Oeun, director general of the Interior Ministry’s General Department of Administration, said that he wasn’t sure when the NGO’s suspension would be lifted, and directed questions to the director of the Department of Associations and Political Parties, Chhim Kan, who could not be reached.

Eang Vuthy, executive director of Equitable Cambodia, said they had still not heard from the Interior Ministry. “Although we have submitted all documents requested by the MoI, we have had no official response from them,” he said. “We are looking forward to their positive response so we can continue to assist affected communities.”

Additional reporting by Soth Koemsoeun

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and