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200ha land dispute in Kampong Thom ‘resolved’

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A long-standing land dispute in Kampong Thom province’s Taing Kouk district was resolved on August 9. KAMPONG THOM ADMINISTRATION

200ha land dispute in Kampong Thom ‘resolved’

Kampong Thom provincial governor Nguon Rattanak has resolved a land dispute between the 7 Makara Phary Company and 99 families in the Koh Reas area.

Following August 9 talks at the Sralao commune hall in Taing Kork district, the two sides agreed to divide the disputed land in half.

Rattanak, also chairman of the provincial cadastral committee, announced on social media that the meeting had successfully ended the dispute.

He said the dispute had been ongoing, and that the courts had been involved, in an attempt to obtain a court order for the right to use state land. During the meeting, representatives of the families and the company spoke about the history of the land and their use of it.

Rattanak worked for several hours to mediate and find a solution. His efforts were successful when both parties agreed to end the dispute by dividing the 200ha in half. The governor urged local authorities to work with the company representatives to meet the 99 families and distribute their new plots of land – with clear demarcation posts.

During the meeting, he asked both parties to withdraw any additional complaints they may have before the courts.

“Let both parties end all cases so we can enjoy peace, both physically and mentally, and reap its benefits. Do not leave the land unused; make productive use of it,” he said.

Sralao commune chief Kol Nhim said people were happy the issue was resolved and that they would receive their land. He said the dispute began in 2021, when the company invested in land which the families had been farming since 2004 and stopped them.

“People had been farming part of the land since 2004, but in 2021 the company came in and affected people’s access to the land. That’s when the dispute started. I am very pleased that the governor was able to fix it,” he said.

Nhim Sarath, Adhoc coordinator in Kampong Thom province, said on August 10 that if the decision is made to resolve a long-held occupation through a consensual agreement between the people of a place and a private company, it is good news.

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