Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Banteay Meanchey villagers seek dispute resolution

Banteay Meanchey villagers seek dispute resolution

Community members gather outside the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Hall demanding a resolution to long-standing land disputes. FACEBOOK
Community members gather outside the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Hall demanding a resolution to long-standing land disputes. Facebook

Banteay Meanchey villagers seek dispute resolution

Almost 100 people from Boeung Snor village gathered at Banteay Meanchey’s Provincial Hall yesterday, demanding that provincial authorities resolve a 13-year-old dispute involving land promised to a group of Khmer Rouge defectors by the government in 1997.

Boeung Snor village representative and former Khmer Rouge soldier Ouk Tang, 72, said Prime Minister Hun Sen offered his community’s 246 families 1,432 hectares of land in exchange for recognising his authority in 1997. However, Tang said, at the time his community could not afford the trucks necessary to clear the bamboo forest on most of the land.

Between 2004 and 2008, Tang said, a local military commander clear-cut 280 hectares of the land and sold it to a private company called Seng Houng Heng and an oknha, whom he did not identify, respectively.

In response, Tang said, his community petitioned the National Committee for Land Dispute Resolution, the Council of Ministers and Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet for help, to no avail.

“We do not want to hear the lying promise again and again,” Tang said.

In response to the villagers’ requests, Banteay Meanchey Provincial Deputy Governor Oum Reatrey signed a contract promising to resolve the dispute on June 9, after the commune elections.

“I have no hope and confidence that their land dispute will be resolved after the commune election since in the past, Oum Reatrey used to hint that he has no right to resolve it since another disputing party has a lot of powerful people behind them,” said Long Sokuthy, another Boeung Snor representative.

Reatrey could not be reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,