Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Calls for clarity from Apsara

Calls for clarity from Apsara

Calls for clarity from Apsara

Villagers call authority’s restrictions on new construction unclear and arbitrary.

Siem Reap Province
LAWMAKERS are calling on the Apsara Authority to clarify construction restrictions for homes in Angkor Thom district, as residents of the district gathered at a public forum to complain that the rules were unclear and seemed to be applied selectively.

More than 100 villagers and lawmakers from three parties – the Human Rights and Nationalist parties and Funcinpec – attended the forum in Leang Dai commune, which was convened by the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights.

Sao Rany, a National Assembly member from the Nationalist Party, said villagers living on land over which the Apsara Authority has jurisdiction would be doomed to live in poverty if they were not allowed to construct chicken or pig cages. Several villagers in the district complained that the Apsara Authority had deemed such “additions” illegal.

“How can they develop if they cannot build chicken cages and pig [enclosures]?” Sao Rany said.

Funcinpec Party lawmaker Kuch Mony said a more fundamental problem was that the restrictions set by the Apsara Authority had not been clearly explained to those affected by them.

He called on the body to hold an educational workshop so that future disputes over the construction of buildings did not lead to violence.

Apsara Authority officials said earlier this month that they planned to file a complaint against villagers who tried to prevent the destruction of an illegally built home in Kokchak commune, and that the residents had threatened workers and damaged government property during their protest.

“I am a lawmaker, and I do not understand Apsara’s law,” Kuch Moly said.

“They are villagers. How do they know?”
Suon Bunthoeun, who organised the forum for CCHR, said he had invited Apsara Authority officials to attend the forum but had not received a response from the organisation. Bun Narith, Apsara’s director general, could not be reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the

  • 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