Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government silent on ELCs

Government silent on ELCs

Government silent on ELCs

120509_06
Logs are stockpiled in March by the CRCK rubber company, which was granted an economic land concession, in Kampong Thom province’s Sandan district in Prey Lang forest. Photograph: May Titthara/Phnom Penh Post

Ministry officials were silent yesterday on how exactly they planned to implement Prime Minister Hun Sen’s suspension of any new economic land concession grants and review of existing ELCs.

Both the Minister of Agriculture Chan Sarun and Minister of Environment Mok Mareth could not be reached for comment yesterday and other ministry officials contacted, including Chay Sakun, director in charge of land concessions at the Ministry of Agriculture, declined to comment.

Provincial authorities in­volved in granting the now-suspended land concessions yesterday said they were ready to implement orders, but had received none.

Ratanakkiri provincial governor Pao Hamphan said he would enforce the regulation “immediately”.

“But now, we are still waiting for the decision of the relevant ministries such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Environment to [tell us how] to enforce this regulation firmly,” Pan Hamphan said, adding that 18 companies held about 80,000 hectares of ELC land in Ratanakkiri.

Kampong Thom’s provincial governor Chhun Chhorn said he was willing and able to cooperate with any instructions he received from the relevant ministries to enforce the premier’s regulation.

“When that regulation is set, we will enforce at that time,” Chhun Chorn said, adding there were 26 companies developing 50,000 hectares of land in Kampong Thom.

However, civil society organisations and opposition parties are concerned the regulation is nothing more than an election ploy.

Rights group Adhoc yesterday highlighted the regulation’s “convenient” timing, which could prove a “waiting period”, noting it would not overrule a law or sub-decree and is easily reversible.

To contac the reporters on this story: Meas Sokchea at [email protected]
Bridget Di Certo at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen ready to ‘break record’, says Rainsy lost

    Caretaker prime minister Hun Sen used a meeting with 18,400 factory workers on Wednesday to predict that he would beat the record for being the world’s longest-serving non-royal leader. He also used the platform to slam political opponent Sam Rainsy who he said had lost

  • Sihanoukville land prices skyrocketing amid breakneck development

    Sihanoukville, the Kingdom’s most famous beach destination for tourists, is seemingly becoming a paradise for Chinese investors as well. The huge influx of Chinese investors has caused property values to rise, especially the price of land, which has nearly doubled in some places near

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by