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Hun Sen signs off on Siem Reap land dispute

Villagers gather in Siem Reap
Villagers gather in Siem Reap yesterday, after more than 115 hectares of land were cut from Borey Angkor Siem Reap hotel. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Hun Sen signs off on Siem Reap land dispute

Prime Minister Hun Sen has signed two decrees handing more than 225 hectares of land held by a luxury resort in the tourist hot spot of Siem Riep to villagers who have lived there for decades.

The decrees, signed on Friday and yesterday, pass 115.41 hectares of land from the Borey Angkor Siem Reap resort to 727 families from Siem Reap’s Slakram commune, and a further 111 hectares held by the resort to families from Ampil commune.

According to a spokesman for the provincial government in Siem Riep, Bun Tharith, the decrees will come into force imminently.

“Next week we may hold the ceremony to hand over the land to the people,” he said.

Tharith noted that the land being handed to the group in Slakram commune is divided into two sections: a 51-hectare portion, which is home to 548 families and where the village of Beoung Don Pa is located, and 64 hectares where 179 families live in and around the village of Chong Kavsu.

Hun Sen paid an official visit to the area on April 14, during which he declared that he would not move the people from the land, which many claim to have occupied since the 1980s.

The villagers have been embroiled in a long-running dispute since the territory was handed to the resort’s developers, the Apsara Authority, in 1995.

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