Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Illegal reclamation site to be inspected on Koh Kong

Illegal reclamation site to be inspected on Koh Kong

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A site of illegal coastal reclamation in Sre Ambel district’s Chroy Svay commune in Koh Kong. Supplied

Illegal reclamation site to be inspected on Koh Kong

A mixed working group is due to inspect a site of illegal coastal reclamation in Sre Ambel district’s Chroy Svay commune in Koh Kong, provincial deputy governor Sok Sothy said on Wednesday.

The issue of land grabbing did not just occur recently, Sothy noted, without specifying the size of the area alleged to have been cleared without an authorisation.

“It has been happening over time since the previous mandate [of the government], but we do not blame anyone. [Provincial governor] Phouthong Mithona has appointed a working group, but since most of the members are currently busy, the inspection to monitor the conditions in the field will be conducted next week,” he said.

Furthermore, Sothy could not identify the “perpetrators” behind the land clearing activity in the area that the locals regularly call “Puy Chin Tong”.

Mean Prom Mony, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc confirmed that a case of mangrove clearing around the confluence had taken place in Chroy Svay commune.

Prom Mony alleged that Koh Kong authorities “had never punished the crafty land grabbers in accordance with the law”.

“So far, [Adhoc] has not seen the conspiring individuals or groups who cleared state land being brought to justice. The law exists, but its enforcement is lacking,” Mony said, calling on the authorities to enforce the laws “properly and transparently”.

However, Koh Kong Provincial Department of Environment director Morn Phalla defended the individual or group that cleared the territory.

“I cannot confirm whether the area belongs to a certain someone or group, [but] I just know that they hold titles to the land,” Phalla said.

A villager who lives in the area, Tith Sothea, alleged that the mangrove territory was filled by one Huor Hab, “someone with a senior position in the provincial administration”.

He said villagers used to fish in the area in the past until access to the reclamation site was blocked recently and 10 people were put in place to guard the site.

“Villagers have no knowledge of the issue and are afraid of powerful people. That’s why we stayed quiet and no one asked questions. They initially built a concrete wall, then they filled the water [body] with sand in an area which obviously spans more than 10ha,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Forest rangers seek 1,210 rifles after serious attacks

    The Ministry of Environment sought permission from the Ministry of National Defence to arm municipal and provincial rangers with 1,210 rifles in response to one of its rangers being killed and two others critically assaulted while out on patrol in Mondulkiri and Kampong Thom provinces. In

  • Rainsy stopped in Paris from boarding Thai flight

    Airline officials at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport on Thursday prevented Sam Rainsy from boarding his flight to Bangkok ahead of his announced return to Cambodia on Saturday. Prime Minister Hun Sen had earlier in the day assured Phnom Penh residents that there would be

  • Analyst: Rainsy blocked from boarding flight 'an excuse'

    THAI Airways not allowing Sam Rainsy on its route from Paris to Bangkok on Thursday is being used as an excuse to keep his standing among fellow coup plotters and his uninformed supporters as flights to non-Asean countries are available, an analyst said on Friday.

  • Rainsy lands in Malaysia

    Cambodian opposition figure Sam Rainsy arrived in Kuala Lumpur airport on Saturday afternoon after boarding a flight from Paris, where he has been living for more than four years. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Koy Kuong said on Saturday that Cambodia respected

  • Sokha continues call for dropping of charge after bail conditions reduced

    Not satisfied with having his bail conditions reduced, allowing him to travel freely in Cambodia, Kem Sokha says he wants his charge totally dropped. “As an innocent man who has been in detention for two years even without being found guilty, I continue to demand

  • Prayut indicates no entry into Thailand for CNRP’s Rainsy

    Cambodian government officials on Wednesday welcomed the position of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha after he indicated that Sam Rainsy would not be allowed to return to Cambodia through Thailand. “According to our commitment to Asean, we will not interfere in each other’s internal