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Khmer Rise Party: Preah Sihanouk governor grabbing land

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Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung is the president of the Khmer Rise Party (KRP). Facebook

Khmer Rise Party: Preah Sihanouk governor grabbing land

The leader of the Khmer Rise Party (KRP) on Friday submitted a report to Prime Minister Hun Sen accusing the Preah Sihanouk provincial governor of colluding with two prominent tycoons to grab land for personal gain in the province.

KRP president Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung is among 16 leaders of political parties that have joined the Consultation Forum, a committee formed by the prime minister to give feedback to the government on social issues and as a step towards a "culture of dialogue".

In his report, Sovann Vathana Sabung alleges that provincial governor Yun Min had conspired with tycoons Siv Kongtriv and Ly Yong Phat to grab 4ha of state land within the Ream National Park in Prey Nop district's Bit Traing commune.

The trio denies any wrongdoing.

Sovann Vathana Sabung said on Sunday that he had gathered "reliable evidence" to back up his claims.

He said he had raised the issue at the Consultation Forum and reported it to Prime Minister Hun Sen for further action.

“The land titles that Okhna Siv Kongtriv claims to have held are no longer valid,” he said.

The government designated the area as a forest cover in an announcement on April 7, 2006. Former Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Say Hak also issued an announcement on May 26, 2006, revoking all land titles and land reclamation in the area as state property.

The KRP alleged in its report that the governor had created a provincial committee to transfer the ownership of the state-owned land to the tycoons. However, the transfer has been rejected by the provincial environment department.

Yun Min dismissed the KRP report as groundless.

“It is not true. I comply with the laws. The Ministry of Interior has also come to examine it and hasn't found any irregularities,” Min said.

The Ream National Park spans 21,000ha.

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