Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kratie land dispute goes on

Kratie land dispute goes on

Villagers from Kratie province sit at Samaki Rainsy pagoda in Phnom Penh last month
Villagers from Kratie province sit at Samaki Rainsy pagoda in Phnom Penh last month. Hong Menea

Kratie land dispute goes on

Hundreds of families from Kratie province’s Snuol district who were promised new plots of land after a Vietnamese rubber firm evicted them last month have complained that provincial officials are allowing hundreds of interlopers to stake a claim instead.

The 405 families were evicted from the district’s Khsoem commune on May 2 and spent almost four weeks living in a Phnom Penh pagoda before accepting a government offer of a new 750-hectare social land concession in the same district on Sunday.

Nguon Vibol, a representative of the families, said yesterday that he intended to file a complaint to the government after discovering that the authorities responsible for drawing up the cadastral list had so far included about 1,040 families.

“We recognise only 405 families’ [claims]. We do not recognise the other people registered by the provincial officers. I think the authorities are putting pressure on us,” he said.

He added that people not in the original group of displaced families did not have a legitimate claim to the land and should be taken off the list.

“The authorities allow any people to register, so the authorities themselves have to find land for those people and the authorities cannot touch our land at all,” he said.

The families are mostly from Kampong Cham province and relocated to their former site in Snuol district in 2008. On May 2, Vietnamese rubber company Binh Phuoc II took over the 2,025-hectare site, which it plans to turn into a plantation.

Khan Chamnan, Kratie deputy governor, confirmed that more families had registered for the land than the original 405 who were displaced, but denied that it was the authorities’ responsibility to ensure that only those with a legitimate claim were included.

“The increase is their problem. It is not me who bloats the figures, and I don’t call and bring those people to come and register,” he said.

Chan Soveth, senior investigator at rights group Adhoc, said it was difficult enough to resolve the issue for the families who came to Phnom Penh, so the government should prioritise their requests.


  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • EU timber deal in firing line

    A committee of more than 20 national and international organisations filed a petition to the EU on October 10 to prevent it from signing a timber trade agreement with Vietnam, noting that the deal would be disastrous to the Kingdom’s forests. The petition claims Vietnamese timber

  • Kim Sok to keep up fight ‘for change’ from Finland

    Kim Sok, wanted by the Kingdom’s authorities for defaming the government, reiterated on Sunday his determination to continue helping to make “a real change” to Cambodian politics after receiving asylum in Finland, even as a government spokesman mocked the political analyst over the development.

  • PM: Programme to recover Vietnam War missing back on

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced the resumption of the MIA programme to recover the remains of American service personnel missing after action on Cambodian soil during the Vietnam War. The programme was suspended for more than a year after the US government imposed visa