Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kratie land disputes to be ‘resolved by experts’

Kratie land disputes to be ‘resolved by experts’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Some 800 protesters representing 1,642 families demonstrated in front of The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction on Wednesday. Heng Chivoan

Kratie land disputes to be ‘resolved by experts’

The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction on Wednesday ordered 19 experts to identify the families locked in a land dispute in Snuol district, in Kratie province, and find solutions for them through economic land concessions.

Some 800 protesters representing 1,642 families demonstrated in front of the ministry on Wednesday, before walking to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house to submit their petition.

While enroute there, they were blocked near the Vietnamese embassy causing a woman to faint during the confrontation.

The order to the experts was signed by the ministry’s administrative director and spokesman, Seng Lot.

The team was headed by the director-general of its housing department, Peng Hong Socheat Khemro, and other officials.

“The team must work with the Kratie provincial authority to identify the families based on the list of people who protested when the government granted the economic land concession to Memot Rubber Plantation Co Ltd."

“This will help to identify those who qualify for a solution [in land disputes] in a form of economic land concessions in accordance with government policy and legal procedure,” the order said.

The representative for Pi Tnou commune’s 1,642 families, Touch Dol, told The Post that the people were happy to meet the Minister, Chea Sophara, personally and have the opportunity to inform him of their difficulties.

Sophara, Dol said, confirmed at the meeting that he will prevent those with ill-intent, who were not on the list of protesters and wanted to prevent a resolution of the problem.

“After I receive the land [from] the government, I will plant cassava, cucumbers, and other vegetables for my family. I will build a small house to live in,” said a beaming Dol.

‘Ill-intentioned people’

Rights group Adhoc spokesman Soeung Sen Karuna applauded the government’s newly formed team, as the people have been waiting for years for a solution.

However, he said: “I fear that there are people with ill-intentions who will misuse this opportunity for their personal gain. The newly formed committee must pay attention to this so as to prevent it from happening. The process must be transparent, fair, and just,” Karuna said.

In addition to forming a team of experts to solve the land dispute, the minister met with 35 of the protesters’ representatives on Wednesday.

After the meeting, the ministry said in a press release that their representatives had agreed and confirmed that some people had cleared the land granted to Memot Rubber Plantation Co Ltd by the government as an economic land concession because they lacked land to cultivate.

They agreed to return to their homes and work with the Kratie provincial authority to help identify those who actually lived on the land.

They also agreed to accept any land size and location granted to them.

The government has consistently tried to find a solution for the people registered as protesters.

To obtain social land concessions, they need to submit applications to the authority and follow the legal procedures.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42