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

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro