Preah Vihear authorities have struck a deal to cut off state-owned land and Metrey Pheap Company land for 546 families in exchange for individual land concessions.
The residents agreed to accept 2ha each in Antil village, Yeang commune, in Choam Ksan district, following years of dispute.
Preah Vihear Department of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction director Sam Saroeun told The Post that the 546 families had already accepted land concessions from authorities and the government. The authorities began measuring and cutting out the land on Monday.
He said the people were migrants and came to encroach on some of the state land and part of the Meytrey Pheap Company’s land.
Later, there was a land dispute between the people and the company for many years. The migrants are from Oddar Meanchey, Kampong Cham, Svay Rieng, Prey Veng, Banteay Meanchey, Kratie and other provinces, said Saroeun.
“By Wednesday, we measured and split the land into lots for 18 families. We will continue to measure lots for those who apply until July 15. If they do not come to apply for the land before July 15, they will not have a chance to get it,” he said.
Saroeun appealed to the people to register the land and get a legal land title issued soon.
Chheun Thim, 50, who received a social land concession, said on Wednesday that he had received his parcel in the Yeang commune without further protest.
“My native place is in Oddar Meanchey province, but my family has lived in this area since 2010. After that, the company bulldozed our crops. We tried to protest until the authorities decided to cut the land off. I had over 20 ha, but the company cleared it all,” he said.
Lor Chan, a provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said he supported the authority’s peaceful solution and wanted the authorities to grant land to the people with transparency.
“We urge the authorities and people to find an acceptable solution to end the protest and dispute because it has been going on for many years,” Chan said.
The company did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
A note from the provincial authority obtained by The Post on Wednesday told the 546 families to ask for the land concession along with instructions for filling out the form at the company office.
The people must bring along their identification cards, family record books, and relevant documents for the authorities, the letter said.
It said in case anyone did not appear to get the form, it would be deemed that they had given up their opportunity to obtain land.