Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Land grabbing ‘deeply concerning’




Land grabbing ‘deeply concerning’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Svay Rieng Deputy Governor orders Chea Sokha, the Prasot market owner who illegally filled a lake in the province’s Svay Tiep district, to remove the soil from the lake. Vireak Mai

Land grabbing ‘deeply concerning’

Svay Rieng Deputy Governor Hem Piseth held a press conference on Monday ordering Chea Sokha, the Prasot market owner who illegally filled a lake in Svay Tiep district, Svay Rieng Province, to remove the soil from the lake and return it to its original state.

Piseth said whenever there is development, it always has some impact, but it should not be for the wrong reasons. He said he wants to see cooperation between the local authorities, the private sector and the people so that society can move forward.

“The problem is land grabbing. They filled the lake in order to build the market. I want them to cooperate so the matter can be resolved because it’s not just one issue; there are hundreds of other issues for us to solve."

“Therefore, I regard this matter as deeply concerning. A lot of comments are being raised about this land grabbing and filling up the lake,” he said.

Piseth said land grabbing is partly caused by increasing land prices but he said investment and development are for the prosperity of the province. And without investment and land development, state property could be lost.

“For the issue to be dealt with, we need to see how much land he owns, which land belongs to him, which land he occupies. I do not want to talk about the market above ground, because it’s state land."

“If the land at Prasot market remains without investment, will it remain unoccupied? Who will protect it? Surely it will be lost."

“That’s why our state always seeks investment partners so that investors can take control for about 10 to 20 years. After that, the land will still be ours . . . still, belong to the state,” he said.

Svay Tiep deputy police chief Keo Sophorn said on Monday that the lake Sokha filled is about 20sqm but, after an order from the authorities yesterday, the market owner was using excavators to remove the soil from the lake.

“On Monday, after the press conference, the Svay Rieng deputy governor ordered the market owner to remove the filled up soil from the lake and entrust the district governor to inspect its implementation."

“The process has been taking place since yesterday but so far I haven’t been there, so I do not know whether the land has been cleared from the lake yet or not,” Sophorn said.

The Svay Rieng provincial administration confirmed that the local, district and provincial authorities had previously been informed about the illegal filling of the lake.

It said they had sent a joint committee to address the issue, hinder the illegal activities and solve the problem by ordering the market owner to remove the soil and restore the lake.

MOST VIEWED

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,