Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Land Ministry sending work group to Koh Kong

Land Ministry sending work group to Koh Kong

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Around 300 people representing hundreds of families in Koh Kong province protested at the Ministry of Land Management Thursday. Sreng Meng Srun

Land Ministry sending work group to Koh Kong

The Ministry of Land Management, Urbanization and Construction on Monday is to send a working group to Koh Kong province to collect information on a land disputed in an effort to find a solution for villagers locked in a long-running land dispute, after 300 residents on Thursday gathered in front of the ministry to demand action.

According to a press release issued by the ministry dated May 18, officials in Koh Kong informed the ministry that 486 local families who have been embroiled in land disputes with Koh Kong Sugar Industry and Koh Kong Plantation have requested intervention.

Thy Na, a representative of 316 families in Chi Khor Leu village in Sei Ambil district, said that after the villagers went to protest in Phnom Penh an official from the Ministry of Land Management promised they would send a working group to the areas where disputes have occurred to ascertain the identity of and collect information from the occupants.

“The people welcome the statement by the ministry because in the past the officials had only asked us to go home without finding a solution for us,” Na said. “The ministry told us that it will create a joint committee in Koh Kong, and asked us to go back and work with the provincial authorities. However, we only give them half of our trust since we have not received any compensation yet.”

Soun Vannat, 50, an affected resident, said the dispute has lasted for more than 10 years, and it involved 537 families in nine villages. However, some have already received compensation.

“I want the same compensation as the previous group, where each family received 3 hectares of land and $2,500,” Vannat said, referring to a group of residents who received compensation in March.

Tep Thon, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, could not be reached for comment, but in his meeting with protesting residents, he said he had created a joint committee, led by Phouthong Mithona, the provincial governor, and planned to solve the dispute by the end of May, a claim which was confirmed by Mithona.

“We have already created the committee, and on May 21, we are going to collect information, identify the occupants, and measure the lands,” he said. “We will also look for those who do not have land there but pretend to be occupants so that they can receive land and money.”

Om Somarth, from human rights watchdog Licadho, said it is time the Ministry of Land Management to solve all disputes in the areas.

“The people are the victims of a land concession,” he said. “To solve the problems, the ministry must give them proper compensation.”

MOST VIEWED

  • First deportees of the year touch down in Cambodia

    Twenty-five Cambodian-Americans landed in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, marking the first such deportations of the year. “On Wednesday, US law enforcement authorities deported 25 Cambodian nationals that immigration judges determined had no legal basis to remain in the US,” said Arend Zwartjes, spokesperson for the US

  • Qatar Airways to connect Doha and Siem Reap town

    Qatar Airways Company QCSC has announced a new route connecting Qatar’s capital Doha with Siem Reap, a move hailed by local officials as a significant step to boost tourist numbers. A Qatar Airways representative, speaking at the Kuwait Aviation Show, announced on Thursday that

  • Kingdom drafting new law to strengthen immigration

    The Ministry of Interior on Tuesday said it had formed a working group to draft amendments to the Law on Immigration. Its secretary of state Sok Phal told The Post that the amendments will strengthen the management of immigrants in line with the current situation.

  • Sokha defence denies Tech’s claims

    ON DAY two of Kem Sokha’s treason trial, lawyers for the government said the defence had raised questions in an attempt to allow their client to make a public statement and a conclusion to the case, something his legal team denied. Ky Tech, a

  • Cambodian general visits Myanmar to enhance national defence cooperation

    Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) commander-in-chief Vong Pisen is now in Myanmar leading a delegation that aims to improve ties, particularly in national defence, with the fellow Asean member. The timing of Pisen’s four-day visit to the Southeast Asian neighbour is highly symbolic, with

  • Sokha’s treason trial begins

    The treason trial of Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) president Kem Sokha began at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday with the presentation of a two-minute video clip. The footage, which was the basis of the charge against him, was dismissed by