Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Land spats top 200 last year: Adhoc

Land spats top 200 last year: Adhoc

Land spats top 200 last year: Adhoc

110209_4
A man looks on as Shukaku Inc employees use an excavator to direct the flow of sand and water, which inundated local residents’ homes as the company filled in part of Boeung Kak lake in December.

Farmers need rice fields and if they lose land, they lose what the depend on for living.

Two hundred-and-two land dispute cases affecting 25,796 families were recorded in Cambodia last year, according to human rights group Adhoc.

Adhoc Land Programme Officer Ouch Leng said yesterday that 23 cases involved forced evictions affecting 12,389 families and 14 cases involved 8,025 hectares in land concessions for private companies.

“The government’s mechanism to solve the land disputes does not pay attention or take measures to stop the spread of disputes that make the communities hopeless,” he said.

Ouch Leng said that in land disputes, companies did not discuss development plans with the people, instead working with the authorities and armed forces to announce that the land belonged to them.

Ouch Leng added that last year 14,316 people protested 168 times against land disputes with 23 cases dispersed by armed forces.

“The authorities accused the protesters of incitement and turmoil,” he said. “If they did not lose land, they would not spend time and money protesting.”

Ouch Leng said that in 2010, 14 companies involved in land disputes were not registered with the Ministry of Agriculture and another 28 companies were unregistered but listed in government sub-decrees.

“The presence of the private companies made the villagers worry a lot because they did not improve their standard of living, but made them lose their land.”

According to Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries data, between 1993 and June 2010, the government signed contracts with 142 private companies, conceding more than 1,385,555 hectares of land.

Among the 142 companies, 43 companies have been shut down and 99 companies are operating across 17 provinces.

Community Legal Education Center director Yeng Virak said that the government should recheck the offering of land for private companies because it affects citizens.

“Farmers need rice fields and if they lose land, they lose what they depend on for living,” he said.

Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction spokesman Nun Pheany said that specialist officials always evaluate the effect before making a request to the government.

“We always evaluate the effect before allowing the companies to invest,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia’s image problem

    In opening remarks at a recent event, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luy David said information can be a double-edged sword. He told a European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) briefing seminar that the media has unfairly presented

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Kingdom's trade deal with EU questioned before poll

    A European Union (EU) mission met with senior government officials at the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday as the 28-member bloc monitors an agreement under which Cambodian goods reach the crucial European market tariff-free. Some 10 commissioners are in the Kingdom as part of a seven-day

  • A new carrier takes off in capital

    Cambodia Airways, the latest passenger airline to enter the Kingdom, launched its first domestic flight on Tuesday. Flight KR801, carrying 145 passengers, left the Phnom Penh International Airport at 9:50am and landed in Siem Reap at 10:35am in an Airbus A319. Cambodia Airways marketing and branding