Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lengthy Banteay Meanchey land dispute finally ends in payout

Lengthy Banteay Meanchey land dispute finally ends in payout

Lengthy Banteay Meanchey land dispute finally ends in payout

After a seven-year struggle, a Banteay Meanchey teacher finally got $8,000 in compensation for her land, which was seized by the Cambodian military during a border flare-up with Thailand.

Souk Ratha, a high school chemistry teacher, said that her father bought a hectare in Pong Rong village in Sisophon district in 1994 but, during the 2009 standoff between Cambodia and Thailand, a tank division took up defensive position on her land.

“They closed the gate, not allowing me to enter. Whenever I went there, they blocked me and told their subordinates to say unpleasant words to me,” Ratha said in an interview yesterday. “When I asked permission to plant, they said they were afraid it would block their armaments.”

Ratha said she wrote countless letters of complaint to local authorities and civil society over the dispute and staged multiple demonstrations. Over time, the military agreed to give $3,000, which she deemed insufficient.

The breakthrough came on Friday, when Provincial Governor Korsum Saroeut offered $5,000 more in provincial funds. “It is hard for her to earn a living and it’s definitely difficult [for her] to get new land for settlement; so let’s help her,” he said.

Sum Chankea, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, called the governor’s compensation a “good deed” under Buddhist tradition.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the