Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New Vietnam border markers feted

New Vietnam border markers feted

Prime Minister Hun Sen (left) and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung clap after the unveiling of a border marker in Ratanakkiri’s O’Yadav district on Saturday.
Prime Minister Hun Sen (left) and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung clap after the unveiling of a border marker in Ratanakkiri’s O’Yadav district on Saturday. Photo supplied

New Vietnam border markers feted

Prime Minister Hun Sen inaugurated two border markers with Vietnam over the weekend, including one in Ratanakkiri province close to where some 40,000 hectares in land concessions were revealed last week to be controlled by the Vietnamese military.

Four economic land concessions (ELCs) near the O’Yadav border checkpoint, where Hun Sen and his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Tan Dung, presided over the ceremony on Saturday, are linked through their chairmen to the Vietnamese Army’s Corps 15, according to an investigation by the Cambodia Daily.

The concessions – Veasna Investment, Chea Chanrith, Rama Khmer and Dai Dong Duong – cover almost 40,000 hectares in Ratanakkiri, with three of the chairmen of the companies holding the leases also serving as commanders of Corps 15 units, according to the report.

The revelation seemingly validated the concerns of critics of the government’s policy on the border, prompting opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy to warn that leasing such large tracts of land to a foreign military was “a serious threat to Cambodia’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

“Granting 99-year land concessions covering tens of thousands of hectares in Ratanakkiri province, in an area adjacent to the border with Vietnam, to the Vietnamese army is a grave error,” he said in a post on Facebook.

“Each year, land and forest concessions granted by our government to foreign companies bring to Cambodia less than $10 million, while Vietnam collects up to $800 million from the timber trade,” he added.

Between February 2011 and August 2012, the four concessions were quietly transferred to the control of Do Van Sang, commander of Company 75, Pham Van Giang, commander of Company 72, Tran Quang Hung, commander of Company 74, and Nguyen Canh Quang, chairman of Aphivat Caoutchouc 72 Oya Dav Co, Ltd, which acquired the Chea Chanrith concession, according to the Daily.

Var Kimhong, the senior minister in charge of border affairs, said yesterday that he doubted that the government had leased the land to the Vietnamese companies, without offering any contradictory evidence.

A committee tasked with assessing ELCs is due to probe the Ratanakkiri concessions in the coming weeks, he added.

Hun Sen on Saturday said his government “would work with the Vietnamese government to guarantee our people have a proper border as a real international borderline”.

“The border must reflect the real situation of people living along the border to end [the dispute],” he added.

Yesterday Hun Sen presided over the inauguration of another border post in Takeo province. A joint commission for demarcating the border, chaired by Kimhong, was set up on December 17.

Chhay Thy, provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said the acquisition of the concessions by the Vietnamese companies had led to a spike in illegal logging, which was only slowed because of protests from Cambodians living in the area.

MOST VIEWED

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong