Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials demolish 49 illegal huts in Siem Reap



Officials demolish 49 illegal huts in Siem Reap

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The authorities dismantled 49 of some 1,000 huts which had been built illegally on forest land in Siem Reap’s Phnom Kulen National Park. Supplied

Officials demolish 49 illegal huts in Siem Reap

After the authorities on Friday and Saturday dismantled 49 of some 1,000 huts which had been built illegally on forest land in Siem Reap’s Phnom Kulen National Park, Banteay Srei district governor Khim Finan said on Sunday that a hunt was on for a group of activists who have been inciting people to commit forest crimes.

He said the huts were demolished because the villagers had failed to obey an ultimatum demanding they remove the illegal structures themselves.

After the huts were demolished, the authorities made a second announcement on Saturday giving the remaining families five more days to remove the structures.

Finan said people had not demolished the huts because they were encouraged by a group of land activists to erect more of them over the Water Festival.

“People saw us removing the huts, now some of them have begun dismantling them by themselves. But some people are still refusing to do so because a group of land activists has told them not to. Now we’re searching for the activists,” Finan said.

After being made aware of the land grab, in Tbeng Lech and Srah Khvav villages in Banteay Srei district’s Tbeng commune, the authorities ordered the people to remove the huts and prohibited any further construction in the area.

“The law is the law. Illegal land grabs must be cracked down on whenever they happen. People gathering to protest will not legitimise illegal acts,” Finan said, adding that legal homes belonging to permanent residents were not affected.

He said the authorities also never leave people homeless and always attempt to find an appropriate solution for them.

Chan Chamroeun, the provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, confirmed that he was aware the huts had been demolished. He said as of Sunday afternoon, no one had filed a complaint with the organisation.

He acknowledged that the authorities were only following the law, but said they should find people who were genuinely poor somewhere to live.

Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said the land grab was the result of incitement by land brokers who violated the law and destroyed natural resources under the pretext of growing crops. They attempted to make it appear that they had lived on and owned the land for a long time.

He said the ministry was working with relevant authorities to take strict action against offenders to prevent such land grabs.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Courts’ decisions now published as reference source

    The Ministry of Justice has published 44 verdicts from civil litigation cases which can be used as models for court precedents and for study by the public and those who work in pertinent fields. Publication of the verdicts on December 31 came as the result of joint

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • China firm to develop Mondulkiri airport

    Tourism to the Kingdom’s northeast corridor could experience a remarkable metamorphosis after the government decided in principle of a Chinese company to study and develop a proposal to build a regional-level airport in Mondulkiri province, according to industry insiders. The Council of Ministers said