Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials meet with ethnic Chong community seeking recognition

Officials meet with ethnic Chong community seeking recognition

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ministry of Rural Development official Yim Chung receives a petition from Chong community representatives earlier this month. Officials with the ministry met with members of the community on Sunday in order to help speed up the process of being officially recognised by the government as an ethic minority. Photo supplied / Peng Srysor

Officials meet with ethnic Chong community seeking recognition

An official with the Ministry of Rural Development on Monday blamed Koh Kong provincial authorities for stalling on a request from the Chong ethnic minority community in the Areng Valley to be officially recognised by the government.

A group from the ministry and a representative from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights paid a visit to the community on Sunday and spoke with 10 community representatives following a villagers’ petition on the matter submitted earlier this month to the ministry, the prime minister’s cabinet and the United Nations. Koh Kong provincial authorities also met with the community on Monday.

Chan Daron, spokesman for the Ministry of Rural Development, said the community had tried to request that they be recognised as a Chong ethnic minority community, but their request had remained at the local level due to a delay in the procedure.

“The work is involved with the lateness of authorities, not the Rural Development Ministry,” Daron said. “Officials are in discussions to find out what caused the delay in the registration with the commune, district and provincial authorities.”

The aim of the meetings was to see how officials can work together to push the registration process forward “faster”, he said.

“The registration at the Rural Development Ministry only takes between one and two weeks,” he added.

Being recognised as an indigenous community would allow the villagers to apply for a communal land title.

Koh Kong Governor Mithona Phouthong would only confirm that there was a meeting about the issue before referring questions to her provincial administrative official.

Ouch Touch, Koh Kong Provincial Hall administrative director, referred questions to Sok Sothy, spokesman for Koh Kong Provincial Hall, who said he was unaware of the issue.

Ven Vorn, a representative in Chumnap village, said residents from other villages including Chumnap Chrork Russey, Prek Svay and Koh villages began to be officially recognised and registered at the commune and district level in early 2017. The Chong ethnic minority community sent their request about six months later, though it has hasn’t advanced past the provincial hall yet.

“Our request remained at the provincial hall; [it has] not [been] sent to the ministry yet,” he said. “I don’t know the reason, but there is no problem with legality.”

Vorn said he and the other community members were told that Sunday’s meeting would help speed up the process.

“We [have been] waiting [for] such a long time and [we] hope it works this time,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Call for boycott of Angkor unacceptable

    Dear Editor, I wish to express my strong disagreement on the article published by Traveller for their website with the title Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid. Below is my opinion of the article. It is obviously free for the Traveller to

  • Ministry issues warning over coronavirus outbreak

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday asked the public to be on “high alert” as a new virus wreaks havoc across Asia. However, no cases have been reported in the Kingdom thus far. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has raised the alarm for its similarity to

  • Probe underway after wreckage of drone with Chinese characters found

    Air Force Command spokesman Prak Sokha said on Sunday that investigations are underway regarding the wreckage of a drone that was recovered in Koh Kong province’s Koh Sdech commune in Kiri Sakor district. The wreckage has been taken to the capital for further examination,

  • Gov’t slams UN rapporteurs over Sokha trial statement

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN Office in Geneva deplored the statement of three UN special rapporteurs who claimed that Kem Sokha’s trial was “tainted” due to irregularities. The reaction

  • No power shortages next dry season, says energy minister

    Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem has assured the public that Cambodia will not suffer power shortages during the next dry season. Speaking on local TV on Tuesday, Sem projected a rise in power demand during 2020’s dry season – which starts in November and

  • Gov’t takes steps to lower logistics, transport costs

    With the threat of losing trade privileges in the EU drawing closer, the government is taking measures to reduce logistics and transportation costs to safeguard the Kingdom’s competitiveness. The EU is due to decide whether or not to withdraw the Kingdom’s trade privileges