Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pagoda land decision draws protest

Pagoda land decision draws protest

Villagers from Kandal’s Kien Svay district that are involved in a land dispute protest at the entrance to the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh yesterday morning.
Villagers from Kandal’s Kien Svay district that are involved in a land dispute protest at the entrance to the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh yesterday morning. Heng Chivoan

Pagoda land decision draws protest

One hundred Kandal province villagers descended on the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh yesterday to protest a decision to hand 2 hectares of land long cultivated as part of their local pagoda to a group of soldiers.

Abbot Yan Vanthoeun, who has lived in the affected pagoda in Kien Svay district’s Samrong Thom commune since 1994, expressed disappointment at yesterday’s verdict.

“I do not agree; that land has belonged to the pagoda since ancient times,” Vanthoeun said. “The pagoda’s land should stay with the pagoda . . . since the pagoda has a legal land title and the chheu teal and beng trees are the size of a human thigh already.

“The soldiers demanded the land, but they did not even know its width until the provincial court measured it.”

Kien Svay District Governor Ou Chheang said that the land had originally belonged to the state but was given to a group of soldiers to cultivate to support their families many years ago.

However, after a decade, the soldiers ceased visiting the land and the pagoda took legal ownership of it, he said, until they returned in 2007 to reclaim it.

“The land should not be given to the soldiers since the pagoda holds the legal land title, but I do not know about the decision of the court since it is the court’s business,” Chheang said.

Kandal Adhoc coordinator Men Makara said that the land surrounding a pagoda is protected by law. “As is stated in the national motto and constitution, this religion is the state’s religion, so the pagoda’s property is the religion’s property and no one can grab it,” he said.

Representatives of neither the Supreme Court nor the soldiers could be reached.

MOST VIEWED

  • South Korea’s first lady brings hope to ill boy

    South Korea’s first lady Kim Keon-hee – wife of current president of the Republic of Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol – met with a 14-year-boy with congenital heart disease during her trip to the Kingdom for the ASEAN Summit. After their meeting it was announced that the

  • Hun Sen gets Covid, shuns G20, APEC summits

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, where he is slated to attend the G20 summit in his capacity of the ASEAN chair. In a social media post addressing the Cambodian public, he said: “Before leaving Cambodia, I always

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol