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Peninsula dwellers seek ministry’s intervention

Villagers from Chroy Changvar hold photos from a land dispute involving OCIC yesterday at the Land Management Ministry.
Villagers from Chroy Changvar hold photos from a land dispute involving OCIC yesterday at the Land Management Ministry. Pech Sotheary

Peninsula dwellers seek ministry’s intervention

Representatives from six communities on the capital’s Chroy Changvar peninsula yesterday petitioned the Land Management Ministry to intervene and stop the imminent clearing of their land by district authorities and development firm the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation.

Community representative Chea Sophat said that despite attempts to find a solution over land designated for the Chroy Changvar Satellite City, district security forces have continued to clear the land.

He said an offer made by City Hall to give them just 10 per cent of the land they occupy – floated by Phnom Penh deputy governor Khuong Sreng in late April – was unacceptable.

“What kind of a solution is this, or it is oppression by the authorities on the people?” Sophat asked.

The group’s petition was accepted by the ministry’s administration department director Lay Phallem, who told the representatives he would forward it to minister Chea Sophara.

Communities have asked that authorities use the “tiger skin method”, a 2014 prakas used for economic land concessions (ELCs) in which ELC’s work around the “farming lands of villagers, community forest and protected forest”.

Another suggestion was to either compensate them at $400 per square metre for their farmland or let them retain half of the land.

OCIC project manager Touch Samnang said that any clearing was being done by district officials. “So if the people are complaining, they can go and talk to City Hall, which is responsible for this,” he said.

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