Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM cites 'conditions' for ending title project

PM cites 'conditions' for ending title project

PM cites 'conditions' for ending title project

PRIME Minister Hun Sen said Monday that he ended a government partnership with the World Bank on a land-titling project because it had "too many conditions".

"I would like to confirm that on Friday the plenary council session decided to end the partnership with the World Bank over the issue of land titling," the Prime Minister said during a speech in Phnom Penh, adding that the partnership "was difficult because it was complicated and had too many conditions".

The government had collaborated with the World Bank since 2002 on the Land Management and Administration Project (LMAP), a programme designed to provide assistance in land titling and conflict resolution to Kingdom residents, typically poorer members of rural communities. The World Bank contributed a US$24.3 million loan for the project.

Although LMAP funding was set to last until the end of this year, Hun Sen said that any future land-titling efforts will be financed exclusively by the Cambodian government, and invited World Bank officials to reclaim remaining funding.

"There is still some money remaining [for LMAP], so within the next few months, please come take it back," he said.

Bou Saroeun, a spokesman for the World Bank, said that the government informed his organisation of its decision verbally on Friday. In July, the World Bank sent a report on LMAP to the government stating that despite successes in rural areas, the project "has not proved to be an effective instrument so far in helping the Government deal with informal settlements [in land disputes]".

David Pred, director of the Bridges Across Borders rights group, attended recent meetings between the World Bank and the government to discuss LMAP. He said in an email Monday that relations broke down because of inconsistencies in the government's approach.

"A system in which the same provincial and municipal authorities who are handing out land concessions also get to decide which areas get title and which areas don't, because they are arbitrarily defined as 'state land', is clearly problematic," he said. "The state land-management component of LMAP has been an abysmal failure."

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,