Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Preah Vihear evictees demand land years after village razed

Preah Vihear evictees demand land years after village razed

Villagers petition the premier in March asking for a resolution to their land dispute in Preah Vihear province. The villagers returned to the capital on Monday seeking the Land Management Ministry’s intervention in the case.
Villagers petition the premier in March asking for a resolution to their land dispute in Preah Vihear province. The villagers returned to the capital on Monday seeking the Land Management Ministry’s intervention in the case. Sreng Meng Srun

Preah Vihear evictees demand land years after village razed

Around 50 representatives from Preah Vihear’s Choam Ksan district on Monday petitioned the Land Management Ministry for a solution after the razing of their village in 2012, which was allegedly taken over by a committee overseeing the nearby Preah Vihear temple and CPP lawmaker Suos Yara.

The group had previously petitioned Prime Minister Hun Sen in March alleging that Yara and Choch Phoeun, who heads the National Authority for Preah Vihear, oversaw the demolition of their village because it was part of the Unesco heritage site.

The petition asks for the Land Management Ministry to return the villagers’ land, which had been seized by local authorities under the protection of armed forces. Villagers were offered alternative housing and compensation but rejected it because it was too far away and did not come with farmland.

Phan Theoun, who represents around 250 villagers, said the group had been approaching national and provincial authorities for a solution but to no avail. “The words of senior [Phnom Penh] officials seem to be meaningless for the governor of Preah Vihear and other relevant officials; what do we hope for?” Theoun said.

An official from the ministry, who refused to give his name, said that the petition would be handed over to the relevant authorities for further processing.

CPP lawmaker Yara said that the group was being manipulated to make the complaints but did not divulge who the “corrupt people” behind the purported manipulation were.

“For me, I’m not involved in the land because it’s public land of the state, and all Cambodians love the temple of Preah Vihear,” he said.

Preah Vihear Governor Un Chanda could not be reached.

MOST VIEWED

  • Draft law on state of emergency pending finalisation

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a top-level meeting on Tuesdays to review the draft law on imposing a state of emergency. Meantime, he has decided to close all casinos in Cambodia effective April 1. In the press conference after the National Assembly met today, Hun

  • Stranded passengers petition UK for help

    Some 10,521 foreigners in Cambodia, the bulk being from the UK, have signed an online petition calling on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and relevant officials to fly them out of the Kingdom. The petition is targeted at 15,000 foreigners. Among them are nearly 200 Europeans, the majority

  • State of emergency on table amid pandemic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, his deputy prime ministers and legal team will meet on Tuesday to review the draft law on declaring a state of emergency, as Covid-19 cases rose to 107 in the Kingdom on Monday. Speaking at a press conference after a parliament meeting

  • Covid-19 Pandemic: Force majeure and legal consequences

    Is the Covid-19 pandemic considered an event of force majeure? The World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Following this declaration, the Ministry of Health and other ministries have taken various legal and administrative measures to prevent the rapid

  • PM set to mend ties with US

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has responded to US Congressman Ted Yoho, saying he is ready to improve Cambodia-US relations, and not take up issues of disagreements which have become a barrier between the two countries’ bilateral cooperation. His response to Yoho came after the congressman

  • Mysterious century-old structure found at bottom of Angkor pond

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has discovered a mysterious 1,000-year-old structure of a wooden building at the bottom of a pond after the Angkor Wat temple’s conservation team completed restoring its northern cave. The deputy director at ANA’s Angkor International Research and Documentation