Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pursat mulls families’ claims to state land

Pursat mulls families’ claims to state land

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Pursat Provincial Administration said on February 16 that the 20 families had occupied the land and relied on it for their livelihoods in O’Som commune’s Chhay Lok village of Veal Veng district. PURSAT PROVINCIAL ADMINISTION

Pursat mulls families’ claims to state land

The Pursat Provincial Administration is reviewing a decision made by the provincial land management committee, following a request from 20 families. The decision concerns 37.5ha of land in O’Som commune’s Chhay Lok village of Veal Veng district.

Provincial governor Cheav Tay said on February 21 that he had instructed the administration and a working group to investigate the situation.

“This is something we need to resolve as quickly as possible. Once a report of the inspection is submitted to me, I will schedule a meeting to discuss this,” he said.

The provincial administration said on February 16 that the 20 families had occupied the land and relied on it for their livelihoods. The provincial environment department had intended to reclaim the land as state property.

O’Som commune chief Sok Boeun said on February 21 that the people have lived there for a long time, although he could not remember exactly when they had moved onto the land. They had grown various crops such as potatoes, jackfruit, bananas and durian.

“When I pass by, I can tell they have been there for years. I don’t know exactly how many, but a long time,” he added.

The Post could not contact any representative of the 20 families on February 21. But Van Saman, chief of Chhay Lok village, said the people have used the land since 2007. In the last three years or so, environmental officials have stopped them from continuing to do so.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The provincial environment department had intended to reclaim the land as state property. PURSAT PROVINCIAL ADMINISTION

She added that the people had asked permission to continue to use the land to earn their livelihoods because it is close to the village.

“Now they do not farm anything on the land. They do not dare, because they are afraid they will be punished by the officials,” she said.

Provincial environment department director Kong Puthyra said on February 21 that the site was originally forested, and that nobody knew where the families had come from. They had secretly encroached on the forest land, and environment officials evicted them from the land.

“They cleared the forest. We followed procedure and built a case file which was submitted to the provincial court prosecutor,” he said.

He added that it was right for the governor to set up a working group to look into any problems in the province, but that allocating state land to anybody was outside of his jurisdiction.

“We will investigate the situation and make a request to the government or Ministry of Interior to resolve this issue,” he said.

Puthyra added that if the people really had no land of their own and relied on the disputed land to make their livings, then the problem would be easy to solve. The main problem, he said, was that there were people coming from outside the area that caused problems. This created additional complexity, he said.


  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10