Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - R’kiri row no drag on oknha title

R’kiri row no drag on oknha title

R’kiri row no drag on oknha title

The Royal Palace has granted the prestigious title of oknha to politically connected businesswoman Keat Kolney, who has been locking horns for a decade with ethnic Jarai minorities in Ratanakkiri province over hundreds of disputed hectares.

Kolney – who is married to Chhan Saphann, an official at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, and is the sister of Deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon – was appointed on June 11, according to the royal decree. The title was “requested by Prime Minister Hun Sen”.

Translated most accurately as “tycoon”, oknha is an honorific that has traditionally been bestowed on powerful officials who contribute to society, though reasons for why a given recipient deserves the title are rarely, if ever, spelled out.

Villagers in O’Yadav district’s Kong Yu village accuse Kolney of soliciting their thumbprints under false pretenses for the sale of 450 hectares in 2004. The complaint has languished in court, and some fear the new title can only hurt their case.

“It is suitable for her, because she has money to get the title,” said villager Sven Thvel, 29. “The court keeps quiet because they fear her power.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Former opposition leader tells soldiers, Cambodians to unite to fight CPP

    Former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) President Sam Rainsy has called for a popular uprising after the July 29 national elections to force a change of government. He called on the armed forces and people to stand united to fight the ruling Cambodian People’s Party-led

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Police warn boycott FB group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign”

    Police said on Tuesday that they will pick up members of a Facebook group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign” that promotes a boycott of next month’s national elections. However, police merely planned to “educate” the group for now, but warned that if the