Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ratanakkiri court looks into land row

Ratanakkiri court looks into land row

Ratanakkiri court looks into land row

RATANAKKIRI provincial court yesterday questioned 10 representatives of 108 ethnic minority Kreung families involved in a dispute over 180 hectares of land in Borkeo district, officials said.

Judge Loch Lao said the representatives had been summoned because court officials were unsure who was involved in the dispute with local businessmen. “We summoned them to make sure we know who is having a dispute,” he said. “We want to know how many people are having a dispute, and what are their names.”

He added: “The businessmen might have the licence to buy, but whether we will allow the land to be sold we do not know.”

But Pen Bonnar, provincial coordinator for the local human rights group Adhoc, said he was concerned that court officials would pressure the representatives to agree to the sale of the families’ land, which he said they had occupied since the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979.

He said that although businessmen had been pressuring them to sell the land and relocate, this would be illegal because the land was considered state land.

“The summoning for reconciliation is not correct,” he said. “It is the state land, so no one can give it away.”

Multiple businessmen accused of applying pressure on the families to sell their land could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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,