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Residents: No loss of land to Vietnam as claimed

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Border Affairs delegates visited the Trapeang Phlong commune in Tbong Khmum province’s Ponhea Kraek district on Saturday to inspect controversial areas on the Vietnam border. Pich Sros Facebook page

Residents: No loss of land to Vietnam as claimed

Border Affairs delegates visited the Trapeang Phlong commune in Tbong Khmum province’s Ponhea Kraek district on Saturday to inspect controversial areas on the Vietnam border.

Some residents had claimed Cambodia lost land because of border pole planting. Cambodian Border Affairs Committee vice-chair Koy Pisey said the Kingdom had not lost any land.

The visit came on the orders of Prime Minister Hun Sen after members of the Cambodia Watchdog Council (CWC), unionist Rong Chhun and Khmer Win Party president Suong Sophoan criticised border affairs.

They claimed that planting border poles from No 114 to No 119 was irregular and made residents lose many hectares on which they had relied on for their livelihoods.

Residents allegedly accused Vietnam of stealing 500m of Cambodian land.

Koy Pisey wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday that Border Affairs Committee delegates met with 11 families who had previously met Rong Chhun, who is currently jailed in Phnom Penh.

She said the families confirmed they did not say Cambodia had lost land to Vietnam.

Pisey told The Post on Sunday: “The families said Rong Chhun and Suong Sophoan told them the families will get land that Cambodia receives after boundary markings and border planting are complete.

“They said they will ask for the land for the families to grow rice. So, the families tagged along. But they didn’t say they had lost their land. Cambodia didn’t lose land to Vietnam and the families didn’t lose any either.

“They want land that Cambodia obtains from Vietnam after the boundaries and pole planting are complete. But they haven’t lost land to Vietnam.”

Var Kimhong, the minister in charge of border affairs and chairman of the Joint Border Affairs Committee told reporters during the visit that boundary poles had already been planted on some land being occupied by Vietnam.

But these lands will be handed back to Cambodia once the final map is exchanged between both sides.

Some residents told reporters when Kimhong visited that they had not lost land. But they requested the government to issue land titles to them so that they can grow rice.

Tbong Khmum provincial governor Cheam Chan Sophorn, who accompanied the delegates, reiterated to reporters that Cambodia had not lost even one millimetre of land to Vietnam.

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