The minister of land management, urban planning and construction has denied that the removal of a senior Siem Reap official was intended to hasten the resolution of land disputes.
Minister Chea Sophara wrote a letter on May 11 signalling that the chief of the Siem Reap provincial land management department, Se Samut, had been reassigned to work at the ministry in Phnom Penh, while another bureaucrat, Hy Say, was promoted to the Siem Reap province role.
Ministry spokesperson Cheam Sophalmakara yesterday said that contrary to local media reports, Samut had not made any blunders in his position but the reassignment was to strengthen work under promised reforms by Minister Chea Sophara.
However, Siem Reap provincial coordinator for rights group Licadho Nu Puth said he hoped Samut’s successor would be more efficient in solving drawn-out land disputes. “We hope the rest of the community land disputes will be paid more attention than before, because some have not been resolved for years,” Puth said.
Samut could not be reached for comment yesterday.