Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Smach Meanchey land reclamation reinstated

Smach Meanchey land reclamation reinstated

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Koh Kong Provincial Court has temporarily suspended the business of two-star major general Tun Dieth and ordered him to dig out the soil which he had filled in a canal in Khemarak Phoumin city. FN

Smach Meanchey land reclamation reinstated

The Koh Kong provincial authorities said the land reclamation work in Smach Meanchey commune in Khemarak Phumin town has already been put back to its original state while the court spokesman said legal procedures are being taken against Tun Dieth, the two-star major general held responsible for it.

Koh Kong provincial hall spokesman Sok Sothy told The Post that reclamation of the sea measured three metres wide and 43 metres long and had filled the Koh Por creek. It was dredged at the end of last year after a three-day operation starting December 23.

He said in principle action must be taken against Dieth in accordance with the law and without fear or favour.

“If there is any violation, we must act. At no time have we not taken action against perpetrators. In the case of Dieth, why should we not take legal action? Anyone violating [the law] must be punished in accordance with the law,” Sothy said.

Un Sovantheany, the spokesman for the Koh Kong provincial court prosecutor’s office, said briefly that the case is still in the midst of proceedings, and could not say if Dieth will be summoned.

On December 23, last year, Koh Kong provincial court prosecutor Ros Saraim led authorities and technical officials to inspect the illegal land reclamation work on orders from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Following the inspection, a decision was made to temporarily suspend Dieth’s business. He was also required to dredge the soil that was used to reclaim the sea in Smach Meanchey commune, in Koh Kong province’s Khemarak Phumin town.

Dieth could not be reached for comment by press time.

On December 22, the prime minister ordered Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara and Koh Kong provincial governor Mithona Phouthorng to act against Dieth, who was also warned that he would be removed from office if he was found to have reclaimed the land.

Bey Vanny, the coordinator for Rights Group Adhoc in Koh Kong province, said while he applauded the action to save the sea, Dieth has only been threatened with legal action but has so far not been punished in accordance with the law.

Vanny said he wanted to see all violators of the sea and state land punished under the law, especially crimes committed by public officials who ought to know better.

He said: “We want to see law enforcement in other places where there are coastal violations and grabbing of State land. Provincial administrations must conduct investigations and use their power to inspect and protect State land in other areas as well.

“We applaud the law enforcement which is a part of providing social justice. It also shows equality under the law regardless of a person’s social status.”

Articles 17 to 19 of the Land Law 2001 stipulate procedures and protection of State property while Article 259 prescribes a fine of between five and 50 million riel, and between one and five years imprisonment for anyone found guilty of violating public land.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this

  • Crumbling prices, rent ruffle condo segment

    The prolonged decline in international arrivals to Cambodia intensified by renewed Covid-19 fears has driven down condominium sales prices and rental rates in Phnom Penh, a research report said. CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures