Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Soldier suing Oddar Meanchey villagers over land dispute

Soldier suing Oddar Meanchey villagers over land dispute

Community members involved in a land dispute display documents summonsing them to court in Oddar Meanchey province last week. Photo supplied
Community members involved in a land dispute display documents summonsing them to court in Oddar Meanchey province last week. Photo supplied

Soldier suing Oddar Meanchey villagers over land dispute

A military lieutenant is suing 13 families in Oddar Meanchey for allegedly farming his land, which lies within a protected community forest in Anlong Veng district, local authorities confirmed yesterday.

Four representatives from the 13 families appeared in court for questioning last Tuesday after lieutenant and district financial officer Van Limeng filed the complaint.

“The villagers were sued for affecting land [on] private property,” said provincial prosecutor Koy Kanya yesterday.

The O’Sophy Kiri Prey Srong community forest was established in 2004 to protect over 6,000 hectares of land, according to a report by the Cambodian Center for Human Rights.

Srey Naren, provincial coordinator for human rights group Adhoc, said Limeng was granted 75 hectares of the community forest land by local authorities in 2012, and the current dispute has arisen because local villagers are farming on it.

“Why did the . . . authority grant a land title for him if it is a community forest? The court must investigate it clearly,” Naren said, adding Adhoc would also investigate the issue.

Oeun Nak, the community forest chief, said villagers are entitled to 5 hectares of land per family, but never formally requested this land and have farmed beyond that limit.

“The Ministry of Agriculture never [apportioned] the community forest land for anyone,” Nak said.

However, Lomtong Commune Chief Chorn Rak claimed some land was granted to villagers in 2012, but declined to comment further.

Limeng and local villagers could not be reached yesterday.


  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia

  • Cambodia, Vietnam exchange border maps amid criticism

    Cambodia and Vietnam formally exchanged border maps on Monday despite criticism from former members of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that the Kingdom is losing land in the deal. The two countries said agreement on the border is 84 per cent complete, leaving