Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Soldiers cry foul over ‘land grabbing’

Soldiers cry foul over ‘land grabbing’

Soldiers cry foul over ‘land grabbing’

About 1,500 representatives of military families in Oddar Meanchey province are planning to file a complaint directly to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s office accusing a high-ranking Royal Cambodian Armed Forces general of selling a large chunk of their land to two Vietnamese rubber companies.

The soldiers, commanders and deputy commanders living on the land in the province’s Trampaing Prasat district, are part of the Sixth Intervention Brigade. They were expected to submit the complaint against four-star General Kun Kim by Wednesday.

But Kun Kim, who heads up the office of the Mixed Chiefs of Staff, told the Post yesterday that the claims are bogus, that families are occupying the properties illegally, and that the Cambodian government granted the land to the two companies, identified as Best Royal and Taining, in 2008.

“So far, the Royal Government of Cambodia had not issued any sub-decree in granting these lands to the troops and their families … but they have illegally cleared and possessed it,” he told the Post yesterday.

Major General Chhum Kheng, a brigade commander who lives in the affected district, said that as of yesterday, bulldozers had cleared 4,000 hectares of land, destroying rice and other planted crops.

Representatives for the two companies identified in the complaint could not be reached for comment yesterday.

A chief of staff for the brigade living in the district told the Post that the loss of land was seriously affecting the mental state of the troops.

“It has also affected their fighting spirits and positions in defending Cambodian borders in the future,” said the chief of staff, who asked to remain anonymous.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group