Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - State land has a clear definitition

State land has a clear definitition

State land has a clear definitition

On page 4 of your edition on August 10, a May Titthara report was headlined “Police employ guns and batons to drive villagers from disputed land” regarding the incident that occurred in a rubber plantation in Kampong Cham province contains mistakes.

As the consultant appointed by the Royal Government of Cambodia to conduct resettlement plan implementation consulting services in the seven privatised state-owned rubber estates, I would like to make some clarifications and provide readers with accurate information.

After the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, all rubber plantations were repatriated into state hands, and the land on which they were built had the status of state land. The state-owned rubber estates were established as autonomous state-owned enterprises in 1999, and the land on which they were operating became “private state land”.

Over years, workers and farmers have encroached on the plantation land, illegally establishing plantations, building houses and farming. Further to the privatisation of the Boeung Ket state-owned rubber estate at the end of 2007, Long Sreng International received the right to operate on the total surface of the private state land of the plantation.

At the same time a resettlement plan was drafted with the support of ADB to compensate the people living and/or farming on the private state land. The principle of compensation retained is based on compensation of permanent crops in orchards and in relocation of the concerned people in a new village in the plantation.

There is no compensation for the land, as it is and has always been state land. Information related to the resettlement plan was relayed to relevant people, and those having planted non-permanent crops were informed to collect their crops at maturity and to stop farming state land. In mid-2009 the implementation of the resettlement plan started, and to date all permanent crop holders have been successfully compensated. Permanent residents are in the process to be registered for a relocation site.

Therefore, the article misleads readers by giving the impression the private company is grabbing the land from farmers. How could these farmers be the legal owner of state land? They could not produce any official documents to support their claim.

Patrick Pierrat
SOFRECO regional representative,
team leader for the Resettlement Plan Implementation Consulting Services, Phnom Penh

Send letters to: [email protected] or PO?Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length. The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.

MOST VIEWED

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Malaysian MP calls on his government to take stand on Cambodian elections

    A Malaysian parliamentarian raised concerns in his country on Wednesday about Cambodia’s July 29 national elections and urged his government to clarify its position on the subject, the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) said on Thursday. Wong Chen, a member of the People’s

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not