Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Teachers refile 1991 land complaint

Teachers refile 1991 land complaint

Teachers refile 1991 land complaint

REPRESENTATIVES for the families of 22 teachers living and working in the capital’s Sen Sok district filed a complaint with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet on Wednesday, accusing a Ministry of Defence official and the wife of Defence Minister Tea Banh of having grabbed and sold off 6 hectares of land nearly two decades ago.

The complaint alleges that in 1991, the teachers were forced to turn over their land to Chao Phirun, director general of the Department of Materials and Technical Services at the Ministry of Defence, and to Tao Toeun, the wife of Tea Banh. The pair then sold the land, which abuts a local school in Phnom Penh Thmey commune, to businessmen who built villas and homes on it.

Sarom Sothy, one of the teachers, said 4 hectares of the land had already been granted to the teachers so they could live near the school, and that 2 more hectares were stolen from nearby residents.

This is the fourth complaint they have filed to the cabinet, he said.

In 2000, he added, the case reached the Supreme Court, which has yet to hold a hearing.

Um Kong Bunheng, former director of Samrong Andeth Junior High School (now Phnom Penh Thmey High School), said that in 1991 Chao Phirun and commune authorities detained him and the village chief, and forced them to thumbprint a document that transferred ownership of the disputed land to Chao Phirun and Tao Toeun, without making provisions for compensation.

Lim Leang Se, deputy chief of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet, said the teachers should abide by the decisions of the courts. “The teachers have no proof. They have lost at the courts. I think we should keep whatever decision the courts decide,” he said.

Am Sam Ath, a monitor for the local rights group Licadho, said that because the Supreme Court had not yet made a ruling, neither party should be allowed to do anything with the land.

MOST VIEWED

  • EU parliament’s 13-point vote to decide on possible sanctions

    The European Parliament is due to vote on Thursday on a 13-point resolution on Cambodia – which includes a call for the treason charges against bailed opposition leader Kem Sokha to be dropped – a threat that could see the EU enforce a range of sanctions against

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment