Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Time has ‘run out’ for land grabbers: minister

Time has ‘run out’ for land grabbers: minister

Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara speaks at a press conference at the ministry earlier this year.
Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara speaks at a press conference at the ministry earlier this year. Pha Lina

Time has ‘run out’ for land grabbers: minister

Land Management Minister Chea Sophara declared on Saturday that land grabbers would not evade justice, no matter how rich and powerful they were, although observers yesterday maintained a “wait and see” position.

“The opportunity for the land grabbers has run out and I hereby declare it,” Sophara said at the inauguration of a pagoda in his native Kroch Chhmar district in Tbong Khmum province. “Do not think to bribe me to make the land title.

“Even if people have horns right on their head, I am still not afraid of them; I do not care how rich you are,” he said.

“If they stop, they will be alright. If they do not stop . . . it is because perhaps they think that I am stupid, but I am not,” said the minister, who has been in office for about a month and has previously warned that he will make a blacklist of powerful individuals involved in land grabbing.

Latt Ky, director of Adhoc’s land dispute division, welcomed Sophara’s remarks, albeit with caution. “He seems to have strong will . . . however, we have to wait and see about the real implementation,” he said.

Licadho technical supervisor Am Sam Ath echoed Ky, adding that government will has been mostly lacking in long-term land disputes related to economic land concessions.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,