Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN, EU reps meet with officials over land row

UN, EU reps meet with officials over land row

The EU’s ambassador to Cambodia, George Edgar (centre), at a Land Management Ministry meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh.
The EU’s ambassador to Cambodia, George Edgar (centre), at a Land Management Ministry meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

UN, EU reps meet with officials over land row

Officials from several ministries met with representatives of the EU and UN yesterday to update them on their progress resolving land disputes between more than 1,000 families and sugarcane companies, though the EU ambassador remained tight-lipped about his thoughts on the process.

In a press release yesterday, the Ministry of Land Management announced that 209 families locked in land disputes with sugar companies – which span four provinces and include several owned by okhnas Ly Yong Phat and Heng Huy – had accepted offers from the ministry, while officials had thrown out 802 cases and were checking on 352 more.

Since 2009, Europe has granted duty-free access to Cambodian goods under its Everything But Arms programme for least developed countries. Though Europe was once a major purchaser of Cambodian sugar, shipments plunged by 95 percent between 2013 and 2015 amid accusations of land grabbing.

During a brief session with press after the meeting, EU Ambassador George Edgar said the drop was “because of concerns on the part of buyers about exactly the issues that we’ve been here trying to resolve”.

In an email, Edgar added that the meeting was “useful”, but did not respond to questions about whether he found the outcomes satisfactory.

“We hope that the present process can lead to an outcome that is acceptable to all stakeholders, most importantly the affected communities themselves,” he said.

Additional reporting by Daphne Chen

MOST VIEWED

  • Breaking: US House passes 'Cambodia Democracy Act'

    The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Monday, passed the “HR 526 Cambodia Democracy Act”, also known as the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019. If signed off by the president, the bill will allow two major sets of action to be taken against high-ranking Cambodian

  • ‘Zero-dollar’ tours under fire

    Minister of Tourism Thong Khon has blamed “zero-dollar” tour operators for the decrease in foreign tourists to Angkor Archaeological Park in the first half of this year and has called for action against them. Angkor Archaeological Park received 1.24 million foreign visitors in the first half

  • Breaking: Rubbish found packed inside 83 containers at S'ville port

    Eighty-three containers packed with rubbish were broken open at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port by joint authorities on Tuesday. The origin of the containers has yet to be ascertained, Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said. Pheaktra, who is also the ministry’s secretary of state, said

  • Some jobs off limits to foreigners from August

    Beginning from the second week of August, foreigners will be banned from driving taxis and tuk-tuks, as well as being motorcycle delivery drivers, street food vendors, hairdressers and product distributors among other lower-income jobs. Some white-collar jobs such as the head of human resources will