Retired soldiers in Banteay Meanchey province say the government has neglected to pay their pensions for more than two years.
Representatives of more than 600 retired soldiers delivered a petition to the provincial governor Monday, urging him to intervene in a dispute that began in March 2007.
“We are coming up to the provincial hall today to give a petition of over 600 retired soldiers to the provincial governor to ask for his intervention,” said Kong Chheat, 58, who estimated the government owes him at least 3 million riels (US$750).
Choa Sokhom, 48, of Mongkol Borei district, said the soldiers decided to take their case to the province when complaints filed to the commune and district levels failed to produce a solution.
Ung Oeun, Banteay Meanchey provincial governor, confirmed on Monday that he had received the soldiers’ petition and contacted the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation for help.
The director in charge of the pension department at the ministry, Hem Bora, said it had already acknowledged the soldiers’ plight, but is still waiting for the funds to arrive from the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Hem Bora said his department submitted a report on the complaints in May, but that it would take some time before the soldiers could be paid, although he did not specify how long. A budget shortfall was to blame for the frozen payments, he said.