Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers, soldiers tussle over land

Villagers, soldiers tussle over land

Villagers, soldiers tussle over land

Villagers from Chum Kiri commune in Banteay Meanchey province appealed to Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday to intervene in a land dispute concerning roughly 30 hectares of land they say was taken by district soldiers.

Doeu Chay, a representative of 25 local families, said that land located in Chum Kiri district was grabbed by a group of soldiers from the 12th Military Artillery Regiment on March 30.

Chay added that villagers had collected thumbprints and filed complaints to local and provincial authorities, as well as rights groups Adhoc and Licahdo, but have been unable to resolve their claim. The villagers, he said, have owned the land since 1980.

“Now we are very concerned about our living and our lives in our homeland,” Chay said, adding that soldiers barred villagers from trying to plant on the land last week.

Sum Chankea, a provincial coordinator for Adhoc, said his organisation had facilitated a meeting between village representatives and the provincial governor, adding that the governor had promised to intervene.

Brigadier General Lay Dara, deputy commander of the 12th Military Artillery Regiment, said the land has belonged to his soldiers since 1980, and that 32 hectares were registered as state property with the Ministry of National Defence in 1993.

“The villagers have stolen our soldiers’ land and produced a fake title,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on