Hun Sen holds private talks over land disputes

Hun Sen holds private talks over land disputes

Prime Minister Hun Sen began his week with a public roasting of government officials for failing to solve land disputes and likely did so again yesterday as a closed-door meeting on the subject was held at the Peace Palace.

On Thursday, the premier had said that he would “meet with leaders” yesterday to “set some guidelines”.

Unlike normal Friday government meetings chaired by Hun Sen, however, press were completely barred. Government spokespeople claimed to not know what was discussed, while officials present declined to comment.

Outside, protesters from communities affected by disputes were blocked by police. Minor clashes saw three people briefly detained.

The secretive meeting capped off a week in which the premier has turned his attention to the vexed issue.

A new inter-ministerial committee to review economic land concessions that will report directly to him has been formed, while opposition leader Sam Rainsy pledged on Thursday that his party would fully cooperate with the new push.

The Cambodian Center for Human Rights has called on Hun Sen to work with civil society on the issue.

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