Veteran Families Push for Land Titles

Source: Khmer TimesKH | Wednesday, 07 September 2016, by Pech Sotheary

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Former soldiers who are asking for the legal rights to the land they live on. Supplied

Representatives of 120 families consisting of veterans and disabled soldiers living in Banteay Meanchey province’s Malai district asked the government and provincial authorities to expedite the delivery of land titles as they have been living on land the government gave them for three years without legal papers.

Ith Voeun, from O’Ampil village in Malai district’s Tuol Pongro commune, said the government gave five hectares of land to each family to live on and farm in 1997, but they had yet to receive land titles after finally going to live there three years ago.

“Prime minister, please urge the provincial, district and village authorities as well as the land department to measure for each family to have land titles,” she said.

Deputy provincial governor Ly Saly said authorities had met with the people to research the land history and determine the number of families who owned it, but the people were uncooperative.

He added that other people now living on the land had led to conflicts with more than 50 military families who received social land concessions from the government.

However, he said authorities would try to find a solution and research the case before measuring and providing land titles for them.

“The authorities haven’t ignored this issue. We have sent local authorities to do this because they know which citizens live here and where they come from,” he said.

Sum Chankea, the provincial coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said authorities should check the land and provide legitimacy for the people because the land was provided by the government during integration when it was decided soldiers could get land in the area where they were stationed.

“They do not have any land apart from the land which was provided by the government because the land was community land intended to promote national unity. The land is their life because they need the land to survive,” he said.

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