Solution in sight for land disputes

Source: Khmer Times

Land Management Minister Chea Sophara. KT/Mai Vireak

The Ministry of Land Management has set up three working groups to allocate land plots to families in disputes with sugar companies in Kampong Speu, Koh Kong and Preah Vihear provinces.

The groups, which are intended to solve disputes relating to 10 economic land concessions, will begin work today.

According to letters issued by the ministry on Friday, the working groups will coordinate to identify families and allocate them with land from today until October 3.

The first working group will assist locals in Koh Kong’s Sre Ambel and Botum Sakor districts, who are in dispute with Koh Kong Sugar Industry and Koh Kong Plantation.

The second will help people in Kampong Speu’s Thpong and Oral districts, who are in dispute with Phnom Penh Sugar, Kampong Speu Sugar and Kampong Speu Plantation Company.

The third working group will identify people in Preah Vihear’s Chhaeb, Tbaeng Meanchey and Chey Sen districts, who are in dispute with five firms; Rui Feng (Cambodia) International, Lan Feng (Cambodia) International, Heng You (Cambodia) International, Heng Rui (Cambodia) International and Heng Nong (Cambodia) International.

Another working group will be tasked with reviewing and reporting the results of the efforts to ministry leaders.

Phav Nherng, a representative of 175 families involved in the Koh Kong province land dispute, said they have already prepared the relevant documents for officials.

“We have all the right documents, including national ID cards, residential books and voting cards, while some people have poverty identification letters,” she said.

“We are waiting for the authorities to do the identification work. If nothing happens in 30 days, we will go back to the Ministry of Land Management again.”

The establishment of the working groups came after four ministers held a joint meeting on resolving land disputes last week.

After the meeting, Land Management Minister Chea Sophara vowed the disputes would be resolved transparently. Land Ministry spokesman Seng Lot could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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