Villagers want their promised land

Source : Khmer Times 

Some of the villagers who are still awaiting land titles. Supplied.

Nearly 60 families in Siem Reap province yesterday gathered in their village to demand authorities speed up a land distribution deal promised by a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Apsara Authority two years ago.

Tiv Nara, a family representative, said yesterday that a total of 100 families in the province’s Sla Kram commune were supposed to receive the land. However, Ms Nara said so far only 47 have received land.

“Provincial authorities issued land titles to those who already had houses on the land. For the rest of us, we haven’t received land titles yet,” Ms Nara said. “We already requested land titles at the Provincial Hall, but there’s been no result so far. I would like to request that Prime Minister Hun Sen steps in and urges authorities to distribute land titles for the remaining families.”

Lyna, a resident in the commune, said yesterday that Mr Hun Sen should intervene because many in the village fear eviction.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen, please help to issue titles of ownership to the people so that they can live comfortably without fear of eviction,” Mr Lyna said. “We need your help, people in this area are poor.”

Residents said that some have lived in the area since 1989, while the rest migrated in 1993, 2000 and 2003.
Cambodian Youth Party president Pich Sros said yesterday that he has been studying the case.

Mr Sros, who is also a member of the Supreme Consultative Council, said that according to the sub-decree and other related documents, all of the residents are to receive a land title.

CYP president Pich Sros meets with the villagers. Supplied.

“We looked at the many conditions, documents and witnesses, and we’ve concluded that 59 families do qualify to receive land,” Mr Sros said. “They just haven’t received it yet. So, on behalf of the newly established Supreme Consultative Council, I will raise the issue with the Prime Minister – I will do my best.”

Hen Puthy, Provincial Hall deputy administrative director, said yesterday that the 59 families lack documents needed to obtain land.

Mr Puthy said that some plots have duplicate names, making it difficult for officials to settle the issue.

“The issuance of land titles in the past were supported by proper documentation,” he said. “We’ll just have to keep working with relevant authorities and experts.”



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