Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bit Traing chief calls for talks in dispute

Bit Traing chief calls for talks in dispute

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Bit Traing commune chief Mach Chan on Tuesday appealed to Okhna Lanh Pheara and 77 families and urged them to find an acceptable solution to a land dispute. facebook

Bit Traing chief calls for talks in dispute

Bit Traing commune chief Mach Chan on Tuesday appealed to Okhna Lanh Pheara and 77 families and urged them to find an acceptable solution to a land dispute, saying he had received requests from both sides since early October to intervene.

The 77 families are locked in a land dispute in Bit Traing commune’s Pou Thoeung village, in Prey Nop district, Preah Sihanouk province.

Mach Chan told The Post on Tuesday that he asked the families involved in the land dispute with Pheara and land broker Phou Chham to meet a company representative because some of the 77 families had agreed to sell their land to the firm, while others had not.

“We discussed with the company representative to meet with the villagers because they have a headquarters on-site which has a working group on standby. If after checking the documents, [the representatives] see that the villagers have not sold the land, the company will [allocate] land for the villagers.

But if the villagers have already sold land to the company, or cheated and sold the property to other people, the company will see their names on the documents,” Chan said.

The commune chief said that after meeting with the representative of the 77 families, he was told that some of the families had sold their land to other parties and traders but lied about it, thus complicating the dispute.

Chan said that “as a solution for villagers, we want the two sides to negotiate. If the company has not bought the land, [they should] ask the villagers to sell the land. If the villagers refuse, we ask the company to set aside land for the villagers as a solution”.

Pheara’s representative Ban Seiyuth told The Post on Tuesday: “We are willing to look for a solution. For those who bought the land from other people and filled it without knowing that the land already belongs to the oknha, if they spent $10,000 for land filling, we will give them the $10,000 back. If we have not bought the land, we will look for other possible solutions.

Most of the people protesting have already sold their land but continue to occupy the area. Some of the families have had their lands sold by their parents 10 or 20 years ago, yet they remain in the land and even demand for a land title. ”

In order to claim the land, Pheara has asked the protesters to provide a land title to prove their claims of ownership, he added.

‘Further intervention’

O’Thoeung village chief Hay Kork verified that land broker Phou Chham had bought land from the 77 families but that only a portion of the 90ha plot of land was bought.

Kork said: “I also had land but it was a little. Phou Chham came to buy land in our village before I became the village chief in 2012. He came in 1990 when I was a simple villager. But in regards to how many hectares of land he had bought, I do not know.”

Kuy Mab, one of the villagers caught in the dispute, said on Tuesday that the company plans to construct houses on the 90ha plot where the villagers live.

If the company’s plan goes through, the villagers will protest immediately, according to Mab.

However, if the company constructs on areas whose owners do not live in Phnom Penh, then they will not protest.

He said: “The company has warned us against protesting because they say it is not our land. Construction has not started yet on my plot.

They build on 4ha at a time within the whole of the 90ha lot. We filed a complaint with commune authorities, but did not receive any solution. Now, we are seeking further intervention,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro