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Land disputes create backlog for Sar Kheng’s Facebook team

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Minister of Interior Sar Kheng’s Facebook page. Hean Rangsey

Land disputes create backlog for Sar Kheng’s Facebook team

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng’s Facebook team has received 54 requests for intervention in April, but there remained a backlog of 438 cases still in the process being resolved – most of them local land disputes – according to a Ministry of Interior press release.

Sar Kheng’s Facebook team is tasked with addressing comments and requests made on Sar Kheng’s Facebook page.

Facebook team leader Chea Sokunthea told The Post on May 18 that despite the Covid-19 situation in Cambodia, his team was still actively reviewing comments and requests, but most of the cases were able to be addressed online.

“Since the team was created in July of 2020, we have addressed the comments and requests made by people regularly and without fail.

“But we have a number of cases that deal with local land disputes so we asked the senior leadership for permission to delegate the cases to local officials to find solutions,” he said.

In April, the team had received 54 cases and 20 of those have now been resolved, but he acknowledged that a large backlog of land dispute cases remained.

Sar Kheng on May 17 issued a report regarding the comments and requests he received via his Facebook page.

“I would like to thank compatriots for writing the comments and requests on my Facebook page. We must unite to solve these problems and develop our national society and we plead with you for understanding when some cases have yet to be addressed. Those cases demand more time and we must follow certain procedures,” he said.

Am Sam Ath, deputy director for rights group Licadho, said that Sar Kheng’s Facebook team had helped coordinate the cases so that people did not need to spend time and money travelling to the capital, which was good, but that there was some danger that these complaints would be met with inaction and indifference on the part of some local officials.

“According to the results, the team has been able to solve or respond to complaints and requests by some people. But a lot of problems haven’t been solved yet, especially the big cases like land disputes,” he said.

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