The government has prepared infrastructure and 6,005 plots of land for residents who are willing to dismantle their “illegal” structures in the Angkor Archaeological Park and relocate to Run Ta Ek, a new village allocated for them outside the park.

In order to receive a plot in Run Ta Ek, located in Banteay Srei distirct's Run Ta Ek commune, applicants must fulfil the required conditions and the plots will be granted by the drawing of lots, according to the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.

“I wrote a letter asking permission from [Prime Minister Hun Sen] for chief engineer Kheng Sameth to prepare infrastructure and 6,005 plots in the Run Ta Ek area. So, we must begin to prepare the area comprehensively,” land management minister Chea Sophara said on August 17.

“The people know that in the Angkor park, the address is unidentified, no plots are allowed. No matter where the plots are, no one can measure them or own them. So they have no plots – they have no land to pass on from generation to generation.

“Whereas this land we will give you [at Runta Ek] is 20m by 30m. Thus, the first step is that we have transferred the ownership from being state public land to state private land, and then the land department can register their names,” he added.

Sophara continued that there are more than 8,000 illegal structures in the Angkor park. From now on, he said relevant authorities must stop acting as witnesses in land sales activities in the park, which is managed by the Apsara National Authority (ANA).

The Angkor park is sacred land that cannot be exploited by any individuals or families, he said, warning that those who encroach on it will only suffer and lose their investments and having nothing to pass on from generation to generation.

ANA spokesman Long Kosal told The Post on August 22 that the team was rushing to measure and demarcate plots and identify land occupants in the park. However, he could not confirm yet the results that had been implemented from August 18-22 as the work was still actively underway.

He noted that the team is composed of the land management ministry along with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Siem Reap Provincial Administration, local authorities and some provincial land management departments, such as Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap and Battambang.

“We are now rushing to do that work. We already have results, but I cannot confirm them all yet. But we have more professional teams from the land management ministry and from some provincial departments,” he said.

The Siem Reap Provincial Administration said the campaign involved 890 officials divided into 42 groups, of whom 549 were expert officials from the land management ministry and 232 from the culture ministry while 109 are from the Siem Reap Provincial Administration.

The team called on the people and all stakeholders to cooperate with the technical teams to work at all targets in the Angkor park from August 18 in order to implement the plans more effectively and successfully for common benefits.