Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Occupiers of disputed land receive ‘conditional titles’

Occupiers of disputed land receive ‘conditional titles’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Villagers gather on the disputed land in Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district. Heng Chivoan

Occupiers of disputed land receive ‘conditional titles’

The government has issued conditional land title receipts to 326 families occupying disputed state-owned land at the “Chamkar Barang” area in Tuol Prich commune of Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district. It is also looking into a policy settlement while the provincial governor investigates and identifies any land encroachment which could make the documents null and void.

Authorities have reiterated that the titles do not indicate land ownership.

Tuol Prich commune police chief Chik Sophea told The Post on July 13 that protesters at Chamkar Barang had not yet received any compensation. However, the provincial administration, together with inter-ministerial officials, had already measured the land and issued receipts to the 326 families, equivalent to 419 plots of land.

He said people have not protested since receiving the receipts and are waiting for a decision from the provincial administration and inter-ministerial officials.

“I saw surveyors measure and allocate land that people depend on, but we have not received any compensation yet,” he said.

Koam Rith, an Ang Taset villager in Tuol Pich commune, said provincial authorities had not allocated land or issued compensation to people for more than a month, but they had issued receipts to everyone.

He declined to provide details, saying only that the receipts were signed by the village, commune and district chiefs.

However, despite having this receipt, authorities will not allow people to cultivate or engage in any other activities on the land.

“The issue has not gone away. Other people also don’t know what is happening. I’m wondering too. At least let the village chief know what is happening so he can explain it to the people. But neither the village nor the commune chief knows what to do,” he said.

According to Rith, through this receipt, some people get large plots of land between 1ha and 2ha while others get smaller plots.

Provincial governor Kong Sophorn told The Post on July 13 that some people had misunderstood the purpose of the receipts and sold it. Authorities are investigating the case and will arrest the perpetrators.

Sophorn confirmed that the farm land belongs to the state and was taken back for development, not to serve the private sector. That is why the inter-ministerial government is trying to find the appropriate policy for the people.

“Once they received the receipts, they can look to [inter-ministerial] officials on how to deal with it. We cannot do what people want immediately. However, the inter-ministerial officials will solve the problem soon,” he added.

On August 13 last year, the Council of Ministers allocated 2.8 million square metres of land located in five villages – Koul, Thlong, Ang Taset, Prey Toteung and Kraing Krouch – in the commune to the Ministry of National Defense.

In early June, there was a protest between people who claimed ownership of the land and soldiers protecting it, leading to gunfire that injured one man.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia planning new border checkpoint at Thma Da

    Cambodia is looking into the possibility of opening a new Thma Da Border Checkpoint with Thailand to boost trade and tourism. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on December 4 that Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a technical working group

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be