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Nearly 300 families living on islands given land titles

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
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The government has decided to reallocate more than 520 hectares of land in Sihanoukville’s Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem communes from state land to private ownership for nearly 300 families living there.

According to a sub-decree issued on Wednesday, the government decided to provide 528.37 hectares of land in the two communes to 298 families living in the area, while also allocating some plots of land for schools, administration offices, commune halls, village headquarters, military units and pagodas.

“The ministers in charge of the Council of Ministers, relevant ministries, secretaries of state, relevant institutions and the Preah Sihanouk provincial governor shall implement this sub-decree from the signing date onwards,” it said.

Kan Ban, a resident of Koh Rong commune, expressed gratitude to the government for giving the land to the people after they measured the land in late 2015.

“The residents are very happy that the government has paid attention and provided us with land titles because we have always been worried about losing land to companies that want to develop Koh Rong,” he said. “At that time, even if we had land to farm, people did not dare to go there. But now we are no longer scared of losing our land.”

Late last month, 42 families in Kong Rong commune submitted a request to Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities to intervene to stop the activity of tycoon Sok Bun and Land Management Ministry officials, who went to measure their land.

Koh Rong commune chief Seng Hour Leang said yesterday that of the 298 families receiving land titles, some were from the 42 families that had a land dispute with Mr Bun.

“I would like to tell those people not to be afraid. There is nothing to worry about regarding the land dispute with tycoon Sok Bun because officials already went to measure the land for the people using GPS,” he said, referring to the measurements taken in late 2015.

“And the past measurements taken by Mr Sok Bun and the Ministry of Land Management, they just wanted to know, which made people dissatisfied.”

According to Mr Hour Leang, the decision of the government to reallocate the land to the people was carried out step by step.

He noted that more than 200 other families are still waiting for land titles in Koh Rong commune.

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