Families barred from concession

Sen David / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Authorities speak with residents in Kratie province. Supplied

Kratie provincial authorities yesterday said that 98 families who protested in Phnom Penh do not qualify to receive Social Land Concessions being granted as part of land dispute resolutions.

Last month, representatives of 1,636 families locked in a land dispute with Memot Rubber Plantation descended upon Phnom Penh demanding a resolution.

Kratie authorities said yesterday that 98 families have already received land in the province’s Snoul district, but joined in the protest regardless.

Provincial Governor Va Thorn said the decision to bar the 98 families from getting more land was made last month during a meeting with the Land Management Ministry.

“According to the examining and measurement process, there are already 98 families that received more than two-hectares each,” Mr Thorn said. “Because of this, the Provincial Hall does not need to provide them with Social Land Concessions again.”

Mr Thorn said the rest of the families will receive Social Land Concessions because they are poor, homeless and in need of farmland.

On Wednesday, provincial authorities held a meeting with villagers who are qualified to receive Social Land Concessions.

“Officials met with the protestors locked in the land dispute and they agreed to go home to register their identities,” a statement issued after the meeting said.

Phin Thea, a family representative, said some of the villagers have agreed to wait for the authorities to process their land concession.

“After the meeting, some villagers decided to go home and wait to listen for a solution,” Mr Thea said.

In late October, more than 100 people representing hundreds of families locked in the land dispute with Memot Rubber Plantation descended upon Samaki Raingsey Pagoda in Phnom Penh to demand a resolution from the Land Management Ministry.

Representatives of the group said they were in Phnom Penh for three days seeking intervention from relevant ministries.

In March, a clash between residents and security forces in Pi Thnou commune over the land dispute resulted in several people being injured. The incident prompted residents to gather in Phnom Penh instead.

The Land Management Ministry then issued a statement accusing villagers of grabbing land granted to the Memot Rubber Plantation Company as part of an Economic Land Concession.

However, the ministry said the government would address the problem and begin the land identification process in accordance with Social Land Concession procedures.

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