Villagers told to occupy land granted to them

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Land protesters in Phnom Penh. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The Kratie provincial land management department yesterday warned citizens that if they do not live on land given to them by the government, their social land concession could be revoked.

Yin Botum, deputy director of the provincial land management department, said the government offered state land and designated 878 families to live there in Snuol district’s Pi Thnou commune last month.

However, Mr Botum said some of them have not moved in to live there.

“Please go and use the plots of land,” he said. “Our working team will be there to help citizens.”

Mr Botum’s statement followed an earlier statement by provincial Governor Va Thorn.

In an April 5 statement, Mr Thorn said 189 families have yet to move in, while 689 families have already cleaned and occupied their designated plots of land.

He said that everyone has until April 26 to move in before provincial authorities revoke the land and return it back to the state.

Toch Dul, a Pi Thnou resident, yesterday said people have yet to live there because parts of the area assigned to them are already occupied by other people.

“How can we live there when the land is owned by others?” Mr Dul said. “I would like to ask the provincial authority to resolve this first, so that we will live there.”

The social land concessions were given to residents of Pi Thnou commune after a period of rallies and protests by villagers due to a land dispute with Memot Ruber Plantation.

According to the Ministry of Land Management and provincial authorities, the residents agreed to settle the dispute with the distribution of two hectares of land per family.

In March last year at the height of the dispute, hundreds of villagers violently clashed with police in Snuol district, prompting security forces to open fire.

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