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PM removes district governor over land grabs

Khann Chanvirak / Khmer Times Share:
Sin Vanvuth is removed from his position as Koh Nhek district governor. Fresh News

Prime Minister Hun Sen has removed Sin Vanvuth from his post as governor of Koh Nhek district, in Mondulkiri province over land encroachment.

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The removal of Vanvuth over land encroachment came after an inter-ministerial team investigating a case of illegal encroachment on forest land in a protected area in Mondulkiri province found him guilty of negligence in his role and responsibilities.

A sub-decree, dated September 15 but released on Tuesday, confirmed the termination of Vanvuth as the Governor of Koh Nhek district and stated he would be moved to the Ministry of Interior.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said: “The termination of the position of district governor, Sin Vanvuth, is a warning to other officials who have conspired to encroach on state land to stop their activities immediately,” he said.

On July 22, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng set up an inter-ministerial working group to investigate cases of illegal encroachment on
land in protected areas of Mondulkiri province.

The task force was set up following illegal logging activities in protected areas, which was suspected to involve officials working in the region.

On August 30, the Ministry of Interior submitted a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen, which proposed the termination of Vanvuth, Seak Mony as Governor of O’raing district, Sok Sera as deputy director of administration of Mondulkiri Provincial Hall, Poep Pe as chief of Sre Preah commune in Keo Seima district, Tvan Trel as chief of Sen Monorom commune, But Sam El as chief of  Sre Khtom commune, Than Bunthoeun as commander of the Armed Forces Command and Det Hean as deputy commander of the 716th Infantry Division, saying that they were all involved in illegal encroachment on state land.

Executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability San Chey said the district governor has been held responsible as he is of a high position, whereas the lack of checks within the administrative system means that others have gone under the radar.

 

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