Authorities in Preah Vihear province have begun assigning plots of land to 180 families in Sra Em commune, ending a dispute between them and the Preah Vihear Temple Authority.
Representatives of the 180 families have rallied multiple times in front of various government offices and submitted petitions.
They said they were displaced by provincial authorities in 2011. The authorities claimed that their land was located in a protected area near the Preah Vihear temple.
Provincial Governor Un Chanda yesterday said that in order to settle the dispute, the government on Tuesday decided to assign plots of land to the 180 families.
Each family received 25 by 50 metre plots of land, Mr Chanda added.
“We assigned plots of land through a lottery system,” he said. “The authorities will prepare and distribute land titles to them and organise infrastructure projects so they will have water, roads and electricity.”
Mr Chanda noted that after the 180 families have settled, they can participate in protecting Preah Vihear temple’s World Heritage status.
Sat Nheb, a family representative, yesterday said some people were assigned bigger plots of land than others, but the families are generally happy with the outcome.
“We are happy to have a solution and be able to receive land in a suitable living place,” Ms Nheb said. “We would like to thank the government and provincial authorities that worked hard to address the land issue and are processing the land titles for us.”
“Currently, we are preparing documents to be submitted to the Sra Em commune hall in order to receive land titles,” she added.