October 11, 2017

Pressure kept on for land dispute solutions

An inter-ministerial joint working group yesterday said it would continue its work on resolving land disputes for 540 families battling sugarcane companies in four provinces.

The Ministers of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, Economy and Finance, Environment, and representatives of the Agriculture Ministry, European Union, and civil society organisations, met with provincial authorities  yesterday to discuss the cases.

The land dispute cases are in Koh Kong, Kampong Speu, Preah Vihear and Oddar Meanchey provinces and involve the Heng Huy Company, Koh Kong Sugar Industry and Koh Kong Plantation.

In a land dispute between 179 families in Kampong Speu province’s Thpong and Oral district who are battling Phnom Penh Sugar, Kampong Speu Sugar and Kampong Speu Plantation, the ministry urged provincial authorities to verify documents and complete demarcation to see who has legitimate claims to land.

In a land dispute case in Preah Vihear province between citizens and the Rui Feng, Lan Feng, Heng You, Heng Rui and Heng Nong companies, the ministry said it had already resolved cases for 13 families and was working on a further 43 cases.

“The European Union, non-governmental organisations, relevant ministries and institutions will continue to cooperate to fully solve the remaining land disputes between citizens and sugarcane companies producing sugar to export,” the ministry said.

EU Ambassador to Cambodia George Edgar said he was glad the government was moving quickly on cases that have dragged on for years.

According to Mr Edgar, Cambodia exported 64,800 tonnes of sugar to the European Union in 2013, but figure that was halved to 3,400 tonnes by 2015 as the disputes affected exports.

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