Cambodia: Govt. officials deny an NGO's investigative report on impacts of land concessions

Author: Savi Khorn, The Phnom Penh Post, Published on: 11 December 2019

"Gov’t denies CCIM land concessions report", 5 December 2019

A government official has denied information recently released by the Cambodian Centre for Independent Media (CCIM) about the impact of investment in land concessions in several provinces…

The denial comes after the CCIM … published an investigative report called Looking at the Development of the Cambodian Economy.

…, CCIM director Danny Kasper said the report was not a research study, but a press report that had been released for the government and relevant civil society organisations to act on.

“The CCIM is the information body for development. We don’t plan to solve these problems directly. But we leave the challenging problems to the government to solve,” Kasper said.

… Morm Moniroth, the consultant who produced the investigative report, said its main aim was to determine the reasons behind the investment-related problems. He cited violations of the Land Law that dictates a company cannot invest in more than 10,000ha of land as part of the problem.

The company, he said, had started its investment before impacts were studied, and this had cost the residents their fundamental rights…

However, Ministry of Environment secretary of state and spokesman Neth Pheaktra said on Thursday: “This information is outdated. Its dissemination was meant to cause misunderstanding and mislead the public for politically motivated reasons.

… Government spokesman Phay Siphan said in principle, it was the government that decided to grant the economic land concessions to the companies. Hence, it had to check and assess the companies…

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