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Cambodia: Nearly 300 villagers file a petition to Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities to seek intervention in a land dispute

Author: Dara Voun, The Phnom Penh Post, Published on: 10 December 2019

"Preah Sihanouk villagers seeking intervention over land dispute", 9 December 2019

Nearly 300 people representing 9,095 families in Preah Sihanouk province … filed a petition to the provincial administration seeking intervention in a long-running land dispute.

The villagers submitted the petition after their initial request to hold a march to coincide with the 71st international Human Rights Day … was rejected.

In their petition, the representatives said the 9,095 families risked losing their homes and 16,609ha of farmland in Prey Nop and Stung Hav districts to “powerful individuals” if there was no compromise.

They urged the provincial governor and the director of the provincial Department of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction to speedily demarcate land for them and issue titles.

“We have built homes and occupied and cultivated the land for our livelihoods since 1990-1995. We lived on the land peacefully until 2005-2008, when private companies, traders and powerful individuals grabbed it…

Yu Veasna, one of the representatives, said the provincial authority had accepted the petition after turning down their requests to march or hold a public forum…

Veasna said the Preah Sihanouk administration had accepted the petition and agreed to forward it to the provincial governor…

Provincial administration spokesman Kheang Phearum confirmed the acceptance of the villagers’ petition…

Cheap Sotheary, the provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, called on the provincial authority to find the villagers a solution to the long-standing land dispute. She stressed that while holding regular consultative forums with civil society is welcome, this could not end all land disputes…

Read the full post here