Land lies at the center of debates about Cambodia’s socio-economic development. For farmers in the fertile lowlands, private land ownership rights have enabled recovery of their livelihoods after decades of conflict.
More than 100 families in Takeo province have been given back their land after a dispute with the Sun Hour company and an individual landholder.
The move follows protests and in front of the Ministry of Land Management as families asked the government to resolve their problems.
The 137 families were told officially on Saturday that 915 hectares in Tram Kak district’s Trapaing Kranhoung commune would be restored to them.
The government had reclassified four economic land concessions as state property, reclaiming almost 20,000 hectares earlier handed to private firms to use for rubber plantations.
A sub-decree issued on August 31 said the land in Kratie, Kampong Thom and Ratanakkiri provinces was to be taken back from four companies following an Agriculture Ministry proposal in March.
The companies were all supposed to develop rubber plantations, but failed to do so, clearing the land and then abandoning it.
The Ministry of Interior yesterday ordered the temporary suspension of land rights NGO Equitable Cambodia for allegedly violating its own by-laws and the controversial law regulating NGOs passed in 2015.
In a letter signed yesterday, Interior Minister Sar Kheng ordered NGO Director Eang Vuthy to “temporarily suspend Equitable Cambodia’s activities for thirty working days”.
According to the letter, the organisation violated Article 5 of its own by-laws, as well as Articles 10 and 25 of the Law on Associations and NGOs.