Thursday, 8.5.2008: Hun Sen Has Sold 45% of Khmer Islands, Sea, and Land

Posted on 9 May 2008. Filed under: Week 559 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 559

“In its publication on 26 April 2008, The Guardian, in the article, ‘Cambodia, a Country for Sale,’ says that Hun Sen and the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] government have sold approximately 45% of land in Cambodia; and, calls this sales ‘The Sale of the Millennium.’

“Two journalists of The Guardian – Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark – reported about the sale of Cambodian land by Hun Sen and the CPP government. The names of millionaires and local officials of the CPP, who are Mr. Hun Sen’s friends, or people close to him, and international millionaire investors are also mentioned in detail, related to the buying and selling of land in Cambodia, including the sale of islands and the sea.

“People who were the owners of the land and the houses have been evicted from their land, and the armed forces of the government, whose obligation it is to serve the nation and the people, are used by opportunistic businesspeople as tools of suppression, acting in a way which the newspaper describes, according to the words of a human rights activist, as cruel methods of the past. A human rights activist, the director of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, Ms. Naly Pilorge commented to the newspaper, describing the situation, ‘Extreme violence, greed and disregard for the most basic human rights .’

“Ms. Naly Pilorge said, ‘The methods of the past are being used to dictate our future .’

“In 2006, a French national, Arnaud Darc, heard about plans of the Hun Sen and CPP government [to extend the airport runway in Sihanoukville], and brought a French millionaire, Jean-Louis Charon, a very rich person from Paris, to buy two big plots of coastal land of more than 220 hectares.

“A spokesperson of the Sihanoukville governor Say Hak’s cabinet told the newspaper that the price of this land, which the City Star Company had bought, had increased four times, when the Cambodian government confirmed the rumor about the extension of he Sihanoukville airport.

“Real estate agents from Europe came to buy land at the seaside, islands, and the sea, preparing to sell it after making a big profit after seven or ten years.

“The company of the French national Arnaud Darc continued to buy 333 hectares of land – the Koh Russey and Koh Ta Kiev islands off the Ream beach. A real estate company from Hong Kong, Lime Tree Capital, bought coastal land near the Ream beach, and plans to keep it unused for many years, to sell it with profit when the prices of land go up.

“An Australian couple, the businesspeople Rory and Mel Hunter, had signed a contract to buy Koh Bong and Koh Ouen islands with a dream to develop these two islands. But the British national Marty Kaye, who operates the Millennium Property Fund, snapped it away from them as he wanted to buy the land next to the island of Koh Rong, which is near to those two islands.

“Marty Kaye said that Cambodia is very favorable place for doing business ‘Nowhere else in the world could you create your own kingdom from scratch – here it is quite different from the island of Ko Samui in Thailand.

“This foreign businessman said that when Hun Sen and the CPP government signed the contract, the Cambodian government did not mention anything about how many Khmer people were living there, where they will have to live, and what kind of compensation would have to be paid to the people.

“Marty Kaye has close relations with Oknha Kit Meng, a big businessman in Cambodia, also with interests in real estate, and a very close friend of Hun Sen.

“Another French real estate businessman, Alain Dupuis, bought Koh Sramaoch this spring. A Chinese businessman bought Koh Tonsay, located opposite Kep.

“Fearing that foreign businesspeople will buy all land, the governor of Sihanoukville, Say Hak, also bought a small island and built a luxury villa on it.

“Moreover, not to be left behind Say Hak, the Sihanoukville deputy governor Sbaung Sarath, also a person of Hun Sen’s CPP, bought half of the public Independence Beach in Sihanoukville in February 2008, evicting hundreds of families who were the owners of the land and the houses.

“A few days later, Sbanung Sarath bought also a part of the Ou Tres beach. Another part of the Ou Tresb Beach of 56 hectares is owned by [the casino company] Queenco, registered in London.

“The Ukrainian businessman Nickolai Doroshenko, who is also close to Hun Sen and the CPP government, bought the Victory beach in Sihanoukville.

“Oknha Sok Kong, who always shares benefits with the CPP leaders, bought Ou Chheu Teal beach at the end of January, which used to be the biggest and the most popular public recreation site in the area.

“The director of Global Witness, Mr. Simon Taylor, who had collected information and published it in a book accusing Hun Sen’s CPP of destroying the forests of Cambodia, was quoted by The Guardian.

“He compared Cambodia today, under Hun Sen and CPP, to a ‘shadow state, a government that misappropriates public assets, extorts from businesses and manages an extensive illicit economy. It is administered by senior ministers who are fluent in the jargon of good governance and sustainable development.’” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3304, 8.5.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 8 May 2008

Cambodge Soir, Vol.1, #31, 8-14.5.2008

  • Inflation Is Threatening Action against Poverty
  • ASEAN Plans Fund of US$80 Billion to Prevent [financial] Crisis


Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #94, 8.5.2008

  • Human Rights Party Gains Supports from Foreign Embassies [from European Community and ASEAN; Human Rights Party officials met with the German ambassador]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1635, 8.5.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party secretary-general] Eng Chhay Ieng Denies Plan to Boycott the Elections


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6339, 8.5.2008

  • Cambodian Government Provides Aid of US$50,000 to Burma; Deaths Increase up to 22,000, and 40,000 Go Missing [from tropical cyclone]
  • Let the Court Deal with the Lawsuit against Mr. Sam Rainsy; Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Hor Namhong: I Was a Prisoner of Boeng Trabaek Prison

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #149, 8.5.2008

  • Hor Namhong Will Not Withdraw Lawsuit against Sam Rainsy
  • [Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association president] Rong Chhun and [Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia president] Chea Mony Said Opposition Parties Will Get Many Votes in the Elections
  • There Is Big Scale Logging in Siem Reap under the Pretension of Land Concessions from the Government


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3454, 8.5.2008

  • Government Spokesperson [Khieu Kanharith] Asserted that if the Cambodian People’s Party Looses the Elections, It Will Become a Strong Opposition Party so that Others Will Be Frightened
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Promises that When He Wins the Elections to Lead a Government, He Will Confiscate Land from Yuon [Vietnamese] Companies and from Corrupt Officials and Oknhas and Give It to Citizens


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4583, 8.5.2008

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Marched in Battambang without Intervention from the Government [on 7 May 2008 – this is considered to be a campaign which violates the elections law]
  • Phanimex Company Takes Legal Action to Cancel the Contract [of land at Borei Keyla] Worth US$27 Million [with a Korean company – Phanimex has won the case, but the Korean company appeals
    against the court’s decision]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3304, 8.5.2008

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Has Sold 45% of Khmer Islands, Seas, and Land [according to The Guardian, UK]
  • Hor Namhong Acknowledges that He Was the Chief of the Prisoners’ Committee

Have a look at last week’s editorial: UNESCO: A free press empowers the people to control their own lives

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