Hun Sen: Cambodia Stopped the Partnership in Land Titling with the World Bank First – Tuesday, 8.9.2009

Posted on 8 September 2009. Filed under: Week 629 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 629

“The partnership in the Land Management and Administration Project [LMAP] between the World Bank and the Royal Government of Cambodia has been completely terminated by a declaration of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, as stated on 7 September 2009. He claimed that it was done because the World Bank set many complicated conditions which would make it difficult to cooperate.

“During a public announcement of the results of the general census of the Cambodian population in 2008, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said, ‘I ended the partnership with the World Bank in land titling, and the World Bank can take back all the remaining resources, because their conditions are complicated, making it difficult to cooperate. Formerly, we did not do it like this, but now, we have to continue with our own national resources. Do not try to be bossy.’

Note:

The following two documents give details about developments before the termination of the Land Management and Administration Project:

16 July 2009: Development Partners Call for Halt to Evictions of Cambodia’s Urban Poor

29 August 2009: World Bank Holds Discussions on Reforms

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen added that Cambodia ended the contract fist, but not the World Bank. He confirmed, ‘We declared to end it first. Do not be tricky. Cambodia stopped it first. Do not act like a prestigious one by confirming to terminate the project first. Do not act as a big brother to control other partners.’

Note:

Actually, the World Bank release, “Statement from the World Bank on Termination by Royal Government of Cambodia of the Land Management and Administration Project” speaks clearly about which side declared the cooperation to be ended: “Following a decision by the Council of Ministers on Friday, 4 September 2009, to terminate World Bank financing of the Land Management and Administration Project (LMAP), World Bank Country Director for South-East Asia, Annette Dixon, made the following statement…”

Together with this announcement, there is also a document Related Content: Enhanced Review Report of LMAP (size 657kb, PDF format) at the same web site, offered for download.

“Regarding the Prime Minister’s statement about the ending of the partnership, officials of the Sam Rainsy Party expressed regret, saying that it leads to a loss of benefits for all Khmer citizens. Speaking via telephone on Monday evening, the spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Yim Sovann, said, ‘The conditions of the World Bank benefit Khmer citizens by protecting the land ownership of Khmer citizens. Therefore, I really regret the ending of the above contract.’

“Mr. Yim Sovann added that the World Bank brings money to help us and to benefit us, but we ourselves do not help ourselves, but care only about partisan benefits.

“However, the Sam Rainsy Party spokesperson suggested to the Royal Government to reconsider the ties with the World Bank, saying, in short, ‘Otherwise, citizens will condemn this decision.’

“Furthermore, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said, ‘They are still not modest, sometimes they demand this condition, sometimes they suspend that. Now there need to be no more suspensions, let it end due to too many conditions. Though there will be some quarrel to be addressed later, it still will be halted – but to provide aid is your obligation.’

“Regarding the discontinuation of the partnership in land titling, some economists in Cambodia could not offer detailed comments on Monday, when they were asked about the positive and the negative impact of this decision on the economy. Both the president of the Cambodian Economic Association, Mr. Chan Sophal, and a Cambodian independent economist, Mr. Kang Chandara, said, ‘I cannot comment on this case, but wait until I study this case in detail first.’

“On 6 September 2009, the World Bank, through Ms. Annette Dickson, the World Bank Country Director for South-East Asia, released a statement regarding the above case. She said in the statement, ‘Land security and a fair, transparent approach to resolving land disputes and resettlement are among the greatest challenges facing Cambodia today.’

“The statement also pointed out that the project had issued more than 1.1 million land titles, mostly to poor people in rural areas, and the World Bank provided finance for the land administration, and that the Land Management and Administration Project had achieved success in rural areas, but failed to achieve the agreed goals in urban areas where land disputes are on the rise.

“Nevertheless, the director of the World Bank said, ‘We are encouraged by the Government’s statement of its commitment to continuing reforms in the land sector and working towards an improved policy and legal framework for resettlement that reflects their commitment to international treaties.’

“She added in the statement, ‘We remain committed to working with Government and other development partners through the Technical Working Group on Land to support Cambodia’s efforts to secure land tenure, reduce poverty, and improve economic opportunity for all of its people.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #283, 8.9.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #283, 8.9.2009

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia Stopped the Partnership in Land Registration with the World Bank First
  • The Prime Minister Warns against the Intention to Indict More Khmer Rouge Leaders [saying that it could lead to civil war]
  • America Hopes that an Agreement on the Cambodian debt to the USA Will Be Achieved Soon to Cancel the Cambodian debt [according to the spokesperson of the US Embassy in Cambodia]
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Recognizes 4.6 Square Kilometer around the Preah Temple as Cambodian Territory

Note:

The last headline completely contradicts the report of 7 September 2009 in the Bangkok Post, which it claims to quote:

“PM denies land lost in border row

“Thailand has not lost any territory in the disputed Thai-Cambodian border area near Preah Vihear temple, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva says…

“Mr Abhisit told his weekly TV and radio programme yesterday Thailand and Cambodia used different maps with different border demarcations to argue their case.

“However, he said an agreement reached between the two countries in 2000, which said border conflict should be solved through negotiation, should apply in the meantime…

“While the border has yet to be agreed neither side should enter the disputed area or use it in ways which affects the other’s rights, he said.

“‘The 2000 agreement says we need negotiations and, in the meantime, activities in the disputed area that could affect each country’s rights are not allowed.”

“The disputed land is a 4.6-square-kilometre border area near Preah Vihear temple.

“Each country uses different ways to demarcate the border line, but Mr Abhisit said this had not compromised Thailand’s position…”

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6749, 8.9.2009

  • Suppressing Robbers Attacking Foreigners for a Whole Night, Five Persons Were Arrested – All Five Are Moto-Taxi Drivers [Phnom Penh]
  • 63-Year-Old Man Raped 8-Year-Old Girl while Luring Her to Change Her Clothes [Takeo]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4983, 8.9.2009

  • Rain Flood Inundates National Road 4 and Kampot Town, and Electricity in Kampot Is Cut Off
  • Thirty Five More Workers of the Golden Mile Garment Factory Fainted [because of the terrible environment in the factory which lacks oxygen in the air – Phnom Penh]
  • The Minister of Information Led a Delegation of 200 Officials to Organize the Pchum Ben Commemoration and to Study the Living Conditions in Khmer Kampuchea Krom [in Southern Vietnam]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1789, 8.9.2009

  • [Nine] Khmer Kampuchea Krom Associations Encourage France to Deliver Documents about the Cutting off of Kampuchea Krom Land Making it Part of Yuon [Vietnam – they ask for this in order to intervene with the government of Vietnam to halt human rights violations and restrictions on the freedom in all sectors against Khmer Kampuchea Krom people who are original inhabitants of part of former French Cochin China. The new borderline of 1949 within French Indochina was based on the Brévié Line, named after the governor-general of French Indochina, Jules Brévié]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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