Civil Society Representatives Said that Cambodia Does Not Have a Mechanisms to Protect Citizens in Land Disputes, but the Authorities Deny It – Friday, 11.9.2009

Posted on 12 September 2009. Filed under: Week 629 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 629

“Local human rights organizations said that at present, the government and the court system in Cambodia do not have efficient mechanisms to provide justice to citizens at the community level relating to land disputes. Meanwhile, violence related to land disputes has increased.

“The head of the investigating unit of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Mr. Ny Chakriya, said on Thursday [11.9.2009], ‘We see the government’s intention to address land disputes by creating the National Authority for Solving Land Disputes, but we see that the court system is used as a tool for suing.’ Mr. Ny Chakriya added that those mechanisms do not help the citizens. Human rights organization still point out that land disputes rise because of a lack of efficient solutions from the courts and from the National Authority for Solving Land Disputes. Therefore, citizens frequently go to ask for an intervention by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“Because citizens are often arrested and jailed over land disputes, Mr. Chakriya, stated, ‘The courts are using their power to solve land disputes by arresting citizens and putting them in prison, and releasing them when they stop protesting.’

“The president of the Phnom Penh Court, Mr. Chiv Keng, told the Phnom Penh Post via telephone that some citizens lose their cases. Then they shout that the courts are unjust. He went on to say that those citizens live on land owned by somebody else, and they do not have evidence to prove their own claims to the courts. He said, ‘We act based on legal procedures monitoring these cases of land disputes.’

“A parliamentarian from the Cambodian People’s Party, Mr. Cheam Yeap, said that the government pays much attention to citizens suffering from land disputes.

“He said, ‘I do not believe that all citizens who file complaints over land grabbing always lose; the government does not tolerate any powerful officials who use their power to threaten to take villagers’ land.’

“According to an ADHOC report, 150 citizens were arrested in 2008, and there have been already 50 citizens arrested and jailed in 2009. Within three years from 2006 to 2008, ADHOC received complaints from 80,000 families over disputes about more than 176,000 hectares of land.”Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #3, 11.9.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 11 September 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #286, 11.9.2009

  • Amnesty International Said that [Cambodian] Citizens Are Losing Land [in 2006, there were 450 cases of land loss, affecting 29,443 families; in 2007, there were 382 cases, affecting 19,329 families; and in 2008, 94,317 hectares of citizens’ land were lost, affecting 31,106 families]
  • An Apology Letter of Hang Chakra [the editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok who was sentenced to serve one year in prison for disinformation and defamation of government officials] Will Reach [the Minister of the Council of Ministers] Mr. Sok An Today [to ask for his intervention to release him]
  • The Ministry of Land Management Is Busy Drafting a Law on Foreign Property Ownership [which will allow foreigners to have property ownerships rights on second floors and above – with a controversy whether this will be restricted to “useful foreigners” already in the country or open the possibility of foreign ownership without a not so clearly defined and applicable distinction]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2046, 11.9.2009

  • Police Do Not Dare to Go Near High Ranking Officials’ Luxury Cars Violating the Traffic Law

Khmer Amatak, Vol.3, #488, 11.9.2009

  • Chae Im [a woman well-known for running gambling operations] Runs Casinos on Tourist Boats to Deceive the Authorities’ Eyes

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #488, 11.9.2009

  • Analysts Said that Hun Sen Warned the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Order to Free Himself [from former Khmer Rouge leaders accusations whom he had promised not to prosecute them after they had integrated into the government administered territories in 1996]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6752, 11.9.2009

  • Bilateral Ties between Cambodia and Japan Will Not Change though the Opposition Party Won the Elections [said Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Kuroki Masafumi – 黒木雅文]

Phnom Penh Post, Vol.1, #3, 11.9.2009

  • Civil Society Representatives Said that Cambodia Does Not Have a Mechanism to Protect Citizens in Land Disputes, but the Authorities Deny This
  • Human Rights Groups Accused the Total and the Chevron [petroleum] Companies to Support the Burmese Junta [by investing in gas, where the Junta leaders earn money from and have deposited nearly US$5 billion in banks in Singapore]
  • An Air Force Officers of Thailand Plans to Visit Cambodia [on 14 September 2009]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4996, 11.9.2009

  • Flood Cut National Road 7 from Snuol to Kratie and Trucks Loaded with Heavy Goods Are Bared from Using National Road 6 in Chi Kraeng District [in Siem Reap]; Nearly 2,500 Hectares of Rice Fields and 1,300 Houses in Kratie Are Flooded
  • Khmer Cassava Continues to Get Stuck [at the Boeng Trakuon Border Crossing in Banteay Meanchey], because Siamese [Thai] Hand Tractor Owners Demonstrate in Tapraya District [in the Thai Sa Kaeo Province – จังหวัดสระแก้ว – to block Thai trucks that transport cassava from Cambodia]
  • The Thai Prime Minister Discussed the Possibility to Make Some Changes to Article 190 of the Thai Constitutions [which requires the government to ask for permission from the Thai parliament before signing any international agreements] in Order to Ease Border Negotiations with Cambodia

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1792, 11-13.9.2009

  • Khmer Millionaires Are Competing to Control the Media; Kampuchea Thmey Was Sold to [Prime Minister Hun Sen’s daughter and director of the Bayon Television station] Hun Mana for US$750.000 to US$1 Million
  • [The Spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party] Mr. Yim Sovann Criticized the Use of Government Microphones [refering to government speeches] to Insult Persons, Creating a Bleak Atmosphere

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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