Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Families on Preah Sihanouk’s islands denied land titles

Families on Preah Sihanouk’s islands denied land titles

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Provincial hall spokesman Kheang Phearom (not in picture) said more than 300 families currently live on the sites of the 584 plots. Photo supplied

Families on Preah Sihanouk’s islands denied land titles

The Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration will not certify land titles for more than 300 families in the communes of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem and warned of legal action without exception against people interfering with state-owned property.

According to a notice issued by the administration dated January 29, the Administrative Committee had decided not to issue land titles for 584 plots because applicants either had no permanent address in the area, lacked valid location data or claimed lands which had been allocated for an airport project.

“The committee will not provide land titles based on documents certifying land title numbers, letters of land ownership transfer, land use applications, purchase and sale contracts stamped by commune authorities or lawyers, or land location markings and other such documents issued by the commune land registration office, including the 584 land titles, because these documents have no legal value for use or claim of land ownership on Koh Rong Island,” the notice said.

The Post was unable to contact any residents of the communes for comment.

You Veasna, representative of community members with land disputes in Preah Sihanouk province, said people on Koh Rong did not occupy much land – most families had only a half or single hectare.

The provincial administration stated that it did not recognise any means or documentation of ownership transfers concerning the 584 plots or other illegally occupied lands. Only lands registered and issued real estate certificates by the provincial land management department were legally valid.

Provincial hall spokesman Kheang Phearom said more than 300 families currently live on the sites of the 584 plots. The administration would take legal action against them as stipulated in Article 295 of the Land Law and Article 81 of the Law on State Property Control, Use and Management.

The notice stated that the locations in the communes are on islands belonging to the state, and the government had decided to transfer these public lands to private holdings according to sub-decree No 5 from January 21, 2008, for development with specific investment conditions.

Cheap Sotheary, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said all decisions by provincial authorities should be made in coordination with local residents to avoid disputes when land sought for use by developers is already occupied.

“When the land is properly inspected and measured, then land title codes may be issued, and this can resolve disputes. When data are posted prematurely, it can lead to confusion and protests,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior