After Kampong Speu Settlement, Arduous Path Ahead for Land Disputants: Experts

International advocates and human rights groups said that while the monetary settlement offered to some Kampong Speu villagers by ANZ Bank last week was a welcome development, challenges remain for thousands of land disputants in light of continued government-private sector impunity.

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ Bank) last week announced it would pay Kampong Speu residents affected by rights abusing sugar plantations an undisclosed amount for a $40 million loan it gave to Phnom Penh Sugar, owned by senator and controversial tycoon Ly Yong Phat.

The Australian bank will pay at least 1,000 families the gross amount it received in interest from the controversial sugar firm, admitting that the loan violated the bank’s own internal human rights standards. At the time, the loan was disbursed through a local subsidiary called ANZ Royal Bank, which was a partnership with another controversial Cambodian tycoon, Kith Meng.

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