PM Says Land-Grabbers Fired; Stops Short of Giving Names

Prime Minister Hun Sen warned he would continue fighting against corrupt military and government officials who use their positions to en­croach on other people’s land but stopped short of naming names Monday.

Speaking at an economic forum in Siem Reap, Hun Sen said he has already taken measures against certain officials—though he didn’t specify which ones—who abuse their power in land disputes.

“I have taken measures to eliminate the land encroachment by those who used their power without being afraid of anything. I have said that if you breach the law, regardless of [whether] you have three or four stars, even if you have a moon, I will still fire you,” he told the forum.

The premier’s warning comes on the heels of the removal of RCAF Commander in Chief Gen­eral Ke Kim Yan who, according to the official record of a Jan 23 Coun­cil of Ministers meeting, was sack­ed partly because of questionable land deals.

The minutes from that meeting show that the government has or­dered an investigation into Ke Kim Yan’s land holdings across Cam­bodia, but particularly in the capital and Kandal, Preah Vihear and Stung Treng provinces.

On Monday, attorney and senior government adviser Uk Phourik said that he is seeking $100,000 in compensation from Ke Kim Yan for digging in 2005 on his clients’ land in Khmuonh commune in the newly created Phnom Penh district of Sen Sok.

Ke Kim Yan bought 1.5 hectares of land nearby, but did not purchase a 1.4-hectare plot in which he allegedly dug a 25-meter-deep pit without permission, Uk Phourik said.

He added that he filed a com­plaint against Ke Kim Yan’s business manager one year ago, but a solution has yet to be reached.

“Today, I am checking with City Hall to follow up my complaint, one year already and there is no solution,” he said.

Khmuon commune chief Suong Mok confirmed that Ke Kim Yan is embroiled in a land dispute in his com­mune, but refused to give de­tails­, explaining that the dispute had already been brought up to the na­tional level.

 

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