R’kiri Officials Form Land Dispute Committee

Ratanakkiri provincial officials have formed a committee to tackle a land dispute in O’Chum district after National Assembly members and senators wrote to the provincial governor ordering him to resolve the conflict in favor of local villagers.

Provincial governor Muong Poy held two meetings last week to set up the committee, which is ex­pected to investigate the case in Ek­­ka­pheap commune that has led to the incarceration of two villagers, Sna Prayuth, first deputy provincial governor, said Tuesday.

“The committee is working hard to investigate this matter and we will have a clear report over this disputed land,” he said.

Muong Poy could not be reach­ed for comment.

The letter from the Senate was signed by Senate First Vice Presi­dent Prince Sisowath Chivorn Mon­­i­rak on Dec 30 and Men Ma­ly, chairwoman of the Senate’s human rights and reception of complaints committee, on Dec 27.

The letter calls for provincial authorities to “pay much attention to this complaint” and “provide information dealing with any resolution to our committee.”

The letter says that the Senate received complaints from ethnic minority villagers on Dec 12, asking for intervention.

Pen Bonnar, Adhoc provincial coordinator, said villagers were pleased with the response.

An Samnang, Ratanakkiri court deputy director, said more villagers will be invited for questioning about the case, but no more will be arrested.

“I need to question both the people and the wealthy businessmen who claim the land because we need clear information,” he said.


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