Monday, 20 July 2009

Donors Ask to Stop Evictions of Cambodian Poor People from the Cities – Saturday, 18.7.2009

Posted on 19 July 2009
The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 621

“Development partners have appealed to the Cambodian government to stop evictions using force against citizens living in disputed locations in Phnom Penh and in other places in the country, until proper and transparent mechanism to solve land disputes and a broad resettlement policy have been organized.

“The Australian, Bulgarian, Danish, German, and US embassies, the World Bank, the United Nations, the European Union, the Asian Development Bank, and the Swedish Development Agency released a joint statement on 16 June 2009 with this appeal.

“The statement said that development partners have seen that land disputes are challenging the development in the country, and they call on the government to adopt proper and transparent systems to clarify land ownership by focusing on people living in cities, and to recognize all citizens’ equal rights, and to protect them. Development partners are prepared to help support the creation of a national policy instruction that will guarantee that evictions and resettlements are made following legal procedures and evictees are properly compensated.

“The World Bank and some development partners have worked closely with the government on secure land ownership in Cambodia. The government was praised for providing more than one million land ownership certificates to people, as this provides the opportunity to promote economic growth and to alleviate poverty.

“However, in the recent situation, when land prices in the cities rose sharply in Cambodia, the selling and buying of land threatens people who live in cities with eviction, in order to claim land for property development with high prices. This creates a big problem in Phnom Penh and in other cities with fast economic growth in Cambodia, it creates uncertainty which puts poor people living in disputed regions into a hazardous situation. This is the result of the implementation of a policy that is not in line with appropriate international rules to solve land disputes and resettlement, when inefficient different procedures are applied, based on Cambodian laws.

“International experience shows that secure land ownership is quite important to ensure economic growth and poverty alleviation, and the appropriate implementation for resettlements is a key to create an effective system of land control and of provisions that will protect all citizens’ rights.

“Development partners would like to express their commitment again to cooperate with the government to help solve land problems with justice and morality, and they would like to ensure that the rights of poor people will be advanced and protected.

“However, a deputy governor of the Phnom Penh Municipality, Mr. Mann Chhoeun, denied that there are evictions of poor people. He said that critics just disrespect the Phnom Penh Municipality unreasonably. People have agreed to accept the solutions proposed by the municipality, based on policies for the provision of monetary compensation, houses, or land.

“Regarding the evictions of poor people, it actually happened recently to people living at Group 78 at Tonle Basak commune, Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh.”

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4949, 18.7.2009
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Saturday, 18 July 2009

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