Decked out in camouflage military uniforms shipped fresh from Indonesia and wearing soldier’s caps emblazoned with the Ministry of Land Management’s logo, 1,100 students who have volunteered to measure land in an ambitious titling project attended a speech by Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday.
The uniformed volunteers, who gathered at the Koh Pich convention center as part of a two-day training session on measuring land and collecting data from villagers living in state forests and on economic land concessions (ELC), listened as the prime minister praised their civic involvement, his titling project, and various government agencies.
“I thank all student communities and their parents,” Mr. Hun Sen said to the students, who will be deployed across the country as provincial governments ramp up their land titling efforts in the wake of Mr. Hun Sen’s six-month deadline to issue land titles to all villagers living inside land concessions and state forests.
“Give them the land title and their house building will increase, the growth will increase,” Mr. Hun Sen said. “Now, they do not dare to build houses because they live in fear since [the land title] is not clear. So we have to facilitate them as legal [occupants] by giving them a primary land title,” he said. ….
After praising the titling project, Mr. Hun Sen used much of his speech to slam news reports about land concessions he signed in the wake of his announced May 7 moratorium. …
But Mr. Hun Sen swung back yesterday at news reports on the concessions as well as “those who have claimed themselves as legal experts” saying they were the ones distorting the truth. …
“If you don’t make corrections in the newspaper, we will correct through television and radio,” Mr. Hun Sen said, before daring the country’s English-language newspapers to publish his moratorium order in full.
”If they dare not to print it, they are cowardly newspapers. Are you brave enough to print?” Mr. Hun Sen asked.
”If the land is not yet privatized, the prime minister must issue a sub-decree for privatization. It is one of the procedural steps… these are the procedures. Do the [newspapers] know the law? Or do they just have the intention to destroy?”
Khy Sovuthy and Kuch Naren, P. 1
http://www.camnet.com.kh/cambodia.daily/ (Note: Infrequently Updated.)