Critics dismiss Hun Sen’s pledge as empty promises

15 Jun 2012 , The Phnom Penh Post

Prime Minister Hun Sen made a bold pledge to the hundreds of thousands of Cambodian villagers fighting companies for their homes yesterday, ordering that in every economic land concession across the country, space must be provided for those they would displace.

But last month’s royal book reveals that just over a week after making a similar order in May – to temporarily halt the granting of all economic land concessions – Hun Sen signed off on three agro-industrial concessions in one day.

… the premier gave provincial governors just six months to demarcate 10 per cent of every agro-industrial, forest or illegally established ELC for villagers to live on. …

Rights groups and political analysts, however, pointed to the revelation that after the premier ordered a temporary moratorium on granting ELCs and a review of all existing ones on May 7, he appeared to have defied his own directive.

On May 18, Hun Sen granted rubber concessions of 8,000 hectares in Ratanakkiri to SK Plantation (Cambodia) Pte Ltd, 5,940 hectares to HMH Co Ltd in Kampong Thom and 7,710 hectares to Le Ye Rubber to develop rubber plantations. …

David Boyle and May Titthara, P. 1