Land titles finally come for some B Kak families

Khouth Sophakchakrya, Phnom Penh Post, Feb. 14 2012

A painful wait of almost five years is finally over for 27 families in Phnom Penh’s Boeung Kak who were granted their land titles yesterday.

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Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post

Workers from the New Pex garment factory protest outside the Vattanac Industrial Park 2 complex, in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, yesterday. Men Sokha, chief of village 22 in Srah Chak commune, said a total of 29 families had been granted a land title, but two could not be accepted because of a condition that the person whose name was on the land title had to accept it in person. The announcement of land titles, which follows municipal urban management officials having issued 475 land titles up to the end of last year, was greeted with relief and elation. “I am very happy when I got this land title because it gives us hope for the future,” vill-ager Chhoun Vanna, 45, said. Taing Kimsong, 55, said he had watched the authority deliver land titles to hundreds of families in Boeung Kak, but until yesterday no one in his village had received one. “Now I have no more concerns, because I have received a real land title from the authority,” he said. This fine print precluded Yom Bopha, 32, a resident of village 22, from claiming a land title that had been issued to her sister, who had moved to France.

The sisters had agreed to transfer the land title into Yom Bopha’s name, which had been approved by the commune chief, she said.  “I thumbprinted and received the land title certificate, but 30 minutes later, a land cadastral official phoned and ordered me to bring the land title back,” she said. Yom Bopha said she had been told that the “wrong legal procedure” had been followed and her sister could collect it when she returned from France. Chhim Mony,  a Phnom Penh cadastral official who gave the land titles to residents at the Daun Penh dist-rict office, said “it violated    legal procedure” to offer a title to anyone but the owner. According to a document from Daun Penh district governor Sok Sambath, obtained by the Post yesterday, another 47 titles will be issued next Monday, 40 on February 27 and 40 on March 5.

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