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Hun Sen Tells Cabinet: Land Concession Ban Still in Place

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday reaffirmed his temporary ban on economic land concessions, telling a weekly Cabinet meeting the ban could last as long as he is in politics.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday reaffirmed his temporary ban on economic land concessions, telling a weekly Cabinet meeting the ban could last as long as he is in politics.

The rights group Licadho told Reuters it has documented 13 concessions totaling 80,000 hectares since the May ban.

PHNOM PENH - Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday reaffirmed his temporary ban on economic land concessions, telling a weekly Cabinet meeting the ban could last as long as he is in politics.

Land concessions have led to violent disputes across the country, with powerful business interests kicking impoverished villagers from their land.

Hun Sen said Friday that companies with concessions already in place should not be allowed to transfer their licenses to other companies, and he suggested a tax of $5 per hectare on companies each year after five years.

Hun Sen’s purported ban has been in place since May, but he signed off on more than 44,000 hectares of concessions the following month. He has said those were already in the pipeline and there will be no more concessions.

The rights group Licadho told Reuters it has documented 13 concessions totaling 80,000 hectares since the May ban. At least 200 companies have concessions totaling 2.1 million hectares overall, Am Sam Ath, lead investigator for the rights group, told VOA Khmer.

Yim Sovann, a spokesman for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, said he supported the ban, but that Hun Sen should also stop all concessions immediately.
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