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Land Authority Working Disputes: Spokesman

A spokesman for the National Land Dispute Authority of the Council of Ministers, Chum Bunrong, admitted Thursday that Cambodia faces land grabbing problems, but said the government was working to solve them.

The government has offices to deal with land disputes at three levels: district, provincial, and national, said Chum Bunrong, as a guest on "Hello VOA."

He urged rights groups to discuss land issues with local officials before speaking out to the press.

"NGO and rights workers in the provinces can express their opinions at the district level, they have that right," Chum Bunrong said. "They shouldn't go straight to various radio stations and create problems. If you discuss it, you may decide that some parcels should be sold, some belong to the government, and so on. It can be solved."

The Land Dispute Authority was formed in 2006 to deal with increasing land disputes.

Since its creation, the authority has taken back more than 225,000 hectares of land from violators across Cambodia, Chum Bunrong said.

Those involved in land disputes can call the Land Dispute Authority for more information and updates on resolution, he said.