04 December 2012

I am so grateful for the report by the Uddar Meanjei Governor, HE Pech Sokhen, in relation to the land measuring within the framework of reactivating existing policy. I have listened attentively and exchanged opinions with ten groups of youth volunteers who have come to fulfill their mission in this province. From the discussion, I have learned more about issues relating to land issue in the province. I did the same in Kratie province and it is necessary for me to listen to what those young students have said. It took us almost two hours for doing that.

What we have achieved here reflects great combined efforts among us all. These achievements are for the people everywhere that our officials and voluntary students are fulfilling their land measuring and titling missions. I just made a summary about what we discussed in relation to process and ways to solve the problem. Those discussions would not be finding their ways to broadcasting as the media would only do so only for my impromptu comments. The head of group 7 student volunteers was puzzled just now when he wanted to ask for a road.

Presenting 749 Families with 935 Land Parcels

According to the report and review of the work that we have fulfilled so far, despite so much we have done, we see clearly that we need to send in more youth volunteer teams for the mission in Uddar Meanjei province. As we learned from the report, land measuring has been in full swing in four districts, the district of Jong Kal not included. As I have decided on May 30, the lands formerly relating to companies and military divisions have been measured and given to the people. The report notes that up to 72,363 hectares of lands, concerning 23,723 families, are to be measured. Land issue in Uddar Meanjei is unique as it involves the people, land economic concession area and those belonging to the military.

Today we are presenting 749 families with titles of 935 land parcels or 877.35 hectares. It should be noticed that in some instances some families have only land for residence but not for cultivation, while some have both. We will continue to measure land with the participation of the people. We are grateful for the efforts and I am sure after presenting you with this number of land titles, I will have my representative coming to hand out land titles for more people at later stage.

With Land of Their Own, No More Migration

The participations of provincial leaders, military officials and generous people in this mission of land measuring and titling here in Uddar Meanjei province have been remarkable. As is reaffirmed by our youth volunteers, we all hope that after giving them with the land titles, our people will no longer migrate for job. For instance, this region, as well as in various other areas, was plagued with fighting and left with unexploded ordnances and mines. The issue of land title is not a new matter. We do not have land titles for many generations already. Land possession and ownership uncertainty has therefore become challenging issue for the people and the Royal Government of Cambodia.

Seeing the importance of the fact that people have their own land titles, the Royal Government has taken urgent measures to measure land and issue people their land titles starting from the rural area. We have conducted land measuring and titling in towns and cities but now we have to provide safety on land possession so that to avert conflict between land owners and those who occupy the state land. It is because land title uncertainty that the Royal Government provides land for economic concession on condition that they are still state land property.

Now we have to carry out land transference from public state land property to private state land property so that the Royal Government can give the land out to the people, including issuing them land titles too. We strongly hope that people will use these lands to grow crops or whatever is productive and accustomed to the land. As some of the youth volunteers from the Agricultural University have learnt already that in area with water scarcity, rice would not be an appropriate crop to grow. Let’s think over choosing what to grow after we finish up with this land measuring and titling mission.

You may note here that if the Royal Government is providing you with rice or other utensil, it will be a relief of difficulties for a short period. Giving you land and land titles is key and you are entitled to give it to your children and later to their children. What I am concerned of is that you will make use of all the lands and not to sell/mortgage them for gambling or waste them in other unproductive ways. However, the majority of our people are longing for land titles so that they can start working on them in full to produce gold and diamonds from them.

Thanks to Those Involved

While I wholeheartedly thank and appreciate the efforts made by the authority as well as the armed forces stationing in the area – military, military police and police – I also reserve my special thanks for people who have participated and provided their loves and warm regards for the youth-student volunteers and cadastre officials. They are indeed our children, nieces and nephews, who have left their families so that they can engage in this land measuring and titling missions.

I offer my deepest thanks and appreciation to a female member of the youth-student volunteers from the Group 106, Ms Ly Thida, who has just got married, for her endeavor as well as for her husband’s understanding to let her involve in the mission. It is a great sacrifice. However, I must reassure you that your sacrifice is for the good cause of people. I thank deeply the people’s participation in measuring lands in the area of Kasitep Pothivong village and Khlaj Russei village of Bansay Rak commune, Samraong city as well as other places in the province.

Attentive Care for Youth-Student Volunteers

The province of Uddar Meanjei has been lucky that it has secured donation of assistance. There was a Cabinet meeting that by chance the youth-student volunteers were there. The youth-student volunteers from all eight groups of Uddar Meanjei sat listening to the Cabinet meeting. In our chat through VDO conference, some of them had requested for some school buildings, roads, water reservoirs too. They have secured three school buildings of 18 classrooms for Samraong district/city, two laterite roads of 46.5 Km which are now fifty percent done and three water ponds, and one of which is done.

While tracking your journey, I checked on two remotest provinces Uddar Meanjei and Ratanakiri. If the youth-student volunteers designated for the two provinces have arrived, it means the rest you also have. Taking care of the youth-student volunteers requires more vigilance than controlling thousands of soldiers. You are away from the families and if you are depressed for any reason in any way, your families would no longer trust me and I would not stand to gain people’s confidence and trust any more.

The unfortunate accident happened in the case of Chan Mardi luckily has not led to the fall of our youth-student volunteers’ commitment. On the other hand, Tim Samphoas, who is Mardi’s classmate, has voluntarily taken Mardi’s replacement. I would take this time to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to Gen. HE Kun Kim, Chhin Chanpoar and HE Lyong Phat, Lim Heng for the participations and contributions they made to the mission in the area.

Get Back To School, Pass Your Exams

Please allow me to beg those of you who have not yet finished your studies to get back to school. Those of you who have already completed, you may ask for continuation of your mission. I would not want you to fail your study due to the mission. I am sure people here would not want you to go away too because you have shared their times and regards, but I would not want your study disrupted as it would harm your future. We will have another chance to meet each other at Koh Pij where you will get medals of honor in recognition of your participation and efforts along with a banquet.

We will have some of you to get back to school and we will get new youth-student volunteers to take over. My insistent request is that those of you who have not finished your study need to get back to school. I have a condition too that if you want to get back fulfilling the mission after your study, you have to pass your exam. You cannot not fail the exam as I would be the one to take all the blames for sending you to measure land. So, if you want to go on, you must get back to school, be good at the things you learn and pass your exam.

Measuring and Titling Lands – Coalition’s Work

The Cambodian People’s Party and Funcinpec Party, in the coalition government, are working together on this mission to provide people with land titles. For other political parties, this has not been their involvement. They have to wait for the time when they win. Then, they can do whatever they may want to take for instance, taking back the land. Why do I say so? Pol Pot did take the land from the people in our history. We now not only give land to the people but give them their land titles too./.