Hun Sen: Cambodia Stopped the Partnership in Land Titling with the World Bank First – Tuesday, 8.9.2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Posted on 8 September 2009
The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 629

“The partnership in the Land Management and Administration Project [LMAP] between the World Bank and the Royal Government of Cambodia has been completely terminated by a declaration of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, as stated on 7 September 2009. He claimed that it was done because the World Bank set many complicated conditions which would make it difficult to cooperate.

“During a public announcement of the results of the general census of the Cambodian population in 2008, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said, ‘I ended the partnership with the World Bank in land titling, and the World Bank can take back all the remaining resources, because their conditions are complicated, making it difficult to cooperate. Formerly, we did not do it like this, but now, we have to continue with our own national resources. Do not try to be bossy.’


The following two documents give details about developments before the termination of the Land Management and Administration Project:

16 July 2009: Development Partners Call for Halt to Evictions of Cambodia’s Urban Poor

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen added that Cambodia ended the contract fist, but not the World Bank. He confirmed, ‘We declared to end it first. Do not be tricky. Cambodia stopped it first. Do not act like a prestigious one by confirming to terminate the project first. Do not act as a big brother to control other partners.’


Actually, the World Bank release,
“Statement from the World Bank on Termination by Royal Government of Cambodia of the Land Management and Administration Project” speaks clearly about which side declared the cooperation to be ended: “Following a decision by the Council of Ministers on Friday, 4 September 2009, to terminate World Bank financing of the Land Management and Administration Project (LMAP), World Bank Country Director for South-East Asia, Annette Dixon, made the following statement…”

Together with this announcement, there is also a document Related Content: Enhanced Review Report of LMAP (size 657kb, PDF format) at the same web site, offered for download.

“Regarding the Prime Minister’s statement about the ending of the partnership, officials of the Sam Rainsy Party expressed regret, saying that it leads to a loss of benefits for all Khmer citizens. Speaking via telephone on Monday evening, the spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Yim Sovann, said, ‘The conditions of the World Bank benefit Khmer citizens by protecting the land ownership of Khmer citizens. Therefore, I really regret the ending of the above contract.’

“Mr. Yim Sovann added that the World Bank brings money to help us and to benefit us, but we ourselves do not help ourselves, but care only about partisan benefits.

“However, the Sam Rainsy Party spokesperson suggested to the Royal Government to reconsider the ties with the World Bank, saying, in short, ‘Otherwise, citizens will condemn this decision.’

“Furthermore, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said, ‘They are still not modest, sometimes they demand this condition, sometimes they suspend that. Now there need to be no more suspensions, let it end due to too many conditions. Though there will be some quarrel to be addressed later, it still will be halted – but to provide aid is your obligation.’

“Regarding the discontinuation of the partnership in land titling, some economists in Cambodia could not offer detailed comments on Monday, when they were asked about the positive and the negative impact of this decision on the economy. Both the president of the Cambodian Economic Association, Mr. Chan Sophal, and a Cambodian independent economist, Mr. Kang Chandara, said, ‘I cannot comment on this case, but wait until I study this case in detail first.’

“On 6 September 2009, the World Bank, through Ms. Annette Dickson, the World Bank Country Director for South-East Asia, released a statement regarding the above case. She said in the statement, ‘Land security and a fair, transparent approach to resolving land disputes and resettlement are among the greatest challenges facing Cambodia today.’

“The statement also pointed out that the project had issued more than 1.1 million land titles, mostly to poor people in rural areas, and the World Bank provided finance for the land administration, and that the Land Management and Administration Project had achieved success in rural areas, but failed to achieve the agreed goals in urban areas where land disputes are on the rise.

“Nevertheless, the director of the World Bank said, ‘We are encouraged by the Government’s statement of its commitment to continuing reforms in the land sector and working towards an improved policy and legal framework for resettlement that reflects their commitment to international treaties.’

“She added in the statement, ‘We remain committed to working with Government and other development partners through the Technical Working Group on Land to support Cambodia’s efforts to secure land tenure, reduce poverty, and improve economic opportunity for all of its people.”

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #283, 8.9.2009
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 8 September 2009


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