More than 100 families in Takeo province have been given back their land after a dispute with the Sun Hour company and an individual landholder.

The move follows protests and in front of the Ministry of Land Management as families asked the government to resolve their problems.

The 137 families were told officially on Saturday that 915 hectares in Tram Kak district’s Trapaing Kranhoung commune would be restored to them.

The government decided also to give an 80 by 200 metre block of land to Sre Choeung Reas primary school and another 32 hectares in the area to the individual Toch Panha.

The government told provincial authorities of the decision early last month, ordering them to measure and register the land for the people.

Bin Chhin, acting minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers and the Takeo working group head, said the government had reviewed the land disputes.

Announcing the decision, he said government leaders decided to put an end to the issue by giving the land to the people to occupy again and manage legally without fear.

Un Lin, a citizen representative from Takeo province, said residents received the rights to occupy the land from Kampot province’s Chum Kiri district authority in 1999.

When the land was transferred to the Takeo provincial administration in 2015, he said the company and Mr Panha plotted with the local authority to grab more than 915 hectares of their land.

“We had been living on and using the land for more than 10 years, but were violated by having our land taken,” Mr Lin said.

The people were now satisfied and thanked the government for granting the land to them legally, he added.

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