Public Forest Privatized for Prime Minister’s Delegate

The government transferred a plot of state forest in Preah Sihanouk to minister delegate Sry Thamarong and his wife for personal ownership.

According to a sub-decree dated March 6, 2023 in book 25 of the Royal Gazette, released on September 4, then-Prime Minister Hun Sen reclassified 1.2 hectares of state forest Stung Hav district’s Keo Phos commune to state private land to be handed over to Sry Thamarong and Thorng Socheata.

Sry Thamarong is one of 30 minister delegates attached to the prime minister, and is tasked with assisting Hun Manet on international relations. He was also a minister delegate for Hun Manet’s father Hun Sen in previous mandates.

Sry Thamarong and Thorng Socheata are also regular donors to Hun Sen’s wife Bun Rany’s Cambodian Red Cross, according to pro-government media outlets.

The land grant continues a series of public land transfers to government officials and their families, which have in some cases forced the evictions of existing nearby residents. The Stung Hav area has been the site of a previous land dispute involving ruling-party Senator Lau Meng Khin.