Ochheuteal Beach Fence Torn Down Amid Public Outcry

A fence on Ochheuteal Beach has been torn down after a mass of complaints were lodged with Sihanoukville’s deputy governor
Ochheuteal beach in Preah Sihanouk, November, 2022. Kiripost/Meas Molika
Ochheuteal beach in Preah Sihanouk, November, 2022. Kiripost/Meas Molika

A fence that was built on Sihanoukville’s Ochheuteal Beach has been removed after public outcry, however, the landowner’s identity remains unknown. 

A concrete fence at Ochheuteal Beach has been torn down in response to an outpour of complaints fired at the deputy governor of Preah Sihanouk province. Despite this, the ownership of the property beyond the fence is still unknown.

Deputy governor of Preah Sihanouk province, Long Dimanche, confirmed that the fences built on Ochheuteal Beach have now been removed, but he is still uncertain about the identity of the landowner. 

The deputy governor said he received a directive from Prime Minister Hun Sen instructing him to cooperate and discuss the removal of the fence with the owner. 

He said, "I apologized for not being able to reveal the owner's identity without authorization and explained that I could not do so without risking a lawsuit."

Local press reported that the previous location was the Maritime Border Police headquarters in Sangkat 4, Sihanoukville, which was partitioned from public state property and private lands totaling more than 8,000 in 2007.

Soeng Senkaruna, ADHOC spokesperson, stated that since coastal areas are of public interest, public state property cannot be used for private investment, commerce, or management.

"I don't know why this fence was built, and access to the property in this region must be controlled. It is considered public property belonging to the state unless it no longer serves the public interest, in which case it can be reclassified as private property and the government may be involved in overseeing its sale or investment," Senkaruna told Kiripost on Thursday.

He added that the government should examine whether the coastal land is still in the public interest and take steps to prevent similar occurrences in the future. He also emphasized that it is important for the government to return the land to the state's ownership and severely punish anyone who breaches the law.