Source: Vientiane Times
The Lao Front for National Development has told the National Assembly (NA) to push the government to address inappropriate occupation of land and the lack of compensation given to people affected by development projects.
Representing mass organisations in commending the NA’s performance at the ongoing ordinary session of the Assembly, the Lao Front said there have been calls for the NA to intensify action to monitor and push the government and businesses involved to address these issues.
Vice President of the Lao Front, Ms Khamchanh Phomsengsavanh, said large areas of forests, prohibited land and villages’ public land have been occupied for years without any development taking place. Worse, the owners of land use rights had not paid any fees to the state.
Ms Khamchanh said these problems had occurred in many areas.
“This means a number of local people have no land on which build a shelter and grow their crops – they have no secure income and live in poverty,” she told the Assembly’s biannual ordinary session.
“In light of this issue, it is necessary to pay great attention to and re-inspect and re-allocate (land) to help them (people).”
Ms Khamchanh also said it was necessary to investigate the issue in which many foreign nationals have bought houses and land in the name of Lao nationals. This matter came to light after disputes arose between the parties involved.
In addition, Ms Khamchanh said villagers affected by the construction of the Houaypor hydropower project in Laongam district, Saravan province, had not received any compensation for the loss of their land, and asked the government to act on their behalf.
Similarly, villagers affected by the construction of the Namtha 1 hydropower plant in Nalae district, Luang Namtha province, are waiting for compensation. In addition, workers who built shelters for the project have been waiting for their wages since 2015.
In Xamtay district, Huaphan province, local residents affected by the construction of the Namxam 1 hydropower project are also waiting for appropriate compensation.
Ms Khamchanh urged the National Assembly to investigate these complaints and push the government to ensure that farmers are compensated for the loss of their crops to make way for development projects.
She also called on Assembly members to monitor the ongoing land dispute between the Namtha Road and Bridge Construction Company and 126 families in Xiengda village, Xaysettha district, Vientiane, saying this dispute has remained unresolved for several years.
In addition, the Lao Front called on authorities to take urgent action to create jobs for people who are unemployed.
Addressing another issue of current concern, Ms Khamchanh said parents are dissatisfied over the quality of teaching and learning while classes are taking place online due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Parents have asked authorities to look into more effective teaching methods.
Ms Khamchanh added that members of the public have demanded that the government also take action to streamline procedures to improve public service delivery.