Phnom Penh Families Reject Offer for Lost Farms

About 50 residents of Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changva district rallied at City Hall on Monday against the latest compensation deal they have been offered for their farms, most of which have been flooded with sand by the Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation for a $3-billion development project.

Chea Sophat, a representative of the families, said district employees posted a sign in their neighborhood on Friday informing them that they would be allowed to claim only 10 percent of the farmland they lost.

He said 126 families were affected in his commune and there were likely many more in others.

Mr. Sophat said he and four other residents from his commune met privately with a City Hall employee, whom they could not identify, but who told them they would be called to another meeting soon.

“It is not right that they take our land and give us only 10 percent.

We are very poor,” he said.

The families have no land titles, but the 2001 Land Law awards property rights to those who can prove they have occupied a piece of land since at least 1996.

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