Villagers Boycott Sesan Dam Negotiations

Representatives for about 240 families in Stung Treng province who have rejected compensation offers for land they will lose to make way for the Lower Sesan 2 hydro­power dam boycotted negotiations scheduled to be held yesterday at the provincial hall, officials and rep­resentatives said.

On Tuesday, village representatives rejected com­pensation packages offered by Chi­na’s Hydrolancang International Energy that would include 5 hec­tares of farmland, 1,000 square me­ters of residential land and $6,000 per family.

Hydrolancang is building the 400-megawatt dam in co­operation with Cambodia’s Royal Group.

After negotiations broke down, villagers, company repre­sentatives and local officials agreed to reconvene yesterday in an at­tempt to resolve the dispute.

How­ever, Puth Khoeun, a village repre­sentative, said the group decided to boycott the meeting after the pro­vincial government said that on­­ly nine representatives could at­tend.

“We reconsidered and decid­ed not to join the meeting today because our residents who are affected by the dam project are hundreds, not only nine people,” Mr. Khoeun said.

Deputy provincial governor Kong Sitha said officials would attempt to hold another meeting soon.

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