Canceling School’s Lease Is Wrong: Ex-Minister

Lu Laysreng, Funcinpec’s former minister of information, said Wednes­day that he is opposed to his former ministry canceling a rent­al agreement that he signed in 1999 with the Banana Center and which is now being challenged by his CPP successor.

Chan Sok Khieng, the school’s owner, has threatened to sue current Information Minister Khieu Kan­harith for breaking the 15-year contract signed between the school and Lu Laysreng and swapping the site with property developer Phani­mex Co Ltd.

“It was signed for 15 years, it cannot be done like this,” said Lu Lay­sreng, who is now Minister for Rur­al Development.

Canceling the contract “is not right,” he said, though he added that his knowledge of the case was limited.

After riot police were deployed to the school on Tuesday evening, two generators were moved from the Banana Center parking lot and a zinc fence was constructed to allow Phanimex to begin the construction of a new national radio station, Chan Sok Khieng said Wed­nes­day.

“I am upset with the work done without the agreement,” he said.

He added that Khieu Thavika, a teacher at the Banana Center and CPP undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, would negotiate with the Information Min­is­try over the generators.

Khieu Thavika hung up the phone when contacted Wednes­day.

Khieu Kanharith could not be reached for comment, but on Tuesday he said Chan Sok Khieng had not replied to this letters, adding that it is legal for the contract to be canceled.

Chan Sok Khieng said he still considers the contract valid.

“The force deployment is irregular,” he said of the riot police at the school, adding that he will sue.

“The lawsuit is just the means to defend myself because I am a civil person,” he said.

 

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