City Hall Ceases Talks With Boeng Kak Evictee Holdouts

A City Hall official announced on Thursday that negotiations have now ceased with the seven remaining Boeng Kak families who have yet to accept compensation for being evicted from their homes.

Deputy governor Khuong Sreng said at a media conference that as far as City Hall was concerned, negotiations were finished, and improved terms would not be forthcoming.

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Deputy Phnom Penh governor Khuong Sreng speaks about negotiations with Boeng Kak families during a news conference at City Hall in Phnom Penh on Thursday/ (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

“The press conference today is to announce that we have finished trying to resolve the Boeng Kak dispute, and only seven families have not accepted the compensation,” Mr. Sreng said.

Ly Channary, a member of one of the seven families, said she was not discouraged by the announcement and would instead petition the Land Management Ministry, Interior Ministry and National Assembly until she received adequate compensation.

“I won’t agree until I get 50 to 60 percent of my land I had before. The City Hall solution is not fair. It’s an injustice,” she said.

Mr. Sreng said that six of the families had been offered two plots of land each, with one family being offered four plots. The offers were rejected as they did not meet what he said were the unrealistic demands of the families.

“They demand too much. Do they want to be billionaires?” he said.

Mr. Sreng said that the families could now protest at the national government level or submit a petition to the royal family. The land on offer would remain open to the families should they ever wish to accept it, he added.

“We will keep the land for them. When they want it, they can just come to City Hall and we will make a land title for them,” he said.

Sia Phearum, director of NGO Housing Rights Task Force, said the battle was not over for the evictees, and that they could now focus on petitioning at the national level.

“They will agree if they get at least 65 percent of what they had in the past,” he said after the conference.

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