City Hall Officials Vow Lake Residents Will Get Land

Phnom Penh municipal officials yesterday agreed to mark out a plot of land promised to Boeng Kak lake villagers by Prime Minister Hun Sen in order to put a stop to a string of recent protests.  Officials went down to Village 22 to appease residents who had planned to protest for a fourth time in a week yesterday over complaints that an order allowing them to keep their homes was not being respected.

Chhay Rith­ysen, chief of the municipal department of land management, told hundreds of assembled residents in Srah Chak commune that authorities would start to measure the area and put up border posts as soon as possible. “I will clearly mark the border of the 12.44 hectares of land as you all propose,” Mr Rithysen said.

In August, a sub-decree signed by Mr Hun Sen set aside 12.44 hectares of land where about 800 families would be allowed to keep their homes on land being developed by Shukaku Erdos Hongjun Property Development Com­pany, which is a joint venture between a company owned by CPP Senator Lao Meng Khin and a Chinese firm.

Keat Chhe, deputy director of administration at City Hall, held incense and swore in front of villagers yesterday that he would implement the sub-decree. “What I said to all of you this morning, all of it is true,” said Mr Chhe, who called for divine punishment to be brought down on himself if he was lying. Still, Tep Vanny, a representative of the residents, noted that 94 of the 800 families were being excluded from the deal.

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