Community B Residents Say Eviction Too Soon, Request Delay

Representatives of Phnom Penh’s Community B near the railway station in Tuol Kok district said yesterday that they sent a letter to the municipality requesting that it delay today’s scheduled eviction of residents.

The letter, which was thumb-printed by 24 Community B residents, was written in response to a Sept 16 notice issued by district authorities informing residents of the eviction. The notice also re­minded the remaining 26 families of their two compensation options: A lump sum of $20,000 or $15,000 cash and a small home in Dangkao district, far less than the residents are demanding.

“We together propose to the authority to delay the eviction,” Community B representative Chea Sreymom said at a press conference held by villagers.

“We received the [eviction] or­der too quickly to leave from here,” she added.

Villagers have claimed ownership the land in Community B, but the government said the 2.2-hectare site is awaiting so-called “development” by the HCD Com­pany, which is owned by CPP Labor Ministry Secretary of State Othsman Hassan.

Moung Po, 60, a fellow resident, said at the press conference that she will not move unless more compensation is offered.

“I will not move from here if Othsman Hassan will not resolve this problem or pay the compensation for the residents,” she said.

Mr Hassan said by telephone that he had been negotiating with residents and that so far, 97 percent had agreed to move while only three percent were still protesting. He added that the eviction of the residents of Community B is not his responsibility.

“I think it is the responsibility of the government because the government wants to develop the railway,” he said. “I think that they should receive the government policy.”

District Governor Seng Ratanak declined to comment on the issue other than to say that he would meet with Community B residents today.


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