District Leader Backs Evicting 100 Families

The governor of Phnom Penh’s Dangkao district on Monday de­fen­ded a controversial plan to evict more than 100 families living along the perimeter of Phnom Penh In­ter­­national Airport, saying the move will protect the families from air crashes.

Krouch Phan added that the proposed move, which has been in the pipelines for several months, will help bolster security for government officials, diplomats and tour­ists touching down in the capital.

“Particularly we care for incidents of air crashes affecting those villagers’ homes,” Krouch Phan said by way of explanation for the mass eviction.

On Aug 12, Deputy District Gov­ernor May Mon signed an order stating that families living along the western and southern fences of the airport had until Sept 13 to move.

Teng Sokhon, a representative of the families, said they have now been given a new deadline of Dec 8 to vacate their homes.

“We will file a complaint at Phnom Penh Municipal Court when­ever our residential houses are destroyed or bulldozed,” he said. “People need to live here. We will not be re­moved. People need to have proper shelter. We could not live under the trees so the government must give us acceptable compensation if they need our land for development.”

Sim Sovannay, deputy director of the inspection department at the In­ter­ior Ministry, said he is preparing a report recommending that Nuth Sa An, secretary of state at the min­is­try, releases a letter to postpone the eviction.

“Then we will conduct an investigation to find out whether the government needs the land for development or not,” he said.

“If the government needs the land, villagers will receive proper compensation and a new location for living.”

Choam Chao commune chief Soth Sath said that the eviction will take place as planned, and recommended that villagers should negotiate for compensation before the deadline.

“People have time to talk for compensation before the deadline,” he said. “We need to remove them to live elsewhere where we can provide them with more security than in the current location.”



Related Stories

Latest News