Government officials will meet today with representatives of former Dey Krahorm community residents and the 7NG company, which violently evicted residents last month, according to a member of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet.
Lim Leang Se, the prime minister’s deputy cabinet chief, said Phnom Penh municipal officials would use the meeting to explore differences between the former residents, who protested last week outside City Hall and Hun Sen’s house demanding compensation, and 7NG.
“After villagers protested outside the prime minister’s home and submitted their list, we examined some families’ losses,” he said, referring to a list of Dey Krahorm residents recognized by community leaders, but which 7NG disputes.
“We don’t anticipate that [today’s] meeting will bear fruit for all sides,” he added.
Han Sar, a representative for the former Dey Krahorm residents, said the meeting, to be held at the 7NG relocation site in Dangkao district, offers the villagers their best chance to receive a fair settlement.
“Villagers still hold out hope, even though municipal officials and 7NG representatives refuse to meet villagers’ demands again and again,” he said. “A fair solution will be provided to us [today] because this meeting is the top meeting.”
7NG has recognized 91 families affected by the eviction as deserving compensation. Only 12 of those families have yet made deals with the firm, but an additional 30 families that have documentation proving their residence and eight families lacking documentation have not yet been recognized, Han Sar said.
Former residents are demanding $20,000 per family for destroying their homes and property, but Han Sar said they would be willing to accept a previous 7NG offer of $15,000 and other items such as rice and noodles.
7NG company representative Chheang Bona said he did not know about today’s meeting, but said the company’s most recent compensation offer remains in place.
“We are still in compliance with our latest announcement that all company-recognized families can receive only houses” at the relocation site, he said. “I cannot answer beyond that announcement.”
Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Mann Chhoeun also said he was not aware of today’s meeting. Governor Kep Chuktema could not be reached for comment.