Phnom Penh municipal authorities met Wednesday with representatives of four families who live in the Lycee Francais Rene Descartes building near Wat Phnom to discuss compensation and the details of this Monday’s pending eviction, a resident said.
Residents are seeking more compensation and a postponement of the eviction, saying they need more time to find new places to live. On Tuesday, municipal authorities issued their final notice to the families, saying they need to be out of the building by April 27.
“People who deny the offer [of compensation], the district authority will take strong administrative action and will not be responsible for any loss of people’s property or damages,” said a copy of the notice signed by Daun Penh District Deputy Governor Sok Sambath.
The government is offering 4-by-8 meter plots to the 37 families in Meanchey district’s Boeung Tumpun commune. The plots are located on a section of a lake that has recently been filled in with earth; it lacks roads, plumbing, water and electricity.
The families are also being offered monetary compensation depending on how long they have lived in the building.
In Daravuth, a resident still negotiating with City Hall, said by telephone Wednesday that Deputy District Governor Sok Penhvuth promised during Wednesday’s meeting to inform residents by Friday about their request for $20,000 in compensation.
Some 13 families have already accepted the government’s compensation of $10,000, $7,000 or $5,000 in addition to the Meanchey district land.
Lycee student Raimondo Pictet, who organized a small protest against the eviction on April 9, said Wednesday that he was going to ask French Embassy officials if they would delay the eviction so the residents have more time to negotiate a fair solution to the problem.
“I plan to be at the building Monday,” he said.
Contacted by e-mail Wednesday the French Embassy declined to comment, saying only that the matter is under the authority of the Cambodian government.
City Hall officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.