Officials Start Measuring Boeng Kak Land

Two weeks after City Hall promised to measure land and provide titles to 32 families originally excluded from a 12.44-hectare plot reserved for people evicted from Boeng Kak lake, officials began demarcating the area Wednesday.

The latest land titling comes after 3,000 families were forcibly evicted from their homes to make way for a development project by Shukaku Inc., a real estate firm owned by CPP Senator Lao Meng Khin.

“We are working on the first step, then we will implement the second step,” said municipal spokesman Long Dimanche by telephone Wednesday.

He said that in the “second step,” 32 more families would receive land titles but he declined to say when that stage would begin.

“They should give us more time to work on this case and we hope that the land titles would be given soon,” Mr. Dimanche said.

In August, longtime Boeng Kak activist Heng Mom said she and 15 other families had sworn to municipal officials that they would vote for the ruling CPP in July’s national election in return for land titles.

“The governor [Pa Socheatvong] asked that Boeng Kak residents stop protesting, but he did not ask them to support the CPP,” Mr. Dimanche said when asked about Ms. Mom’s allegations Wednesday.

Ms. Mom—who defected from a faction of protesters lead by well-known activist Tep Vanny—said officials Wednesday cordoned off a 90 square meter area for her to live in.

“The Phnom Penh governor told us that he is going to finish the land dispute in the Boeng Kak area within a month,” Ms. Mom said.

She said the authorities would measure land for 32 families who opted out of protests calling for land titles.

But fellow villager Kou Sothy said she doubts whether the measuring will manifest in a proper land title.

“This is the third time [they have come to measure the land] and I don’t think that this is the real measurement,” she said.

“I think that the municipal authority just measured the land today to persuade us to stop protesting, and the measuring will attract popularity for the elections next year.”

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