Parliament to Summon 3 Ministers for Questioning

The National Assembly plans to summon three ministers for questioning over compensation to families who will be displaced or harmed by development projects, officials from the National Assembly said Sunday.

Cheam Yeap, a senior CPP lawmaker, said the National Assembly would write to Environment Minister Say Sam Al, Water Resources Minister Lim Kean Hor, and Agriculture Minister Ouk Rabun next week, asking them to appear before parliament for questioning.

“We will invite them to be asked general questions,” he said.

Last week, Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem appeared before the National Assembly to address questions about illegal logging in the catchment area of the 400-MW Lower Sesan II dam in Stung Treng province.

He was called to appear shortly after CPP lawmaker Loy Sophat, a former governor of Stung Treng province, raised concerns in parliament that the 36,000-hectare concession zone that had become a hub for “out of control” logging by powerful businessmen.

However, the questions put to Mr. Sem by the single-party Assembly did not even touch on illegal logging. Speaking to reporters after his question-and-answer session, Mr. Sem said illegal forest clearing in the development area was not his responsibility, and should be dealt with by the ministries of agriculture and finance.

Mr. Yeap said Sunday that lawmakers might ask the trio of ministers about the Sesan II dam, but did not elaborate. “This problem could be raised,” Mr. Yeap said. “We will ask all questions.”

Chheang Vun, a CPP lawmaker and spokesman for the National Assembly, said the lawmakers would ask the ministers about government policies on helping families affected by large-scale infrastructure projects such as dams.

“We will ask questions concerning government policies for helping affected families,” including those affected by the Lower Sesan II, he said.

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