The story is not over for the 16 families who accepted last month to relocate to land owned by Mong Reththy Group in exchange for leaving their homes at the Royal University of Fine Arts’ North Campus.
The company, however, is now asking them to move again, even though their new houses—built at their own expense—are nearly finished, they said on Sunday.
The latest plot of land assigned in Phnom Penh Thmei commune is about 20 meters from their current 10-by-5-meter lots, and on a lake that has yet to be filled with earth, said Sam Pisey, one of the new residents.
An Pagna, the director of RUFA’s cultural research department who serves as Mong Reththy’s representative, held a meeting with the relocated RUFA teachers’ families on Thursday, she said.
The company now needs their allocated land for residential villas, and the 16 families will also be closer to other villagers when they move, An Pagna explained on Sunday.
The Mong Reththy Group, which obtained RUFA’s North Campus from the government in exchange for rebuilding the campus in Russei Keo district, has been offering compensations of up to $4,000 to RUFA teachers and their families living at the North Campus.
In early July, those 16 families received $3,000 plus $1,000 that went to pay for their new land.
They were told on Thursday that the company would compensate them for the cost of the houses they have built, but they want to see this offer in writing, said Srey Narun, a RUFA teacher. “We don’t just want a verbal offer,” she said.
Nine families are still living at the North Campus, and hoping for compensation at market value or at least some land at the old campus site.
Thann Sin Thou, a RUFA teacher and community leader at the campus, said on Sunday that the nine families have not been able to meet with Mong Reththy company representatives since a meeting in early July.
Workers, however, are still clearing the site and have created a huge pile of garbage that they plan to burn near her house. Thann Sin Thou said she is afraid the fire might spread to her home—accidentally or intentionally.