Relocated RUFA Staff Asked To Move Yet Again

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.


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