Talks Between City and Lake Residents Fruitless

Phnom Penh Municipal officials met with Boeng Kak lake residents Wednesday to discuss calls to halt the filling of Boeng Kak lake, but no resolution was reached during the 90-minute talks.

Four female representatives from Boeng Kak met with municipal, commune and village authorities at 3 pm, while about 50 other residents gathered outside the district’s offices to show their support.

Be Pharom, one of the representatives at the meeting, later said they told the attending officials that they wanted a fair price—about $1,500 per square meter—for the land they are being forced to move from.

According to Be Pharom, the officials said that such compensation wasn’t possible. The officials also told the residents that their request to stop the company’s pumping project should go directly to the firm, she said.

Be Pharom said she was disappointed with the outcome and that a protest will be organized at the company’s headquarters Friday.

Officials attending the meeting declined to comment on the talks.

About 200 residents of the Boeng Kak area demonstrated outside City Hall on Monday morning to express their opposition to the filling of the lake.

A water-and-sand mix is currently being pumped via a large pipe from the Tonle Sap to Boeng Kak, where it will eventually fill in most of the lake. An estimated 4,250 residents live around the lake and are earmarked for relocation to make way for high-end residential developments.

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