Weary Families End Protest, Accept RUFA Deal

Two families still living at the North Campus of the Royal Uni­ver­sity of Fine Arts agreed Thurs­day to accept $10,000 each in compen­sa­tion from the Mong Reththy Group for leaving their homes on the former campus.

The agreement came after 10 teachers carrying portraits of Prime Minister Hun Sen protested in front of Phnom Penh City Hall on Thurs­day morning, asking for mu­ni­cipal intervention in the on­going dis­pute be­tween them and the company.

The only remaining family with a home on the North Campus is holding out for a $30,000 payment, said An Pagna, the director of RUFA’s cultural research department who serves as Mong Reth­thy’s representative.

Teacher and community leader Thann Sin Thou said she is holding out for $30,000 because her house was twice as big as those of her now departed neighbors.

Pon Sarim, a teacher who had been living at RUFA since the 1980s, said she took the $10,000 be­cause she was tired of protesting.

“I do not want to continue living on disputed land. I need to live peacefully.”

The two families will also receive $700 to cover added traveling ex­penses to their new homes and plots of land in Russei Keo district’s Phnom Penh Thmey commune, said Oum Sarun, a teacher and mem­ber of one of the two families.

The government gave the campus to the Mong Reththy Group in ex­change for the company building a new campus in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district. In July, 16 families accepted $3,000 payments and plots of land to leave.

Huot Vanna, whose family is one of the 16, said Thursday that the families are still waiting for their $700 travel expense payments.

An Pagna said that the families can pick up the payments at the Mong Reththy Group’s office at any time but have yet to do so.


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