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Indigenous community members affected by the Lower Sesan II Hydropower dam gather yesterday at Phnom Penh's Wat Botum Park.
Indigenous community members affected by the Lower Sesan II Hydropower dam gather yesterday at Phnom Penh's Wat Botum Park. Pha Lina

Dam families petition PM

About 20 Phnong ethnic community members representing 143 families in Stung Treng that will be affected by the Lower Sesan II dam yesterday delivered a petition to Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Ministry of Interior urging a halt to evacuations and requesting that public services be reopened.

In their petition, the villagers from Srekor and Kbal Romea communes in Sesan district also asked the government to stop using armed forces to intimidate the people, and to restudy the impacts of the dam, which is set to begin partial operations next month.

“We are asking the government to help register a collective and autonomous land [for] Phnong ethnic villagers,” said Lat Vibol, 25, from Kbal Romeas, who was among those delivering the petitions yesterday.

Read more: Dam to bring power, pain

Indigenous community members affected by the Lower Sesan II Hydropower dam gather yesterday at Phnom Penh's Wat Botum Park.
Indigenous community members affected by the Lower Sesan II Hydropower dam gather yesterday at Phnom Penh's Wat Botum Park. Pha Lina

“We want Samdech to reopen the public services, such as hospitals, schools, pagodas, roads and bridges.”

A representative for Hun Sen accepted the petition and told villagers he would forward it on to his superiors.

Villager last week also submitted a petition to the Ministry of Mines and Energy asking officials not to use the dam at full capacity.

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