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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Evicted residents in final cash bid

Evicted residents in final cash bid

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090211_03.jpg

Families awaiting cash compensation say municipal officials failed to

attend a Tuesday meeting, amid warnings they have until the end of the

month to accept replacement housing.

Photo by:
SOVANN PHILONG

Former Dey Krahorm residents protest outside the 7NG office on Tuesday.  

FORMER Dey Krahorm evictees who are demanding US$20,000 in cash compensation from local developer 7NG say city authorities have broken a promise to meet with residents at 7NG's office near the former community's land in Tonle Bassac commune Tuesday.

Residents said that during protests outside Prime Minister Hun Sen's Takhmao home Sunday, Lim Leang Se, the prime minister's deputy Cabinet chief, promised residents that he would invite officials and 7NG representatives to meet and discuss the compensation claim of residents forcibly evicted from the site on January 24.

But former resident Dul Chantha, 52, one of those gathered outside 7NG's office Tuesday morning, said comments from the prime minister's staff had turned out to be empty promises.

"No representatives of 7NG or the Municipality are present this time, except police forces deployed outside the company's office," she said.

Residents left 7NG's office when no one arrived to meet them, continuing along to the municipality offices on Monivong Boulevard.

Resident Sam Ny told the Post that the cancellation of the meeting between the people and authorities had been postponed, according to one of Hun Sen's Cabinet officials, because city officials were not available.

"The City Hall representative is absent, so they cannot meet," he said, expressing  scepticism about the government's commitment to finding a solution for the residents.

"This is not the first time that they have had an excuse not to find a solution for residents," he added. "We want them to put their promise in writing."

Lim Leang Se could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but 7NG General Manager Chheang Bona said that he did not expect residents to come to the company's office Tuesday.

"No one has broken their promise. We and the authorities have an appointment with them in Damnak Trayoeng village, where the majority of residents have moved, not at Dey Krahorm," he said.

In the weeks immediately preceding the January 24 eviction, the company offered residents $20,000 in cash compensation to relocate, a figure some local residents turned down, and residents claim 53 families remain to be compensated.

But Chheang Bona said only around 10 families had still not agreed to accept replacement houses from 7NG and appealed to them to accept housing by February 28.

"It is our last notice for residents. This means we are still generous with them," he said. 

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