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Families at airport seek parley with City Hall

MORE than 100 families living near Phnom Penh International Airport plan to send a letter to City Hall requesting a meeting to discuss compensation offers ahead of their looming relocation deadline, residents said Monday.

On November 5, Dangkor district Governor Kroch Phan informed residents living along Russian Boulevard and Choam Chao street that they would have from Wednesday to December 11 to voluntarily dismantle their homes, and that families remaining after the deadline would face “administrative measures”. This notice followed a preliminary warning, issued in April.

Residents were told they have three options: voluntarily remove their houses and receive and unspecified amount of compensation, voluntarily relocate to a site along Russian Boulevard, or be forcibly relocated. Their removal is necessary for an expansion of the airport and the construction of a public park, Kroch Phan said.

“If they do not allow us to meet with them, we will hold a protest in front of City Hall because we want to find justice,” said Uth Teng Sakhorn, a representative of the residents.

“The authorities have regarded us as animals. They did not talk with us: They just released the eviction notice and told us to demolish our homes.”

Kroch Phan said residents were welcome to protest at City Hall, though he said that in issuing the eviction notice, he was only following City Hall’s orders.

“They can protest; it’s their right,” he said. “We don’t have to issue compensation for them because they are living illegally on a public sidewalk.”

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