Eight of 12 families protesting against a forced eviction in Phnom Penh’s Nirouth commune have thumb-printed an agreement yesterday that save their houses from being demolished in the course of clearing the obstructed Prek Barang canal, residents said.
Deputy Meanchey district governor Heak Chanleang penned the agreement, saying he would “leave all 12 families living in the same condition, but residents must help authorities clear rubbish under their houses and make it easy for the excavator to get in the canal”, a feat made possible by an agreement by residents to remove the back portions of their homes to make way for the barge carrying the excavator.
Sun Heng, 45, who was the first to thumbprint the pact, said she believed the agreement would hold, but said: “If our houses are affected, we will protest.”
The remaining families, however, said their neighbours had been cheated. “Why do people quickly believe the authorities when they know the barge cannot get access until we remove our houses?” Sok Phearin, 32, asked.
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