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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Holdout Rik Reay families spurn new City Hall offer

Holdout Rik Reay families spurn new City Hall offer

Holdout Rik Reay families spurn new City Hall offer

Official warns of Dey Krahorm-like eviction if 13 families refuse compensation from municipality and Canadia Bank.

TWENTY holdout families from Phnom Penh’s Rik Reay community have agreed to relocate after accepting a new compensation offer at a meeting Thursday, and City Hall has threatened to forcibly evict the remaining 13 families if they refuse to do the same.

Mann Chhoeun, deputy governor of Phnom Penh, said Sunday that City Hall would give Rik Reay residents until November 21 to voluntarily relocate and accept the new offer of US$23,000 per family.

“But if they are stubborn … we will use the same measures as with Dey Krahorm,” he said, referring to the central Phnom Penh community that was the scene of a violent eviction in January.

“This must be a fair deal because 209 of the 222 families there have already agreed to move,” Mann Chhoeun said, adding that all but 54 of the families had accepted lower compensation packages earlier in the year.

A government directive dated January 30 instructed the community’s 219 families to leave Rik Reay and offered them one of two compensation options: US$10,000 and a house in Dangkor district, or on-site housing in which Bassac Garden City, the company developing the site, vowed to invest between $5 million and $6 million.

The on-site housing was later taken off the table.

Under the new compensation offer, $20,000 will be provided by City Hall, with $3,000 coming from Canadia Bank.

Pen Thai, a Rik Reay community representative, said the holdout families had no intention of accepting the new terms. “We are only asking for just $5,000 or $10,000 more per family in order to move into a new place,” he said. “$20,000 cannot buy a decent home in Phnom Penh.”