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Kraya eviction: Families say land not forthcoming

One week after the last of their homes were cleared to make way for a Vietnamese rubber company, up to 40 families from Kampong Thom’s Kraya commune say they have not received the plots of land that were promised to them as compensation. Chhun Chhorn, 41, whose family was among the hundreds that were moved to a relocation site 7 kilometres from their village in Kraya, said 40 families were living under tarps as they waited for land to be allocated to them. “I need to construct a home. Otherwise mosquitoes will bite us,” he said. Prum Roth, 52, said some of the 40 landless families had been asked to pay 20,000 riels (about US$5) to local soldiers, a sum they said they could not afford. “We don’t have the money. I need money to pay for medicine,” he said. Santuk district Governor Pich Sophea denied that villagers were being asked to pay for their 20-by-40-metre plots and additional hectares of farmland. He added, though, that some villagers might have been denied land if they were among the families who fled Kraya commune during the dispute leading up to the eviction.

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