More than 50 residents living around Boeung Kak lake yesterday submitted petitions to numerous embassies requesting intervention for about 70 families excluded from a recent compensation deal.
The petition – sent to the embassies of France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and the European Commission in Cambodia – stated that while villagers were pleased with the deal, they were concerned about families that had been prevented from receiving land titles.
Families from villages 6, 22 and 24 have been denied land titles they were promised within a 12.44-hectare relocation site that was set aside by Prime Minister Hun Sen last month for 756 families forced to make way for a real estate development.
“We submitted the petitions today in order to ask for intervention from ambassadors to help push municipal authorities to give land titles to all of us,” said 54-year-old Heng Mom, a villager living in village 22 in Daun Penh district’s Srah Chak commune.
The Boeung Kak lake dispute has raged since Shukaku Inc, a company owned by ruling party senator Lao Meng Khin, was awarded a 99-year lease in 2007 to develop 133 hectares of land at the lake for a real estate project.
Chea Sok Choeun, 32, another villager who has not yet received a land title, claimed that local authorities and district land officials had colluded to issue land titles to Shukaku within the 12.44-hectare zone. “They did not give land titles to our 70 families and other villagers,” she said.
“On Tuesday, Srah Chak commune officials told us to negotiate a price with the company [Shukaku], saying that they could not make a land title for my family but I refused,” Chea Sok Choeun said. “I told the officials that I needed the land title from the beginning.”