Phnom Penh Municipality yesterday issued an official letter confirming that five representatives of Boeung Kak residents would meet with Phnom Penh municipal Governor Kep Chuktema tomorrow to discuss an alternative redevelopment plan that would allocate 15 hectares of land for families threatened with eviction.
More than 100 villagers had prepared to leave for City Hall for a meeting with Kep Chuktema on Sunday before being informed by Daun Penh District Deputy Governor Sok Penhvuth that the meeting would be delayed until tomorrow.
Village representatives yesterday received a letter from Sok Penhvuth, signed by City Hall Administration Chief Ly Saveth, confirming the meeting. The representatives also claimed that Sok Penhvuth had previously tried to prevent them from meeting with the governor.
“[Sok Penhvuth declared the postponement] without any letter to certify it. How can we believe him?” said Sarn Li Hour, a resident of Village 22.
Rous Sem, a resident of Village 23, said that villagers were given no notice of the postponement.
“If it is a real postponement, the City Hall should issue an announcement to us in advance,” said Rous Sem. “Stop lying to us.”
Sok Penhvuth said that villagers should be calm and wait for the meeting.
“Brothers and sisters have waited for three years, why cannot brothers and sisters wait a few days more?” said Sok Penhvuth.
Rights groups have estimated that roughly 4,000 families would be affected by the pending commercial and housing development at Boeung Kak lake.