A meeting between municipal authorities and railway families left out of the Boeung Kak lake on-site relocation deal yesterday failed yet again to yield a resolution, with both sides standing firm on their demands.
Village representative Chan Puthi Sak told the Post that at the hour-long meeting, deputy governor Khoung Sreng threatened villagers, saying that if they refused to either accept $8,000 in compensation to move or allow their homes to be cut to make way for construction, they would face “administrative action”.
Villagers living along the rail line have been facing off with authorities for years – initially seeking higher compensation, and later, when Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered in August, 2011 that 12.44 hectares be set aside for relocated villagers at Boeung Kak lake, seeking on-site housing.
“We rejected the options and stand by our one position: to develop on the 12.44 hectares provided by the government of Cambodia,” he said.
Sreng confirmed he had met with representatives of the 16 families who remain living along the rail line in Sras Chak commune and offered them the two options, but said no threats were made.
“I just called on them to discuss the impact [of planned construction] on them and offered options for resolving the problem,” Sreng said, adding that construction plans — including those that would require their homes to be cut — would be announced to villagers shortly.
“Threats are used only for criminal persons,” he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Khouth Sophak Chakrya at firstname.lastname@example.org