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Preah Vihear: Families told to make way for UNESCO

A GROUP of 275 families in Preah Vihear province’s Choam Ksan district have been instructed to relocate by Saturday to make room for offices for the Preah Vihear National Authority and UNESCO, officials said.

Mol Mab, the chief of Choam Ksan’s Kantuot commune, said fewer than 1,000 hectares of land would be cleared, and that affected families would be given 2 million riels (US$475) each as well as 50-by-100-metre plots of land in Thamacheat Samdech Techo Village (Samdech Techo Nature Village). The same village has taken in hundreds of other families that have been moved to make way for development at Preah Vihear temple, which was enshrined as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008.

Prak Sarann, provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, expressed concern that the famlies would no longer have any farmland. But provincial deputy governor Sor Thavy said the families were only required to move their homes and would continue to have access to their existing farmland.

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