As the international consultant in charge of implementing the resettlement plan for seven privatised rubber estates including the Chup rubber plantation, I would like to make a clarification on the article “Relocation deals unfair, say families”, published in the Post on April 3.
The Chup plantation was privatised in 2009, and a resettlement plan was approved by the Royal Government in May, 2009.
The principle was to create a new living area close to an existing village that had the necessary infrastructure, and to provide a plot of land to concerned families under the same principle as social land concessions.
The affected people were informed well in advance of the compensation principle regarding the size of land, financial compensation or replacement, according to the size and type of their dwellings.
Moreover, families were authorised to dismantle their own dwellings and rebuild on the relocation site. There was no compensation for the land, as the land belongs to the State.
Registration for those accepting the compensation principle was done in May, 2010. When the relocation site master plan was approved, the families concerned were called for public plot-allocation drawing in July, 2011.
The families, therefore, had been well informed of the relocation plan. Only the date could not be fixed, as it depended on construction works.
When the site was ready, the concerned families willing to move were requested to register, and 438 families voluntarily registered.
The official announcement did not catch anyone by surprise. The 15-day delay should allow families to move their dwellings, but we are flexible, especially as it’s Khmer New Year.
Financial compensation is given to a family as soon as their existing house is removed.
As for the case reported in your paper, our records show Hom Hon registered voluntarily to accept the compensation principle on May 17, 2010 and made the plot drawing on July 14, 2011.
The plot allocation contract that clearly mentions the land size and financial compensation was thumb-printed by Hom Hon and his wife as acceptance of the “deal”.
Hom Hon had already dismantled half his cottage before complaining to radio and the press, but did not fill in the official complaint form.
I wonder who is behind his action, and what the objective is?
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The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.