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River village faces eviction for park

A group of 22 families living close to the banks of the Tonle Sap in the city’s Meanchey district say commune authorities have threatened to destroy their homes early next month. Prek Tanuo village resident Doeuk Sam Kosal, 46, said Sunday that in past weeks the authorities destroyed vines and vegetable gardens belonging to the villagers and told them to pull down their homes before the end of the month. “We live here peacefully, but the local authorities came to evict us from our homes,” he said, adding that villagers had been “forced” to accept US$600 per household to relocate. Koe Saroeun, chief of Chakangre Leu commune, said authorities want to build a terrace to protect against riverbank collapse, which he said will feature a public park. “We must accept this policy because they live in the edge of the river and that is state property,” he said.

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