About 70 residents from a village in Siem Reap’s Ampil commune yesterday submitted a petition to provincial officials requesting that they not be switched to the authority of neighbouring Nokor Thom commune, though at least one local official claimed the matter was long decided.
Protesters who spoke to the Post claimed they only found out about the transfer when they couldn’t get loans from a bank using paperwork identifying their place of residency as Ampil and were later told by the commune council that their section of Prey Kuy village had been transferred to Nokor Thom.
“We’ve lived here for almost 20 years,” protester Lay Limeng said. “All of our documents are from Ampil.”
But commune council members said the change had been made long ago. The area of Prey Kuy in question – designated Group 10 – has belonged to Nokor commune since 2006, and the transfer was mapped in 2015 to show the change, said Chea Lao, second councillor for Ampil commune.
But opposition CNRP councillor Kyng Toy disagreed, saying that he had been called into town hall three times recently to sign the transfer but had refused.
“Lao and town hall called me to sign the transfer,” he said. “But I said I have not asked the people and the ministry has not ordered us to do so.”
Siem Reap Governor Bun Tharith said he hadn’t received information on the petition or the transfer. He added that the transfer wouldn’t be possible if there’s no sub-decree from the Ministry of Interior.
“It’s not going to be changed to Nokor Thom, it will be Ampil as usual,” he said. “It’s located near National Road 6, there’s no reason to change it to be under the control of Nokor Thom commune.”