The Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court delayed the destruction of the homes and subsequent eviction of 14 families embroiled in a land dispute with a company owned by tycoon Kong Treav in Village 4 of Sihanoukville’s Commune 4, local authorities said yesterday.
Though many of the families on the disputed land have already moved, the remaining families last month were given a November 21 deadline in a letter signed by Judge Moung Monychakrya to “remove [your houses] and leave on your own, [or] the court will make pressure pursuant to the Supreme Court’s power in the case of your being obstinate, and will not take responsibility for damaged property and housing”.
However, village chief Heng Bunhor said yesterday he had been told by the commune chief that the order was stayed, but he was unaware of when it will go into effect again or what the reason for the delay was.
Attempts to reach the commune chief, Judge Monychakrya and the company involved – Pacific Group Co, Ltd – were unsuccessful.
Resident Cheng Nivanna, 55, said she hired workers to build a fence around her property last year, only to have it destroyed by the company.
“I purchased the land before [Treav], but he said that those lands belong to him,” she said, adding that the worker who built the fence was arrested and held for the night.
Sia Phearum, secretariat director of the NGO Housing Rights Task Force, said that 10 families had filed a complaint to his organisation, which is investigating the case.
To contact the reporter on this story: Phak Seangly at firstname.lastname@example.org