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Evictees protest outside 7NG

Evictees protest outside 7NG

090205_01

Photo by: TRACEY SHELTON

Former Dey Krahorm residents gather in protest Wednesday outside the 7NG office in Phnom Penh.

ABOUT 40 former residents of Dey Krahorm and other communities facing

eviction in central Phnom Penh protested Wednesday outside the Tonle

Bassac commune office of local developer 7NG, demanding US$20,000 in

compensation for those violently evicted from Dey Krahorm last month.

Ex-residents played a recorded speech of Prime Minister Hun Sen, in

which the premier instructed authorities to protect people and restrain

themselves from using violence in a land dispute in Preah Sihanouk

province last year.

'Governors, deputy governors and authorities must not forget the

problem until it leads to the arrest of villagers. It hurts me that I

could not educate all of you to be good people,' Hun Sen said of the

Preah Sihanouk land dispute, which involved an unnamed company and led

to the arrest of four people.

At the time, Hun Sen flew by helicopter and ordered the land be given back to the people.

Former Dey Krahorm resident Cheng Srey Vann, 22, said that Hun Sen's

speech made people confident that no one would be evicted from their

land.

'We played the prime minister's speech outside the 7NG office

because we want the company to know that we have lived under threats

and that they used violence to evict us from our land,' she said.

Resident Horn Sar, 42, said that 53 families are asking for the $20,000

cash compensation originally offered, even though the 7NG's deadline

for accepting compensation has passed.

He said that residents had also submitted complaints to the prime

minister on January 29, five days after the forced eviction that led to

the demolition of the Dey Krahorm community.

'There has been no positive result for us. Lim Leang Se, the

premier' deputy Cabinet chief, just advised us to get homes or

continue negotiations with 7NG,' he said. 'There has been no

help.'

Lim Leang Sen could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Mann Chheoun, deputy governor of Phnom Penh, said 79 out of 91 listed

families have agreed to accept homes offered by 7NG in Dangkor

district's Damnak Trayoeng village, adding that municipal officials

had recently delivered bicycles to children of families recently

arrived at the site.

'We have many humanitarian projects for this relocation site,' he said.

Lim Leang Sen could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Mann Chheoun, deputy governor of Phnom Penh, said 79 out of 91 listed families have agreed to accept homes offered by 7NG in Dangkor district's Damnak Trayoeng village, adding that municipal officials had recently delivered bicycles to children of families recently arrived at the site.

'We have many humanitarian projects for this relocation site,' he said.

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