Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday directed Phnom Penh Governor Khoung Sreng to quickly resolve land dispute claims by seven families residing in the Boeung Kak area, an order that flies counter to City Hall’s announcement in April that it had officially closed the resolution process for the decade-long dispute.
The statement was made at an annual gathering on environmental issues, with the premier responding to a question from Boeung Kak resident Hong Sok Kheng, who requested he find a solution for the seven families who have yet to be compensated for their plots of land.
“How many are left at Boeung Kak? How much land is left in Boeung Kak? If there is any left, just end it soon,” Hun Sen said in response.
Read more: Boeung Kak: A Disastrous Decade
However, lake activist Chan Puthisak said that the seven families were from Village 1, for which Sok Kheng was a representative, but that there were more than 20 families elsewhere who were yet to get land titles at the resettlement site.
“Totally, there are more than 30 families who haven’t received the land or the land titles. We hope that there is a complete solution for Boeung Kak so that we don’t have to protest,” he said.
Land rights activist Soeung Saran welcomed the move, which he said was most likely political, but noted it was a good opportunity for City Hall to end all claims once and for all, not only the seven.