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Lake residents press their plan

Lake residents press their plan

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Boeung Kak lake residents, wearing campaign t-shirts expressing their desire for 15 hectares of land to be set aside for on-site relocation, talk to a government official outside City Hall yesterday.

Twelve representatives of families facing eviction at Boeung Kak lake met municipal officials yesterday to submit their alternative plan to the controversial development project.

The representatives had a two-hour meeting with Keut Che, deputy chief of City Hall cabinet, and requested that 15 hectares of land be set aside for families affected by the lakeside project, a plan unveiled nearly two weeks ago. Outside City Hall, about 250 villagers continued to protest the lakeside development plans.

Keut Che reiterated the government’s stance that three options were available to villagers facing eviction. “However, I took their request in order to send to the Governor [Kep Chuktema] to decide,” he said.

Ly Mom, one of the representatives, said her group was told by Keut Che that homes would not be dismantled and villagers would not be dismissed from their homes “until there is a solution”.

“We will wait for the result this weekend, and if the result is negative, we will continue to rally,” she said.

Last week, lakeside residents received a letter dated March 2 and signed by Daun Penh district governor Sok Sambath saying that strict measures would be taken if they didn’t dismantle their homes within seven days.

However, Daun Penh deputy governor Sok Penhvuth told Friday’s protestors that this week’s deadline could be pushed back.

Yesterday’s protest moved from City Hall to the Cambodian Red Cross headquarters in Toul Kork district, where villagers were prevented from submitting a petition to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s wife, Bun Rany.

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