AUTHORITIES in Russey Keo district have yet to reach agreement on whether 35 families slated for eviction are located in Kilometre 6 commune or Tuol Sangke commune, officials said over the weekend, though Tuesday’s eviction deadline remains in effect.
An eviction notice issued by Tuol Sangke commune officials accuses the families in Boeung Chhuok village of living illegally on land belonging to resident Lau Tong Ngy.
But Sok Khim, the chief of Kilometre 6 commune, on Friday repeated his assertion that the families have lived in his commune for nearly 20 years, and that they have the requisite documents to prove it.
“The map of the commune shows that they are all located in my area,” he said, and added that he had “sympathy” for the families.
Deputy district governor Nuth Puthdara said that the issue was being addressed “at a higher level”, though he declined to elaborate.
He added, though, that he believed the families lived in Tuol Sangke.
On Friday, roughly 40 residents of Boeung Chhuok village went to protest at Prime Minister Hun Sen’s home in Kandal province’s Takhmao town,
though they were told to turn back after delivering a complaint to the premier’s cabinet, said Se Sna, a representative of the families.
Lim Leang Se, the premier’s deputy chief of cabinet, could not be reached for comment on Sunday, nor could Russey Keo district governor Khlaing Huot.
Se Sna said the families were growing increasingly concerned that they would be evicted without compensation this week.
“We do not understand why [officials] have accused us of grabbing land from Lao Tong Ngy, who we have never known,” he said. “I want the prime minister to know that the authorities have colluded to take people’s property to hand it over to an individual person.”