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Officials protest building ‘swap’

Officials protest building ‘swap’

EMPLOYEES of the National Committee for Organising National and International Festivals (NCONIF) due to be forced from their offices today have protested the scheduled move.

The outcry followed the announcement earlier this month that their offices had been sold to local development company Pheapimex.

In a March 19 letter from Cambodian People’s Party lawyer Khiev Sebphan, workers at the NCONIF were told to vacate offices on Daun Penh district’s Sisowath Quay by today and move to the fourth floor of the General Inspectorate for the National Buddhist Education of Cambodia, the building that once housed the Foreign Ministry. Committee officials say, however, that these facilities are inadequate, with just five rooms for 57 staff members.

A committee employee who asked not to be named said Tuesday that staff members submitted a letter last Friday to NCONIF chairman Kong Sam Ol protesting the move, demanding compensation and several more weeks to prepare for the move. “It is a party matter – we have asked to delay the move until May,” said Chea Sokhom, first deputy chairman of the committee, declining to comment further on the contents of the letter.

Khiev Sebphan said workers would be granted an extra month to move, and that the relocation site could be expanded after consultations with Minister of Cults and Religions Min Khin, who helped broker the sale of the NCONIF building.

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