A REPRESENTATIVE of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet accepted a petition yesterday submitted by villagers from Preah Sihanouk province’s Stung Hav district who say they have unjustly lost their homes in a land dispute.
Villager representative Mon Sina said Kong Chamroeun, a cabinet official, had collected the petition in front of the capital’s Wat Botum after the villagers were prevented by local police from delivering it to Hun Sen’s villa on Sihanouk Boulevard.
Kong Chamroeun “told the villagers to return to their homes and await a solution, and he promised to check on the case after receiving the complaint”, Mon Sina said.
Following a Supreme Court order last Friday, local officials destroyed 78 homes in Stung Hav district’s Commune 1. Residents have been ordered to destroy an additional 43 homes within the next month.
Military police have since surrounded the community, which spills over into neighbouring Otres commune, and have forced residents to register as they move in and out of their homes. Commune 1 residents claim that local authorities have incorrectly enforced the court order, and that it is meant for homes in Otres commune.