During the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of two new flyovers in Phnom Penh at the Monivong site on August 31, Prime Minister Hun Sen thanked those who had agreed to move from the Angkor Archaeological Park.
“People at Angkor Wat, I would like to thank you for leaving. If you did not leave and stayed illegally at the site, Angkor Wat would have been removed from the World Heritage List.
“It would have lost its World Heritage status because we would not have been compliant with the obligations set by the World Heritage Committee,” Hun Sen said.
He said that in order to preserve Angkor Wat as a World Heritage Site, he had assigned Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara to handle the illegal settlements.
The premier also urged the relevant authorities to set out the Run Ta Ek area for the people to resettle in, with 144km of road infrastructure, which will be concreted, in addition to the building of schools and hospitals.
Hun Sen referred to Khem Veasna when saying some people had been deceived by misinformation that by going to Siem Reap they would also get land in Run Ta Ek from the government as had those in the Angkor area.
The prime minister said there had been no arrangement to distribute land as had been suggested. He even ordered Veasna’s group not to seize land in the Run Ta Ek area.
Veasna, the founder of the League for Democracy Party, has claimed an impending flood will destroy everything except for his farm in Siem Reap.
“Some people were told that they would get land. Sorry, the land was not to be distributed, and if Khem Veasna was kind, he would distribute 12 hectares of his land to the people, some of whom have sold their land in order to get the money to travel to [Veasna’s farm].
“Therefore, Khem Veasna should help build houses because there may be some people who cannot find anywhere to live,” Hun Sen said.
The prime minister appealed to those who had been deceived by Veasna’s claims that the Earth was set to be flooded and left their families, wives, children to gather at his farm to return home.
And he called on people to not discriminate against them when they did.
“We know their beliefs were wrong, but we have to be understanding. I have told the provincial governor to arrange transportation for those who do not have any means of getting home using Army 4th Division and 2nd Division vehicles,” Hun Sen said.