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RUFA resistance

RUFA resistance

On June 30 teachers living on the grounds of Phnom Penh's Royal University of Fine

Arts north campus said a representative of Mong Reththy Group delivered the message

that demolition of their homes would begin July 1.

"Even if they kill us, we will not leave. We don't want to live on the road.

It's better to die here," said Tann Sin Thou, chief of New Society Community

and a teacher living on site since 1984.

Mong Reththy, Director General of Mong Reththy Group, confirmed that on July 1 demolition

of the site will begin.

Of the 53 families offered between $3,000 and $4,000 to vacate, 31 have refused and

demand a "fairer" settlement. The government swapped the land in February

in exchange for the rebuilding of a new campus in Russei Keo district. The new campus

will not provide teacher accommodation.

Staff at the university fear the remoteness of the new location will diminish enrollment.

"We are afraid many teachers and students are too poor to travel to the new

site," said a teacher who wished to remain anonymous.

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