Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - School community seeks French help on impending eviction

School community seeks French help on impending eviction

School community seeks French help on impending eviction

ABOUT 10 residents of a community living near the Lycee Francais Rene Descartes school in Phnom Penh petitioned the French embassy Thursday to intervene in advance of their impending eviction by city authorities.

"We are [here] to ask the French ambassador to save us from eviction by the municipality," said resident representative Kem Vichet.

He added that during a meeting Wednesday, city officials told residents to pull down their houses by May 15, or authorities would take unspecified "administrative measures" and would bear no responsibility for any property lost.

During the protest, two community representatives were allowed to enter the embassy and present officials with a letter outlining their concerns.

"We agree that the government should give back the former National Institute of Business to the French embassy, but City Hall's compensation is not enough for us to find new houses," Kem Vichet added.

But Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Mann Chhoeun said that about 70 percent of the residents had already agreed to the city's offer of empty land in Meanchey district, in addition to between US$5,000 and $10,000  per family.

"I have advised them that if they don't want to live in their new location, they can buy new houses," he said. "The prices are only $5,000 to $6,000, and the location has clean water networks, electricity, a smooth road and a market, so it is easy to do business."

Around 37 families living on the site near the school were fenced out of their homes on April 6. Residents say the French embassy is involved in the transfer of the land to the school, a claim previously confirmed by district officials.

Fabyene Mansencal, first secretary of the embassy, said she could not comment as she had not yet read the residents' letter.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SEBASTIAN STRANGIO

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • IPU slams government claim

    The president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Gabriela Cuevas Barron, has refuted a claim by the National Assembly that she “highly appreciated the achievements of Cambodia” in its July national elections with a tweet saying “Of course not!” before adding “No congratulations”. A delegation from