Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sesan families accept graves compensation



Sesan families accept graves compensation

Authorities grant $200 compensation to a villager in Stung Treng's Srekor commune on Wednesday
Authorities grant $200 compensation to a villager in Stung Treng's Srekor commune on Wednesday. Photo supplied

Sesan families accept graves compensation

A group of 161 ethnic Lao families in Stung Treng’s Sesan district have accepted $200 per family in compensation for ancestral graves that have been flooded by the Lower Sesan II hydroelectric dam, a local official said yesterday.

The villagers, who have been displaced by the flooding caused by the dam, met Mines and Energy Ministry officials and representatives of the dam company to discuss the graves on Wednesday, said Srekor Commune Chief Siek Mekong.

“The villagers agreed to take the compensation. They were given $200 per family, and they raised their hands to accept it,” Mekong said.

He added that 91 other families who had not left their old villages behind had been excluded from the deal because they had refused to leave the flooded area.

Another group of 82 ethnic Phnong families left the nearby Kbal Romea village to an assigned relocation site and accepted compensation for their ancestors’ graves months ago. At that time, 58 Phnong families also refused to leave or accept money, angered by the thought of leaving the graves.

Former Kbal Romea resident Nhao Kuy, 36, said yesterday that the Phnong families in his village had accepted $150 per grave as part of that deal. His family, he said, had received $750 in total for the graves of his parents, grandparents and brother, having pushed for $300 per grave.

Kuy said that Phnong, by tradition, would not exhume their ancestors’ graves, and that the decision to abandon the graves was a hefty one to make.“I prayed to tell them that I moved out, I will not be able to look after the grave any-more,” Kuy explained.

“We prayed to end the relationship.”Not praying would lead to illnesses, he said.However, Dam Samnang, a Kbal Romea community representative who still refuses to relocate from his increasingly flooded community, decried the offers of money for the graves of the community’s ancestors last week, explaining that the graves were priceless and could not compensated.

“It is not acceptable to pay $100 or $200 for our ancestors’ graves,” Samnang said at a press conference in Phnom Penh, saying there was a double standard at play.

“If I have money and I offer to buy the graves of the prime minister’s parents, would he sell them? I believe he would not sell.”

A previous version of this article described Siek Mekong as the former Srekor Commune Chief. He is actually a former Srekor Commune Chief for the Sam Rainsy Party but the current Commune Chief for the Cambodia National Rescue Party. The Post apologises for the error.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian