Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sesan villagers request facilities

Sesan villagers request facilities

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Floodwaters reach the rooftops of abandoned homes in Srekor village. Villagers there have made demands for public facilities. Photo supplied

Sesan villagers request facilities

Over 50 families affected by the Lower Sesan II dam in Stung Treng province’s Sesan district have sent a letter to the provincial governor and prominent tycoon Kith Meng requesting a number of public service facilities for the community.

The dam, located in the district’s Kbal Romeas commune near the border with Laos, is a joint project between China-based Hydrolancang International Energy, Vietnam-based EVN International and the Kingdom’s Royal Group chaired by Okhna Kith Meng.

“The people in Kbal Romeas Chas village wish to request a road repair from where we live to the old national road 78, classrooms for the community, short training courses for two community volunteer teachers, health centres for Kbal Romeas Chas and Sre Kor Chas villages, ponds for community use, and land titles for the indigenous communities,” said the letter obtained by The Post on Tuesday.

Lat Vibol, the Banong indigenous people’s representative in Kbal Romeas, said the community would also request a place for worship as indigenous people still follow their tradition and religion.

“The companies and the government should honour the villagers’ request as people who have been relocated by the project have suffered a loss of their livelihood,” he said.

Kbal Romeas commune chief Voeun Sambat shared his sympathy with the villagers and expressed hope that their wishes would be granted so they could stop protesting.

“When provincial authorities visited their homes, they did not request a lot, but yesterday I heard they want a local shrine, which is beyond my ability. If they want it, they need to meet with the governor,” he said.

Stung Treng provincial governor Mom Saroeun on Tuesday declined to comment on the matter.

“I don’t want to talk. I’m busy now,” he said, before hanging up on The Post.

Provincial hall spokesperson Men Kong said officials have visited the community to gather information.

“After meeting with them, our officials recorded the findings and will address their concerns. But all parties must agree to give thumbprints before the issues can be solved,” he said.

Hou Sam Ol, the provincial coordinator for human rights group Adhoc, said he had received information about villagers requesting public service facilities, though he had no details on the matter.

“I am not aware of the contents of the letter. I don’t know who wrote it and why their thumbprints are needed. Villagers should doublecheck before giving their thumbprints to the authorities,” he said.

Royal Group chairman and CEO Kith Meng could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Villagers have refused to accept compensation, saying they would rather die than leave their homelands for fear of losing their tradition, culture, ancestral tombs, traditional forest and the river, which is a sustainable source of income for the community.

Prime Minister Hun Sen inaugurated the dam by closing the floodgates in October last year.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon