After blocking several letters from opposition lawmaker Son Chhay to Mines Minister Suy Sem in recent months, National Assembly President Heng Samrin has forwarded a new missive asking the minister to find solutions for villagers affected by Stung Treng’s Lower Sesan II hydropower dam project.
In recent months, Samrin had blocked multiple inquiries from the Cambodia National Rescue Party chief whip to Sem, although neither the constitution nor the internal regulations of the National Assembly give him authority to deny forwarding request to government officials from lawmakers.
Leng Peng Long, spokesman for the National Assembly, yesterday confirmed that Chhay’s letter, dated August 31, had been signed and sent to the Ministry of Mines and Energy on Wendesday. Chhay, in his letter, requests that the ministry find a solution for villagers in Kbal Romeas and Srekor villages who have been affected by the dam but have refused to relocate. He also requests documents related to the project.
“Previous letters were not sent by Samdech [because they were] calling for the minister to be questioned” at the National Assembly, Peng Long said.
An inquiry by Chhay in August to Sem in which the opposition lawmaker asked for more information on sand dredging was also blocked by Samrin.
Chhay and Yos Monirath, spokesman for the Ministry of Mines and Energy, could not be reached for comment.