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Borei Keila row goes on

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
Residents hold placards during their protest yesterday. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Nine remaining families in the Borei Keila community began protesting outside the house of Suy Siphan yesterday to demand that her Phan Imex company keep its promise and provide appropriate compensation to end their long-running land dispute.

Community representative Yin Srin said the most recent negotiations with the company and 7 Makara district authorities resulted in a compensation offer of $16,000 in exchange for the families vacating the land.

But the families rejected the offer because they cannot find new homes with such a small amount of money and still want the company to keep its original promise to develop homes for them on their current land.

In 2003, Ms Sophan’s Phan Imex development company was granted the right by the government to develop the Borei Keila community.

She promised to build 10 buildings for 1,776 families, but her company only built eight and later forced residents to move to Kandal province’s Ponhea Lueu district.

“I demand for $20,000 in compensation, otherwise, we ask the company to settle this dispute by building the ten buildings following the original promise to develop on the site,” said Ms Srin. “If they do not provide proper compensation, we will continue to protest in front of Ms Suy Siphan’s house every day.”

Ms Siphan said her company developed enough buildings for the residents already, and argued that those protesting were not actually entitled to any housing.

“Please ask City Hall, because they are a party to the deal,” she said. “The protesters are people that do not have any claim to housing.”

In January, two of 11 remaining families accepted compensation in exchange for vacating the land, leaving only nine remaining families.

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