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Borei Keila community holdouts remain defiant

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
Children play with rubbish within the community grounds. KT/Mai Vireak

Eleven families in the Borei Keila community who were asked to accept compensation by today have said they will remain defiant and not leave their land.

In 2003, the government provided Borei Keila land to the company Phan Imex, for development as apartments.

In return, the company was to build 10 blocks of flats for more than 1,700 families who were displaced.

However, the firm built only eight buildings, which led to protests.

The company and authorities said some of the protesters did not qualify for a home in the area.

The authorities also said they had resolved 90 percent of the cases of the 154 families who protested.

Officials gave a deadline for people to accept the final settlement, in which families with sufficient documents would get a house of four metres by five metres in Andong village plus $2,000, or $5,000 and no house.

On December 8, City Hall issued a notice to 11 Borei Keila families who still had not accepted compensation, telling them they would lose their rights to compensation if they did not accept the offer by today.

Borei Keila representative Sar Sorn said yesterday that despite the deadline, the remaining families are still demanding the government develop the site according to Phan Imex’s contract.

“The remaining community members do not accept the policy of the authorities,” she said. “Even if they force us to leave, we still demand the contract be upheld because this is our home.”

Children play with rubbish within the community grounds. KT/Mai Vireak

City Hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey said that officials will follow up on the notice today. On Wednesday, 34 civil society organisations released a joint statement calling on City Hall to drop the deadline for the remaining residents and provide them adequate compensation.

“We urged City Hall to drop the deadline issued on December 8 and proceed immediately to resolve conflicts through consultation with the affected people to seek a satisfactory agreement, including appropriate compensation and solutions on the site in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards,” it said.

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