Source: Khmer Times / Sunday, 13 March 2016 by Pav Suy
A working group within Phnom Penh City Hall is continuing its effort to help get compensation to Borei Keila families who have yet to accept the government’s offer, according to a Facebook post from Governor Pa Socheatevong, who led a discussion with community members on Saturday.
There are nearly 20 families out of 154 families who have not agreed to the terms laid out by a joint committee comprised of NGOs, City Hall officials and development firm Phan Imex, which now owns the land. Most have accepted the compensation of either a house in the new community, $3,000 in cash or a house in Andong village outside of Phnom Penh.
“The working group is still continuing its effort to solve the issue for a minority of brothers and sisters that have not yet agreed to our common principles,” the governor said in his Facebook post, adding, “This chronic disease will be healed in the near future.”
During his visit, the governor also said that the new community will be properly organized in a way to benefit residents.
“The Borei Keila community will be organized in an orderly manner after the situation turned out better in the last period, when a majority of brothers and sisters accepted the proper solution from the joint group evaluating their qualification,” he added.
Sie Phearum, director of the Housing Rights Task Force, said, “When the committee evaluated their documents, they did not accept [our offer] and they wanted a house in Borei Keila, but their documents did not qualify them for it.”
Mr. Phearum added that City Hall will still help people who have refused their offers, but said the decisions will still be made by the committee as a whole.
In January, a City Hall meeting about compensation for former Borei Keila residents devolved into chaos when four dissatisfied family members staged a protest. One month later, families moving into their new apartments in the new Borei Keila apartment complex were joyful at finally receiving a new home.
City Hall also promised to help another 33 families that were not registered with the committee because they claimed to have never protested before this year, due in part to their belief that as the families of police officers and commune officials, they would receive assistance in finding new housing. They protested for the first time in front of City Hall on February 11 asking for government assistance.
“For most of the families, the women are wives of policemen working at commune and district offices. So, they were told not to protest along with others,” Mr. Phearum said last month.
“When we showed him [the governor] the documents about the 33 families of ours, the governor told us that he will deal with it for us,” group representative Sok Srey Oun said. “At whatever cost, we must get a house in Borei Keila. Besides that, I cannot accept.”