Families disappointed after PM meet scuttled

Resource: Phnom Penh Post | Thu, 4 August 2016, by and

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Authorities speak with protesting villagers in Preah Sihanouk province yesterday at the provincial hall. Photo supplied

Community members from two Preah Sihanouk districts embroiled in land disputes expressed disappointment yesterday after a promised audience with Prime Minister Hun Sen failed to come to fruition.

Hour Sino, a community representative from Prey Nop district, said he went to the provincial hall believing the prime minister would intervene in a dispute between 306 families in his community and a water supply company.

“We did not meet with the prime minister as the authority promised,” Sino said, adding that they had been ushered into a meeting hall only to be kept waiting until the premier had left.

“We had a petition to give to Samdech to help settle our dispute, but authorities would not allow us to meet him,” said Yorn Pheap, another community member.

Deputy Provincial Governor Chhin Seng Nguon yesterday admitted a meeting had been scheduled, but said the premier had not had time for it.

“I agreed with the people to prepare a time for them to meet Prime Minister Hun Sen, but the prime minister just came from Kep province and felt tired and was too busy,” he said.

“However, [he] has urged the provincial governor to make efforts to reach a solution.”

Nhil Pheap, an officer of the Coalition of Cambodia Farmer Community, said authorities have ignored the community’s request for help in the past.

“The people have sought assistance many times already but authorities took no action,” he said.

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