Families make their case in song

Source: Phnom Penh Post |Fri, 9 September 2016, by

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Families whose homes are threatened by an ING Holdings project protest outside the Ministry of Land Management yesterday. Pha Lina

In an ongoing bid to save their land from developers, about 200 families yesterday gathered at the Ministry of Land Management and Urban Planning, where they broke into song.

Parents and children from Preak Takong 1 village in Meanchey district and Kva village in Dangkor district sang a protest song they had composed in hopes it would convince Minister Chea Sophara to meet them.

The communities want their land excised from a project planned by real estate developer ING Holdings, and are seeking land titles. Villagers said a water-storage facility planned by ING would displace 425 people.

The communities first protested the project early last year. In August, the ministry said it would send a working group to inspect the site, villagers said.

“We want the ministry to give us a specific timeframe for when it will send representatives to inspect our land and deal with this,” said community representative Oum Nary.

Ministry spokesman Seng Lot came out to talk with the singing villagers, asking them for “time to study this issue”. However, he added, he did not know when or how the ministry would rule.

“It will depend on the legal details of the situation,” he said. “So now I ask you to stay calm.”

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