Families ask ministry to handle land disputes

Source: Khmer Times

Members of families involved have asked for help. SUPPLIED

Families involved in several high-profile land dispute cases in Phnom Penh have asked the Land Management Ministry to take over their cases following the municipal government’s poor handling of their plights.
About 50 people from Boeung Kak, Borei Keila and various other land dispute groups marched from the Interior Ministry to City Hall, demanding the Phnom Penh governor allow the Land Management Ministry to resolve their cases instead.
“We would like to request the Phnom Penh Governor Pa Socheatvong switch our documents over to the Land Management Ministry for them to solve instead because City Hall’s solutions are an injustice to us,” Ly Channary, one of the seven families awaiting a resolution in the Boeung Kak lake issue, said.
“We have demanded just 53 percent of the total land we occupied in the past but City Hall settled it only by giving us less than 10 percent,” she added, insisting the dispute was ongoing despite City Hall announcing in April that the matter had been resolved.
This protest comes after the Interior Ministry issued a letter to the Land Management Ministry on May 11 asking them to resolve all the pending land disputes.
Sao Phan, 68, also part of the group from the Boeung Kak lake land dispute, said authorities should provide them with additional compensation after they were forced to leave their homes to live in Borey Santepheap, where their homes have been flooded and their overall standard of living has drastically declined.
But City Hall vice governor and spokesperson Mean Chanyada insisted April’s announcement regarding the resolution of the Boeung Kak and Borei Keila land dispute still stands, making their requests for the Land Management Ministry to take over invalid.
“We have already solved this problem and given the housing rights to them in principle. Please come and accept the compensation which is part of the resolution,” he said.
However, Housing Rights Taskforce executive director Sia Phearum called on the government to provide residents with an acceptable compensation package or risk undermining their votes and trust in the government.

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