Last days at the lake?

Nov. 29, 2010. As sand continues destroying homes in Boeung Kak’s Village 1, residents of Village 22 are facing increased pressure by authorities to accept the compensation offered and leave the area. Previously, villagers have reportedly received a notice, signed by Khan Governor Sok Sambath, urging them to accept compensation within seven days from Nov. 17 or face “strict measures”. While that deadline has come and gone, and several residents have accepted compensation in the meantime, remaining residents now say company representatives together with local authorities are visiting residents’ homes and photographing them in front of their houses, ostensibly to verify that they have not built new structures since a 2005 survey conducted by the local authorities.

According to an amateur translation of the Nov. 17 notice #1014:

“The District Governor of Daun Penh would like to inform the residents who living in village 22 (in BKL development) in Srah Chork commune that:

The Government of Cambodia has permitted policy to the City Hall of Phnom Penh and Shukaku Inc company to resolved the residents who impact from the Development of Beoung Kak Lake by the last the committer has resolved to two villages Phum 2 and Phum 4 already.

The District office, therefore, to fast to resolve by the policy the Government of Cambodia and the City Hall of Phnom Penh and to defend to destroy, ruin, or lost of property and avoid the accident to the living of the resident the Governor of Daun Penh request the resident in Phum 22 hurry to communication the policy of committee at office in Srah Chork commune, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh central in time work within 07 days commencing the date of this notice.

The Governor District of Daun Penh strict measures will be taken by the authority who won’t beresponsible for damages or lost of property.

The Governor District of Daun Penh hope that your spirit, (brothers and sisters) are willing to take part in the planning of development in order to reserve to public and carrying out this notification.”

In the meantime, 24 families living along the railway in Village 1 are in limbo. Shukaku Inc. is refusing to pay them compensation, referring them instead to Toll Royal Railways, the Australian-Cambodian joint venture that has a 30 year concession for the Kingdom’s railways. It remains unclear who the families should turn to. You can read the Phnom Penh Post’s coverage of the issue here.

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