A rift is widening between two groups at Boeung Kak lake despite the Phnom Penh municipal authority approving a sewage system both parties had requested.
BOEUNG KAK LAKESIDE RESIDENTS HOLD UP THUMB-PRINTED PETITIONS DURING A RALLY YESTERDAY IN PHNOM PENH. THE PROTESTERS CALLED ON CITY HALL TO GRANT LAND TITLES TO AN ADDITIONAL 58 FAMILIES. PHOTO BY HENG CHIVOAN
About 60 Boeung Kak residents used a press conference about land titles yesterday to criticise city hall’s decision to approve a sewage system based on a request from villager Ly Mom, whom the group has renounced as their representative.
Following a meeting with 21 of the group’s representatives last week, the municipal authority released a statement saying it could not approve land titles because it went “beyond the competency of Phnom Penh Capital Hall”.
It also said a sewage system the group had asked for had already been approved after a request from Ly Mom.
“Phnom Penh Capital Hall has already approved this,” the statement says.
Tep Vanny, a representative of the protesters, said the villagers no longer trusted Ly Mom, and questioned why the municipal authority still considered her to be their representative.
The group suspected she had “bad intentions” that could threaten the villagers’ interests, Tep Vanny said.
Ly Mom said villagers suspected her of receiving benefits from development firm Shukaku and the authority, but all she was doing was seeking a peaceful resolution for all Boeung Kak residents.
“Making a sewage system to avoid flooding in Boeung Kak is beneficial not only for me, but for all residents,” she said.
“I tried to protest for various solutions for those who had been cut from the land title project because they are the actual victims who deserve a solution from the authority.”
The 60 residents again called for 58 families to be issued land titles.
“The municipal authority must give them land titles because they share a part of the 12.44 hectares,” Tep Vanny said.
Tong Heng, 61, from village 22, said he wanted the authority to erect marker posts that deliniated the 12.44 hectares – a request the municipality said it would do “after the issuance of land titles”.