Monday, March 16, 2009

Canadia Bank's land-grabbing tactic in Reek Reay community: Fenced in the residents and grab their lands

A house in Reek Reay community, Phnom Penh city, is being demolished by the workers hired by the Canadia bank on 15 March 2009 (Photo: Ouk Savborey, RFA)

Canadia Bank starts to demolish Reek Reay community in Phnom Penh city

15 March 2009
By Ouk Savborey
Radio Free Asia
Translated from Khmer by Socheata
Click here to read the article in Khmer

On Sunday 15 March 2009, residents of the Reek Reay community, Group 46A, Village No. 8, claimed that workers for the Canadia Bank used force to demolish their homes, and the workers also fenced the residents, preventing them from leaving or coming into their homes if the residents refused to sell their lands to the Borey Bassac Park Villa company.
Bun That, a young man who resides in Village No. 8, Group 46A in the Reek Reay community, indicated that the bank set a price limit for each plot of land and the home on it to: either (1) $20,000 (in compensation) or (2) a row house measuring 4-meter-by-10-meter located in Dangkao distritct plus $10,000 if the residents agree to leave. If the residents refuse to leave, they will use force to demolish their houses, and they will fence in the residents’ houses to prevent them from leaving or coming into their houses. As of today, the bank’s workers have used force to demolish 9 homes already.

Bun That said: “The Cambodia Bank company fenced us in to grab our land, if we are involved in the sale of our land to other individuals.”

Chan Bunthol, a teacher at Sisowath high school who is protecting his home, said that the Canadia Bank’s workers act like thieves when they are using force to demolish people’s homes during a weekend: “ I don’t have time to go teach anymore now, because I am afraid they will come and demolish my home.”

Heng Samphoas, the president of the Reek Reay community, indicated that, up to now, some of the community residents have agreed to sell their homes to the Canadia Bank: “When they attack (to demolish) houses like this, we, as neighbors who are living nearby and we have not sold our homes yet, we have fear, then they (Canadia Bank) told us to go negotiate. They told us this or that date will be the end of the negotiations.”

Hor Vannak, chief of Village No. 8, Group 46A, Reek Reay community, said that in his village, there are more than 200 families living in more than 200 houses. Most of them are civil servants. He said that the village is connected to the road and the park of the Koh Pech development zone. Later on, the residents received offers to sell their lands and homes by the Canadia Bank and by a number of private groups.

He said that he is not certain about the number of residents who sold their lands to the Canadia Bank and the other private groups: “The region over the Reek Ray dike is located right on the city road, as well as on the path of the bridge crossing to Koh Pech, the second bridge (that is).”

Phal Sithon, the Tonle Bassac deputy commune chief, said that according the directive no. 157, dated 30 January 2009, issued by the Council of Ministers, decided that there will either be a development of the Reek Reay community at the same spot or the residents will receive another house measuring 4-meter-by-10-meter in the suburb as compensation plus $10,000 in cash.

Phal Sithon said: “A portion of the land belongs to Chumteav Hun Neng (Hun Sen’s sister-in-law), and on the other portion, people have built their homes to live on, but the Canadia Bank claimed that it was their land. I saw the development plan signed by Kep Chuktema (Phnom Penh city governor) in 2006, but the residents have been living here since the 90s.”

Regarding this issue, RFA could not reach a representative of the Canadia Bank on Sunday to obtain clarifications on this issue.

No comments:

Post a Comment