Saturday, November 19, 2011

Villagers protest for more flats

 
More than 100 Borei Keila villagers took to the streets yesterday to demand that Phanimex Company owner Suy Sophan honour a contract signed in 2003 that promised housing for 1,776 families in exchange for land.

The protesters, holding banners, statues of the spirit and a pig’s head, set tyres on fire near the Prampimakara district hall before marching to the office of Phanimex Company and calling on Suy Sophan to build homes for the 384 families still waiting.

About 40 coalition police authorities of Prampimakara district prevented the protesters crossing another road, fearing that they were headed for Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house. 

Police and protesters pushed one another, but no one was hurt.

The protesters’ demands relate to an agreement made in 2003  that was to involve 10 six-storey buildings on a two-hectare plot of land to grant to 1,776 families in Borei Keila area homes in exchange for a 2.6 hectare land plot that would be used for another development.

Only eight of the buildings have been constructed, leaving 384 families waiting.

The protesters accused some Phanimex Company staff, the president and vice-president of Borei Keila community and their representatives of colluding to sell flats to people from other areas, a contravention of government policy.

Protester Khieu Lai said hundreds of families living in Borei Keila were not allowed to enter the eight buildings because they “did not have enough documents”.

“But they [company officers] collude together to sell flats to those from other areas,” she said.

Protester Chorn Samaki, 26, said the remaining families wanted Suy Sophan to honour the contract and build them a home. “Please, all relevant authorities, review the contract for the company to make two more buildings for us to live in,” he said.

A Veal Vong commune official who asked not be named said the company planned to give flats to more villagers.