Public Forum On “Consultations on housing issues with community residents remaining Borey Keila”

In early 2003, a “land-sharing” arrangement was proposed for Borei Keila, which allowed the well-connected construction company, Phanimex, to develop part of the area for commercial purposes while providing housing to the residents on the remaining land. Phanimex was obligated to build 10 apartment buildings on two hectares of land for the villagers in return for obtaining ownership of an additional 2.6 hectares for commercial development. In April 2010, Phanimex unilaterally reneged on the agreement, however – with the approval of the government – and only constructed eight buildings. The 300 Borei Keila families excluded from the original agreement had their houses demolished by Phanimex (eight community representatives were arrested at the time), and have been living on the site since then. In January 2012, the remaining community members who were waiting for the two promised buildings to be constructed had their shelters bulldozed by the company and supported by local authorities and were forced to leave the site. On August 12, 2014, the Phnom Penh Municipality organized a public forum to find a solution to this ongoing Borey Keila housing crisis at Chenla Theatre. The program was open to public participation from residents, civil society, and other relevant organizations that depend on the City Hall set up under Mr. Khoung Sreng, Deputy Governor of Phnom Penh.To keep order there, a team of City Hall officials arrived one hour before the program opened at Chenla Theatre. Approximately 300 people participated in the forum, which was chaired by deputy of Phnom Penh Governor Mr. Khoung Sreng. However, this forum was just the platform for collecting the relevant documents to be used as evidences for a final resolution in the near future. Mr. Khoung Sreng confirmed that City Hall has the resources to provide compensation to the remaining residents. He also stated that this program will be offered to citizens who present verification that they own the land to the City Hall team. There are many documents that applicants need to provide such as: grid, national list, voting card, family book, doctor certificate, and identity card. The City Hall team also recorded evidence and people’s thumbprints to confirm that they provided the necessary. Before closing, Khoung Sreng said that the purpose of this program it just to collect and verify evidence for the Borey Keila case. At the end, he also said that Phnom Penh will help the residents of Borey Keila and will strive to solve all of their problems as soon as possible. 10590084_707602555976066_349850424_n   STT   STT   STT