Families Evicted After Fires May Be Evicted Again

Nineteen families who were evicted following the burning down of their communities in 2001 and 2002 in Chamkar Mon district’s Tonle Bassac Commune may soon face a second eviction from their new homes in Sen Sok District’s Khmuonh Commune’s Village 5.

According to residents, they are being asked to move again to make way for the expansion of a hospital. Village 5 resident Kao Chantha, a former resident of Tonle Bassac commune, said authorities told him he must move again. “If they want me to move out, they have to make proper compensation,” Mr Chantha said.

Khorn An, 52, another former Tonle Bassac resident, whose family is affected by HIV/AIDS, said that local authorities threatened to evict her if she did not leave voluntarily. “They forced me to give my thumbprint on paper, without giving me detailed information,” she said.

Chief of Village 5 Chan Rey said that the two-time evictees would be given sites elsewhere, and that they were not being forced to leave but simply being asked. “We will give them land nearby in exchange,” she said.

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