Written By vibykhmer on Monday, January 12, 2009 | 3:58 PM
Two of Dey Krahorm's remaining 120 residents sit in their slum house last week. (Photo by: Tracey Shelton)
Monday, 12 January 2009
Written by Chhay Channyda
The Phnom Penh Post
Eager to relocate the remaining 120 families at Dey Krahorm, developer 7NG has offered more compensation but not as much as residents want
DEY Krahorm developer 7NG raised its offer of compensation for those agreeing to leave their houses, but declared they would not match the amount requested by the slum's defiant residents.
"This morning, they offered us an additional US$5,000 [taking the total cash compensation to $15,000] and another water tank," resident representative Chan Vichet said, adding that people have asked for between $30,000 and $60,000.
"The $15,000 is not a definite price for us to leave Dey Krahorm. We can still negotiate," he said. "But we do not expect to get what we are asking for."
After the last eviction deadline passed on December 30, residents met on multiple occasions with representatives of developer 7NG and resident officials to renegotiate compensation, seeking an increase from the previous offer of $10,000 plus a sum of 770,000 riels ($188.22).
Srey Sothea, 7NG company chairman, told the Post Thursday that $15,000 is just a base offer but the company could give more.
"We cannot make an equal offer to each family. We can give them more than $15,000, but not up to $30,000," he said, calling the current offer "generous" considering most residents' standard of living.
Srey Sothea said that peaceful negotiation could not go on indefinitely because he knew that some people at the site would not leave regardless.
"Negotiation is limited because we have negotiated for four years. No later than this month or next month, the authorities will take legal action. We respect the law," he said.
Residents have complained about various acts of violence by 7NG employees during the last couple of months, claiming that residents have been beaten and property destroyed. Company officials have denied such claims.
By the end of December, Chan Vichet estimated that about 120 families out of the original 1,465 were still living at Dey Krahorm, many in fear of arrest for defying eviction orders.
Bunn Rachana, monitor at the Housing Rights Task Force, called on authorities and the company to continue peaceful negotiations with the residents.
"Fair and just compensation is [only achieved] when both sides can happily enjoy the benefit of development," Bunn Rachana added.