Five Boeung Kak community representatives yesterday met with World Bank officials to seek their help in securing more compensation and assistance in helping resolve the community’s chronic land disputes.
Im Sreytouch, one of the five representatives, said after the afternoon meeting that the World Bank bears responsibility in ensuring the Boeung Kak land disputes are resolved.
Sreytouch said representatives asked for an additional $20,000 in compensation for some Boeung Kak families that have already received compensation ranging from $2,000 to $8,000. They were also seeking a solution for families who have not received any compensation and want to return to the land authorities evicted them from.
“I am disappointed toward the World Bank’s action,” she said. “It seems not to show any concerns over our sufferings.”
Phan Chhunret, who was also at the meeting, said she suggested the bank urge the government to issue land titles. “I only asked for a land title, and the [World Bank] said they will urge the government,” she said.
The World Bank left Cambodia in protest in 2011 after a government land-titling program it had funded was accused of mismanagement, perhaps most notably at Boeung Kak.
Bank spokesman Saroeum confirmed the villagers met with country manager Inguna Dobraja, and were told “that a fair and peaceful resolution of land conflict is critical to Cambodia’s sustained economic and social development”.
Additional reporting by Yesenia Amaro