Home > Local News > Boeung Kak protest erupts

Boeung Kak protest erupts

Tuesday, 21 December 2010 21:07 Chhay Channyda
Police guard the office of Boeung Kak lake developer Shukaku Inc while
protesters care for village representative Ly Mom, who fainted during a
protest yesterday. Photo by: Heng Chivoan
About 100 residents from Boeung Kak lake’s Village 7 clashed with
police on Tuesday during a heated protest relating to the recent
flooding of lakeside homes by local developer Shukaku Inc.

The
protesters gathered at the developer’s office at the lakeside, urging
Prime Minister Hun Sen to intervene to halt the pumping of sand into
the lake and reevaluate compensation packages for those agreeing to
relocate for a controversial development.

The protest turned
violent when a Shukaku worker ordered police employed by the developer
to destroy a protestor’s banner, knocking two villagers to the ground.
Village representative Ly Mom also fell to the ground unconscious
during the protest.

Hout Motdy, a resident of Village 20, said that she was frustrated by the lack of action on the part of the authorities.

“I
have been everywhere, including Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house, the
Prime Minister’s Cabinet, City Hall, the Daun Penh district office and
the developer’s office, but they just sent us from place to place,” she
said.

“This shows the intention of the government not to address our issue.”

Hout Motdy said villagers have never heard Hun Sen address the Boeung Kak development issue in public.

“If Samdech [Hun Sen] just says one word to let us stay, we will be able to stay here,” she said.

Rights
groups say more than 4,000 families are set to be displaced by the
133-hectare commercial and housing development project, which is being
built by Shukaku, a firm owned by ruling party senator Lao Meng Khin.

Lim
Leang Se, deputy chief of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet, said yesterday
that the government had a clear plan for relocating the villagers from
the development zone.

He added that city authorities would
coordinate with the developer to pay the villagers compensation,
provided they had “formal supporting documents or any identification
papers”.

“The compensation options are either an apartment in
another area, cash reparations or the building of a house at the
development zone,” Lim Leang Se said.

Also yesterday, City Hall issued a statement calling on people not to be incited by small groups of protesters.

“Phnom
Penh Municipality appeals to people living under the Boeung Kak
development project not to listen to a few small opportunists”, it
said, asking villagers to contact the development firm to work out
compensation payments.

It stated that about 2,000 families from the lake had already accepted government compensation packages.

Daun Penh deputy governor Sok Penh Vuth, who visited the scene of the protest yesterday, declined to comment.

The Phnom Penh Post
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Categories: Local News
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