Home > Local News > Eviction anniversary brings tears

Eviction anniversary brings tears

A former Dey Krahorm resident lights incense during a ceremony today
marking two years since the community’s eviction. Photo by: Sovan
Philong.

A boy pauses in front of a poster depicting the 2009 eviction of the
Dey Krahorm community in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district during a
remembrance ceremony yesterday. On January 24, 2009, Dey Krahorm was
bulldozed under the orders of developer 7NG. Evicted families were
relocated to the outskirts of Phnom Penh and Kandal province. Both
sites lacked even the most basic services. Photo by: Sovan Philong.

Former residents of Dey Krahorm pray during a ceremony held by monks to commemorate their eviction. Photo by: Sovan Philong.

Joss sticks are lit by evictees in memory of their former residence. Photo by: Sovan Philong.
Around 200 former residents of the city’s Dey Krahorm community
gathered at the site today to mark the two year anniversary of their
violent eviction from their homes.
Framed by fragrant incense smoke,
monks prayed and despondent villagers cried as they remembered the
destruction of their homes on January 24, 2009.
On that day, dozens of families were forced from the site by police and construction workers employed by local firm 7NG.
Many
of the residents were taken to the Damnak Trayeung relocation site on
the outskirts of Phnom Penh, with little access economic opportunity
and few basic services.
David Pred, executive director of Bridges
Across Borders Cambodia, said some villagers who possessed titles for
land at Dey Krahorm were allocated new land.
While the village initially had poor services, basic infrastructure is being extended to the area.
But
he said those residents who did not receive land at Damnak Trayeung had
“languished” under tarpaulin shelters until they were shifted to a rice
paddy at Tang Khiev village in Kandal province’s Ponhea Leu district.
“It’s a humanitarian disaster out there,” Pred said.
“There was never any plan to deal with people who didn’t have land allocated.”
He
added: “Ninety-five percent of the population in Tang Khiev don’t have
enough food to eat; they can’t make a living; they have health issues;
and there is no running water or sanitation.”
Pred said of the 335 families who initially moved to Tang Khiev, only 75 remain, as people had to leave to find work.
Stickers
distributed tpday at the site depicted the harrowing scenes of January
24, 2009: women and children crying, police wielding batons and
shields, and houses catching fire as they were bulldozed.
Chan
Vicheat, a former Dey Krahorm villager, said the residents could not
forget the eviction while they continued to live in substandard
conditions with limited electricity, no clean water and little security.
“They live like animals,” Chan Vicheat said.
Sia
Phearum, director of the Housing Rights Task Force, said the
anniversary of the eviction was an important reminder of the loss of
the community’s rights.
“The residents who were evicted now live far away,” he said.
“They
lost every right, such as their right to life and right to education,
because the stability of their lives changes one day to another.”
7NG managing director Srey Chanthou could not be reached today.
Chheang Bauna, the firm’s general manager, declined to comment.
Phnom Penh Post
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Categories: Local News
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