Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Boeung Kak lake residents take case to Supreme Court

Boeung Kak lake residents take case to Supreme Court

Boeung Kak lake residents take case to Supreme Court

081229_03.jpg
081229_03.jpg

Following another blow to legal efforts against forced eviction, lake residents to seek justice from Cambodia’s highest court  

Photo by: Chhay Channyda

A woman identified as Chan Tha is consoled by fellow Boeung Kak villagers after Thursday’s Appeals Court ruling.

The attorney representing residents of Boeung Kak lake says he will lodge a complaint against their forced eviction with the Supreme Court after the Phnom Penh Appeal Court rejected a motion last week to stop development at the lake.

The lake, which is under a 99-year lease to Shukaku Inc, is currently being filled in by the company in preparation for development that will eventually displace some 4,000 families. Those set to lose their homes argue that they are not being fairly compensated. Rights groups, meanwhile, say the evictions are symptomatic of a general disregard for property rights.

The residents' lawyer, Choung Choungy, called the appeals hearings on Thursday "unjust", adding that "if the judge followed the rule of law, we would have won the case".

Residents waiting outside the courthouse were in a frenzy after a rejection of the appeal was announced.

"I depend on the court to find justice for our residents, but the court serves only the rich," said Chan Tha, who owns a home along the lake.

Another devastated resident, Be Pharom, insisted the legal proceedings were riddled with corruption. "For the poor, there is no justice," she said.

Attempts to block the development of the lake began in September when thousands of affected families filed an injunction at the Municipal Court demanding the project be halted. All court petitions so far have been denied.

Communities near the lake have also blamed floodwaters that forced the closure of many schools in the area for as many as three months on the filling of the lake, which environmentalists and urban planners have noted absorbs a significant volume of the rainy season's downpour.

Cheng Peng Hab, the lawyer for Shukaku who was present at the Appeals Court, insisted any complaints against the company were misplaced because it is not a party in the dispute.

"This case is a dispute between the people and Phnom Penh Municipality. Our company rented the land from the municipality. Therefore, the authorities of Phnom Penh  have to work it out with the people."

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all