Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Demolition in Russey Keo

Demolition in Russey Keo

Demolition in Russey Keo

Riot police provide security yesterday while homes are dismantled in Tuol Kork village, in Russei Keo district’s Tuol Sangke commune.

Roughly 200 armed military police and police from Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district descended upon Tuol Sangke commune’s Tuol Kork village yesterday to enforce a Supreme Court ruling in favor of a former Funcinpec minister, demolishing the homes of forty-two families, who said they had lived on the land for years.

“I don’t know where I will live, I have only this spot,” Kun Sunlok, a local villager, said yesterday. She said she had bought the land legally, and claimed she spent more than US$100,000 to build the home she has lived in for seven years. “It is equal to my life,” she said.

The action, carried out in coordination with Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Hing Bun Chea and Russey Keo district governor Khlaing Huot, enforced a 2007 verdict in favour of Khun Haing, a former Funcincpec Minister of Religions and Cults who is now a member of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

Residents said they had built their homes with permission from commune authorities, and pointed out that construction had taken place over a significant period of time.

“The village chief and commune chief allowed people to build, then people built homes with two or three floors,” resident Nget Thyda said. “If it is the land dispute of Excellency Khun Haing, why didn’t he oppose [construction] when people started?”

Hing Bun Chea said he was merely enforcing a court ruling.

“I don’t know if he bought the land from anyone, I am enforcing the verdict to take the land to give to Khun Haing,” he said.

Khlaing Huot informed reporters that the enforcement was rectifying a land-grab by a “powerful man”, who had then sold the land to locals.

“This area is very complicated. On behalf of the authorities, I am happy with this enforcement,” Khlaing Huot said.

He said none of the villagers had land titles, and offered $1 million to anyone who produced a legitimate one.

Ouch Leng, a land programme officer for the rights group Adhoc who observed the demolition, said local authorities were at fault for allowing people to buy up disputed land.

“It is a mistake of the authorities,” he said. “The authorities did not prevent the construction.”

Residents say they bought the land from former Preah Vihear provincial governor Meas Savoeun, whose wife won ownership over 6,000 square metres Tuol Kork in a 2004 ruling by Un Bunna, a judge at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

In 2007, however, a ruling by the Supreme Court  reversed the verdict.


  • Professor beaten by mob in Phnom Penh after alleged hit-and-run

    Updated with new information: 6:44am, Tuesday March 13 2018 A university professor accused of a hit-and-run has been transported to Vietnam with serious head injuries after he was brutally beaten by a mob in Phnom Penh late Sunday afternoon. A video of the attack shows a group

  • American ‘fugitive’ arrested in Cambodia outside of US Embassy

    An American citizen was arrested on request by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, according to Cambodian police. Major General Uk Hei Sela, chief of investigations at the Department of Immigration, identified the man as American Jan Sterling Hagen, and said he was

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of