A fire which destroyed 235 makeshift houses and killed a bed-ridden woman occurred
one day after community representatives visited a site in Kandal proposed for their
Wat Prayavong community leader Kim Saray said a delegation from the shanty had visited
a site set aside for the squatter's resettlement.
But he said many of the squatters didn't want to move.
The next day the squatter village was raised, and the Wat extensively damaged, in
the fire south of the Independence Monument.
A monk from the wat said he had earlier asked the government to help move the people
who were living there because he wanted to " develop this Wat as good as the
The fire - which raced through the Wat Prayuvong squatter community early afternoon
Dec 5 - was reportedly started after a gas stove was knocked over during a domestic
Aid groups immediately provided emergency food and shelter for victims of the fire,
many of whom lost all their possessions - and the Phnom Penh Municipality provided
20 kg of rice to each homeless family.
Others were less charitable, however.
A translation of an article published in Rasmei Kampuchea Dec 6 read: "This
is a good occasion...when the houses of Wat Prayuvong are shut down [because] an
immoral mob of law violators live there."