Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Base reignites Boeung Kak feud

Base reignites Boeung Kak feud

Sok Penhvuth, deputy governor of Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district
Sok Penhvuth, deputy governor of Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district, watches over the situation at Boeung Kak lake yesterday after a disagreement amongst villages turned violent. ELI MEIXLER

Base reignites Boeung Kak feud

A new military police station planned for the heart of Phnom Penh’s dissonant Boeung Kak neighbourhood that authorities say will better protect the area has left its residents at war.

On Saturday morning, supporters of high-profile activist Tep Vanny, who want plans for the base to be put on hold until a solution is reached on a 12.44-hectare concession area, clashed with supporters of rival activist Heng Mom, who believe the base will offer increased protection.

“We still stand for protesting … if Phnom Penh municipal authorities don’t give a proper solution to our Boeung Kak villagers. But we will not protest blindly like Tep Vanny’s group,” Mom told the Post yesterday.

Activist Nget Khun, 74, said she sustained head injuries after being pelted with stones by activist and Mom supporter Tol Srey Pov.

Khun, who shared a prison cell with Mom in 2012 when the pair were among 13 convicted of occupying state land and obstructing public officials, blamed the authorities.

“I think that those things were set up by the authorities to break our solidarity,” Khun said, adding that she has filed an official complaint against Srey Pov.

Srey Pov admitted to throwing rocks because Khun “pushed me to the ground and threw pebbles in my face”.

But Daun Penh district Deputy Governor Sok Penhvuth, who kept watch on the area alongside dozens of his notorious district security guards, said the authorities had nothing to do with the clashes.

“The authorities tried to stop them from using violence … but they kept pushing each other and throwing rocks at each other until some people were injured,” he said.

City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said the military police station was just the first of a number of new bases planned for the area.

“That land belongs to Phnom Penh authorities; it does not belong to a company or community. In the future, the authorities are going to build more buildings for police forces, not only the Daun Penh district military police station,” he said.

A district official who asked not to be named said Khun and others will be invited to meet with authorities today to discuss the ongoing dispute.

MOST VIEWED

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Actress’s NGO takes heat for promoting the ruling party

    An actress’s NGO which participated in an election campaign event contrary to the Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango) has been slammed. Chorn Chanleakena, a celebrity and the president of the Association of Artists Volunteering to Help Society, allegedly led its members in

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not