Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Boeung Kak activists petition World Bank, EU

Boeung Kak activists petition World Bank, EU

Boeung Kak lake activists hold placards outside the European Union Embassy in Phnom Penh yesterday during a protest calling for the release of Tep Vanny.
Boeung Kak lake activists hold placards outside the European Union Embassy in Phnom Penh yesterday during a protest calling for the release of Tep Vanny. Pha Lina

Boeung Kak activists petition World Bank, EU

Close to 20 Boeung Kak lake activists petitioned the European Union and World Bank yesterday asking for their intervention on behalf of jailed fellow activist Tep Vanny and a swift resolution to their land dispute.

Vanny is facing trial later this month for obstructing public officials at a 2011 protest outside City Hall and is under investigation for a 2013 protest outside Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house demanding the release of Boeung Kak activist Yorm Bopha.

Aside from Vanny, the petition asks the World Bank to address the group’s long-standing land dispute. The bank has previously been at the centre of a firestorm for its funding of a land-titling program prior to residents’ forcible eviction.

“Boeung Kak villagers request the EU and World Bank to intervene for Tep Vanny’s release – she was detained unjustly,” the petition reads. “Also, take action for the rest of the villagers who have not yet got a resolution or land titles from the Phnom Penh governor.”

Since 2013, while hundreds of villagers have been granted land titles an estimated 40 families are either awaiting titles or compensation for land lost.

Land activist Bov Sophea said the EU is a major donor to Cambodia, and as a “human rights monitor” the villagers were asking for the institution’s help.

While speaking to the media outside the World Bank, the villagers had a small skirmish with Daun Penh security guards, who did not want them talking to the press near the bank’s front gate.

The petition was received by staffers at both institutions, with a World Bank spokesman only confirming receipt of the document. The EU’s ambassador to Cambodia, George Edgar, said he was still considering what action to take in this case.

“In this case as in other cases, we look to the Cambodian court system to act transparently and fairly, in line with Cambodia’s domestic and international commitments,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • PM warns EU and opposition on 34th anniversary of his rule

    HUN Sen reached the milestone of 34 years as Cambodian prime minister on Monday and used the groundbreaking ceremony for a new ring road around Phnom Penh to tell the international community that putting sanctions on the Kingdom meant killing the opposition. “Please don’t forget