Armed with pots and pans, 40 anti-eviction activists from Phnom Penh’s Borei Keila and Boeung Kak communities yesterday joined together to sing in protest in front of the Land Management Ministry to urge resolutions to their long-running land disputes.
Phork Phin, a representative of the Borei Keila evictees, said she turned out to sing to remind the ministry that her community had been shortchanged after the Phan Imex company promised in 2008 to build 10 buildings for the community, then built only eight.
“They do not give us justice, and the authorities have accused us of being stubborn or from the opposition party,” Phin said. She said the compensation of $3,000 to $5,000 per family was inadequate.
For their performance, 20 of the singing protesters gained an audience with ministry spokesman Seng Lot, who told them to take their grievances to City Hall. City spokesman Mean Chanyada said only that the authorities wished the two communities would stop protesting.
“Only peaceful discussions can find the solution,” he said. “If they keep protesting, how can we find a solution?”