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Borei Keila evictees mark four-year anniversary

A young boy watches on as an digger levels dwellings at Phnom Penh’s Borei Keila community in 2012.
A young boy watches on as an digger levels dwellings at Phnom Penh’s Borei Keila community in 2012. Heng Chivoan

Borei Keila evictees mark four-year anniversary

Around 50 residents from the displaced Borei Keila community held a ceremony yesterday to mark the fourth anniversary of their eviction.

On January 3, 2012, police and security forces from the Phanimex company evicted hundreds families from the Borei Keila area, arresting 11 people.

Although 10 apartment buildings were promised to house the displaced, only eight have been built, leaving many homeless and living in squalid conditions.

In November 2015, 34 of the 154 families that have continued to protest were offered on-site housing by authorities. But to their dismay, the others were offered poor-quality houses in a distant corner of the capital’s Por Sen Chey district, or $3,000 to $5,000 in compensation.

“It has been four years that the company and authorities cleared our houses without offering any compensation, and it has been four years that we, the hundred families, live in trash piles and underneath staircases like animals,” said community representative Chum Ngan, following a prayer given by 10 monks.

Ngan called the resolution achieved in November “unacceptable” and “a new kind of eviction”.

“Why don’t the authorities just offer us a flat by just building up one more floor on those eight already-finished buildings?” she said.

Suy Sophan, Phanimex owner, and Long Dimanche, City Hall spokesman, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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