Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov greenlights work on new Freedom Park

Gov greenlights work on new Freedom Park

Vendors seen yesterday at the new site of Freedom Park, which will be located in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district.
Vendors seen yesterday at the new site of Freedom Park, which will be located in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district. Hong Menea

Gov greenlights work on new Freedom Park

Phnom Penh Governor Pa Socheatvong yesterday ordered work to begin on a new “Freedom Park” on the capital’s outskirts, after inspecting the site on National Road 5, according to officials.

Prime Minister Hun Sen announced last week that authorities would relocate the current Freedom Park – a public space in the city’s centre designated for demonstrations – to a more remote, less visible site.

However, City Hall spokesman Mean Chanyada said yesterday that the Interior Ministry had yet to formally approve the move, and that the governor, after an inspection yesterday, gave the municipal public works department the green light to start converting a 2-hectare plot next to a large Sokimex petrol station in Russey Keo district for use as a new park and protest site.

The work will include growing plants, adding parking facilities, building toilets and constructing a space for exercise, according to the governor’s remarks, which were reported in local media. The Interior Ministry’s Khieu Sopheak was unreachable yesterday.

Officials have said the move was prompted by complaints about protests at the current site, near Wat Phnom and the US Embassy, which has been heavily used by activists and the opposition CNRP. Observers, however, suggested the city was effectively putting dissenters out of sight and out of mind.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann yesterday again criticised the move. “We declare that when CNRP holds the government, Freedom Park will be back to the old location,” Sovann said.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,