Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Interior Ministry gives park move green light



Interior Ministry gives park move green light

A man strolls along a path at the future site of Freedom Park in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district along National Road 5.
A man strolls along a path at the future site of Freedom Park in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district along National Road 5. Hong Menea

Interior Ministry gives park move green light

The Ministry of Interior has officially approved Phnom Penh City Hall’s controversial plans to move the city’s designated protest area, Freedom Park, from the city’s centre to a disused patch of land further out of town.

Municipal spokesman Met Measpheakdey said yesterday that the city had received the approval letter from the ministry last week.

“We are going to start meeting with the experts on what the new Freedom Park will be like ... like [whether] we are going to build toilets, put lights over there we will know after the meeting,” he said. “We want to get it done soon.”

Measpheakdey reiterated the city’s plans to construct privately operated underground parking at the current park site.

Freedom Park was the site of a mass opposition sit-in following the disputed 2013 elections until supporters were violently evicted by masked thugs in 2014. Critics of the proposed move have said it will effectively put protesters out of sight and out of mind, with some also suggesting that the remoteness of the new site could be aimed at keeping ugly crackdowns out of the public eye.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said yesterday that the move had been prompted by complaints from nearby businesses, which include several large corporations, whom he said were “fed up with the demonstrations”.

“The old Freedom Park will be a public garden. We don’t think the new Freedom Park is too far away for the people.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian