Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kraya villagers detained after rally in Phnom Penh halted

Kraya villagers detained after rally in Phnom Penh halted

Kraya villagers detained after rally in Phnom Penh halted

091207_02
Heang Soeun, 38, and family are forcibly moved by police along with fellow residents of Kampong Thom’s Kraya commune after they attempted to protest their pending eviction at Wat Botum park Sunday.

DISABLED veterans due to lose their homes in an increasingly tense standoff with authorities Kampong Thom province gathered in Phnom Penh on Sunday in a bid to rally the support of Prime Minister Hun Sen, but were turned back by police.

More than 100 former soldiers and their families were ordered to return to Kampong Thom. Forty-seven did so, but on arrival were barred from re-entering Kraya commune, at the heart of a land dispute since 2007, villagers said.

“They would not allow us to go home, and they tell us they will deploy armed forces tomorrow,” Pann Ta, 42, said Sunday. “We are so sorry to lose our [cassava] plantation in the village because for the past three or four years, we have tried our best to grow it.”

Pich Sophea, Santuk district governor, said the veterans, who are being temporarily detained at a pagoda, will be sent to a new location being offered to the evictees as compensation. He also confirmed that “a coalition” of provincial authorities was poised to forcibly evict the remaining families from Kraya today after several recent delays. Uch Sam On, Kampong Thom deputy governor, said: “We do not know yet whether there will be violence or not, but we have prepared hundreds of police officers.”

Licadho consultant Mathieu Pellerin said the organisation was concerned that the eviction would lead to violence.

“We still fear renewed violence at Kraya,” he said. “The deadline has passed; the offer of compensation has been rejected. We hope the authorities won’t use violence as a final solution. These families have a legitimate claim to the land and we recognise the strong will of the community to remain on that land.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong