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Land activists are ‘political’, paid, says Phnom Penh gov

"Black Monday" demonstrators clash with authorities near Chenla Theater in Phnom Penh's Tuol Kork district last month.
"Black Monday" demonstrators clash with authorities near Chenla Theater in Phnom Penh's Tuol Kork district last month. Hong Menea

Land activists are ‘political’, paid, says Phnom Penh gov

Phnom Penh Governor Pa Socheatvong has called on unnamed politicians to stop using Boeung Kak, Borei Keila and SOS land activists for political demonstrations.

Speaking at the University of Agriculture on Saturday ahead of the sixth “Black Monday” protest, in which the activists have been taking part, Socheatvong said they were protesting just to score political points.

“Boeung Kak [activists] do not protest for the sake of Boeung Kak anymore, but for the political goal that they have been employed for,” he said.

Socheatvong also accused Boeung Kak activist Nget Khun, 76, also known as “Mummy”, of taking payments of $5 or $10 to protest, and after demonstrations using it to “hold a party with a can or two of beer”.

Boeung Kak activist Tep Vanny laughed off Socheatvong’s allegations. “We have been protesting for more than 10 years and we still don’t know who gives us money,” she said. “Socheatvong seems to know, so we plan to find him to lead us to the money.”

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