Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Migrants at park to be moved

Migrants at park to be moved

Authorities tear apart a dwelling
Authorities tear apart a dwelling yesterday morning in Siem Reap’s Kulen National Park after cottages there were deemed illegal. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Migrants at park to be moved

Police and forestry officials over the past two days razed more than 200 makeshift huts, which they said were illegally built at the foot of Siem Reap’s Phnom Kulen National Park by migrant residents who logged the protected forest.

“They logged the state‘s forest and then built cottages illegally to live there at Phnom Kulen, which is a conservation area, so we must follow our forest law,” said Tea Kim Soth, Siem Reap’s Forest Administration Department chief.

Authorities demolished a total of 208 poorly built shelters at Banteay Srey district’s Tbeng commune during a nonviolent two-day campaign, district police chief Muy Nom said.

Some of the nearly 200 affected people, who originally came from provinces including Banteay Meanchey, Pursat and Battambang, are currently displaced, while others are living with nearby households, Kim Soth added.

“Now, at that area, some villagers are living legally and some are living illegally,” said Tbeng commune community representative Doung Derm. “Most of them are migrants from other provinces and were living there illegally.”

Police are not searching for the villagers, but the Siem Reap Provincial Court has issued a warrant to arrest more than four “ringleaders” who allegedly persuaded residents to live in and log the protected area.

Kim Soth was unable to give the suspects’ names, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation, but said that police are searching for the perpetrators.

The residents refused to give comment.

Also within Siem Reap, 20 families living in the Angkor Wat complex are gearing up to relocate to an eco-village set up by the Apsara Authority after they were found to be overcrowding parts of the World Heritage site.

The families, who were chosen through a lottery, will move before the end of the month to the Run Ta-Ek village, which was constructed in 2010 to house past residents of the temple complex, Apsara spokeswoman Kerya Chau Sun said.

They will mark the first group from the 107 families that applied for the lottery and which Apsara recommended be relocated in an effort to limit housing growth.

“Each family will get land, wood and some materials and tools for building their houses for free,” Chau Sun said.

The new residents will each receive a plot of land where they can build a 15 by 25-metre house and a one-acre (0.4 hectare) farm.

According to Run Ta Ek commune chief Kuy Vey, the Angkor villagers were previously concerned that they will be evicted without compensation.

“But they’re no longer worried . . . since Apsara is not forcibly evicting them after complaints and has provided homes and plots for them,” Vey said.

MOST VIEWED

  • LPG gas explosion injures 13 people, including foreigners, in Siem Reap

    An explosion on Wednesday at a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) car and tuk-tuk refuelling station in Siem Reap city has left 13 people, including an American and a Briton, suffering burns. The seven most severely burned, including a provincial police officer, were sent to a Thai

  • Over 100 Chinese nationals to be deported for online scam

    The Ministry of Interior is planning to deport 128 Chinese nationals after they were arrested in Preah Sihanouk province on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in an online money extortion scam. Y Sokhy, the head of the Department of Counter-terrorism and Transnational Crime, told The Post

  • More than 800 people test positive for HIV in 2018

    The National Aids Authority (NAA) said more than 800 people tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) last year, joining over 76,000 others aged between 15 and 49 in the Kingdom already infected with the virus. The spread of HIV/AIDS in the Kingdom is showing few signs of

  • Rainsy vow to return on Nov 9 dismissed as ‘political warfare’

    An announcement from the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that its “acting president” Sam Rainsy would return to the Kingdom on November 9 was dismissed on Sunday as “political warfare”. The CNRP made the announcement on Friday after a permanent committee meeting chaired by