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‘Mummy’ gets land title

Boeung Kak lake activist Nget Khun at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court last year after being detained by authorities (left). Yesterday, she was given land certificates from Kuoch Chamroeun, Daun Penh district governor (right).
Boeung Kak lake activist Nget Khun at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court last year after being detained by authorities (left). Yesterday, she was given land certificates from Kuoch Chamroeun, Daun Penh district governor (right). PHOTO SUPPLIED Vireak Mai

‘Mummy’ gets land title

Leading Boeung Kak land-rights activist Nget Khun has received the title to land she has protested to keep for almost a decade, though she says she will not stop protesting while others still await titles.

Khun, a 76-year-old widely known as “Mummy”, received the documents from Daun Penh District Governor Kuoch Chamroeun and representatives of Phnom Penh Municipal Hall yesterday.

“They used to accuse us of settling on state land illegally. But seven or eight years of our struggle is not in vain and I will continue joining protests for land titles,” she said yesterday.

Khun said that the demonstrations could not end while almost 40 families remain without titles.

It comes less than four months after she and six other Boeung Kak activists walked free after five months in Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar prison for blocking off a major road in Phnom Penh during a protest late last year.

Their convictions were handed out just a day after the November 10 protest.

When they were upheld in January, more than 30 NGOs, rights groups and unions slammed the verdicts as “indefensible”, saying the appeal hearing “was characterised by an almost total absence of fair trial rights”.

Speaking yesterday, Chamroeun said that a resolution to the Boeung Kak protests would be achieved step by step, and warned action could be taken against future demonstrations.

“Phnom Penh Municipal Hall will continue to solve this problem and we can also stop them from protesting,” he said.

The protests stem from the granting of a 99-year lease in 2007 to allow real estate company Shukaku Inc, owned by ruling party Senator Lao Meng Khin, to pursue a development costing $79 million.

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