Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pigpen plans rile Apsara Authority

Pigpen plans rile Apsara Authority

Pigpen plans rile Apsara Authority

A SAM Rainsy Party lawmaker has asked Deputy Prime Minister Sok An to intervene on behalf of more than 1,000 Siem Reap families banned from building various structures on land controlled by the Apsara Authority.

In a letter dated July 23, SRP lawmaker Ke Sovannroth said that the Apsara Authority was unfairly preventing 1,255 families in six villages in Angkor Thom district’s Leang Dai commune from building market stalls, a kindergarten and other facilities.

“Please Excellency Deputy Prime Minister help to intervene and resolve the requests of these 1,255 families so that they can live more easily,” the letter said.

Sok An is chairman of the authority.
Tan Thea, a resident of Leang Dai village, said he had operated a market stall for two years until it was demolished earlier this year by employees of the authority.

“It has been very difficult to earn a living since then,” he said.

But Chrun Sophal, director of the communications department at the authority, defended the ban, contending that the villagers’ request to build market stalls, a school, pigpens and chicken cages could jeopardise the World Heritage status of the Angkor Wat complex.

“If we allow those people to rebuild, the number of people building things would increase more and more. If that happened, UNESCO would withdraw us from the World Heritage list,” he said.

“If they really want to make pigpens and chicken cages, we will allow them to do it, but they must come to discuss it with the Apsara Authority beforehand."

However, Muth Mam, deputy chief of Leang Dai village, said residents of his village were far enough away that they should not be forced to seek approval from the Apsara Authority to build animal pens.

“Our village is about 3 kilometres away from Angkor Wat, so it does not affect the temple complex,” he said.

Rights groups and opposition parties have previously rallied in support of villagers, who they say are suffering under restrictive regulations laid out by the Apsara Authority.

A 2002 census estimated that more than 100,000 residents lived in the protected zones that encompass the Angkor Wat complex.

MOST VIEWED

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to