Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Threats mount as Borei Keila holdout families protest coming eviction

Threats mount as Borei Keila holdout families protest coming eviction

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Borei Keila residents. Hong Menea

Threats mount as Borei Keila holdout families protest coming eviction

Around 14 families from Phnom Penh’s Borei Keila neighbourhood gathered on Thursday outside Prampi Makara district hall to protest their imminent eviction.

The protesters were among hundreds of families who were forcefully evicted in January 2012 to make way for a large-scale construction project overseen by Phanimex, a development company owned by prominent tycoon Suy Sophan.

While the rest have since either accepted on-site housing compensation or relocated to the outskirts with cash, the families held out, rejecting the last offer of eight million riel ($2,000) and a 20sqm flat from the municipal hall.

The holdout families also demanded that the authorities stop using violence against them.

Touh Chantha, a 56-year-old currently living under a zinc-roof home near the former Borei Keila complex, said the authorities had, on August 15, imposed a final ultimatum requiring them to vacate the land within two weeks.

“The authorities warned they would evict us one day after the deadline and would not be responsible for any losses or damages incurred during the eviction,” she said.

Uon Korngvisakor, who previously rejected compensation of 10 million riel and a 20sqm flat back in 2017, saw the latest ultimatum as a threat and a last-ditch attempt to remove the holdout Borei Keila community from the land that had been sold on to a Chinese-owned company.

“We gathered in front of Prampi Makara district hall to request the authorities stop threatening, intimidating, and using physical violence against us. The company has not followed the agreement brokered by Prime Minister Hun Sen,” she said.

Tang Kimsroy, former Rovong Moul community chief in the neighbourhood who had agreed to accept on-site housing compensation, said Phanimex promised to build 10 apartment buildings but had so far constructed only eight, leaving them in limbo.

“The authorities should urge the company to stick to the 2013 agreement and offer acceptable compensation to the remaining families,” she said.

Kimsroy claimed the authorities intended to grant the land to CEO KT Pacific, a Chinese firm which he said planned to construct a commercial 33-storey tower.

Prampi Makara district governor Lim Sophea could not be reached for comment. Neither could municipal hall spokesperson Met Meas Pheakdey and deputy municipal governor Mean Chanyada, who is also chairman of the Borei Keila dispute resolution committee.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • School reopening can’t wait

    With the Covid-19 pandemic now well into its second year, safely reopening schools has become an urgent priority. School attendance is critical for children’s education and lifetime prospects. The long-term costs of closures – both for individual children and society – are simply too large to

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of