Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers demand answers on railroad

Villagers demand answers on railroad

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Villagers gather to protest yesterday outside Phnom Penh Municipal Hall demanding authorities provide information about a proposed railway development project, citing widespread fear of being evicted without compensation. Hong Menea

Villagers demand answers on railroad

About 100 people yesterday gathered in front of Phnom Penh Municipal Hall to demand information concerning a proposed project to transform a disused railway into a road from the Phnom Penh railway station to Kilometre 6 in Russey Keo district.

The villagers, who hail from Tuol Kork and and Daun Penh districts, fear the project will result in their eviction.  “The municipal hall is still hiding information relating to the railway project . . . We are afraid of having the same fate as Beoung Kak, Thmor Kol and Borei Keila,” said Ny Sandos, a representative of village 23 in Tuol Kork, referring to several notorious land disputes.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Community members gather to protest yesterday outside Phnom Penh Municipal Hall. Hong Menea

According to villager Neang Phannith, City Hall permitted a handful of people inside to speak with officials. However, villagers were prevented from copying documents laying out plans for the railway’s transformation.

Maintaining that there was currently no concrete plan in place for the railway’s conversion into a thoroughfare, City Hall Deputy Administration Director Hok Huorlim, said that if the project does begin,  “we will inform all the people via a public forum by explaining the reasons or the size of the impacts”. Similarly Met Measpheakdey, Phnom Penh Municipal Hall spokesman, yesterday insisted no project was underway.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Villagers outside Phnom Penh Municipal Hall. Hong Menea

 “People worry because they saw our officials went to measure,” he said, maintaining the measurement was unrelated. Human rights NGO Licadho’s monitoring manager, Am Sam Ath, said he supported efforts to obtain more clarity regarding the project.  “If there is [any] impact how will City Hall solve the problem for the people?” he asked.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,