Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers face eviction again in Phnom Penh

Villagers face eviction again in Phnom Penh

Villagers face eviction again in Phnom Penh

Children mill about on a dirt path near shacks at the Andong relocation site on the outskirts of Phnom Penh last year. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post

Villagers evicted from the former Sambok Chab community in the capital’s Dangkor district in 2006 face eviction for the second time – this time without any compensation, evictees told the Post yesterday.

According to villager Heng Pheng Chun, 26, authorities in Por Sen Chey district have issued letters to 19 families in Kork Roka commune’s Andong village, informing them their houses must be torn down by October 3 to make way for a new road.

“In the letter, it said that if we have not torn down our homes by then, they will take action against us and will not be held responsible for any property loss,” he said, adding that he had relocated to Andong village as instructed by authorities.

“They have forced us out of one town already, so where am I supposed to go? There is no justice for poor people like me.”

The Phnom Penh municipal authority deployed police forces equipped with electric shock batons and shields to force 1,554 families from their homes in Sambok Chab in 2006.

Families were relocated to Andong village, about 25 kilometres from the city centre.

Resident Horm Hoy, 36, said villagers had been informed that their relocation site was meant to be temporary, but the officials had never offered replacement land as promised.

“So I will not tear down my home, because I don’t know where I will go,” he said. “Only if they compensate me will I agree.”

Sok Chham, village chief of Andong III, said his duty was only to bring the letter to villagers rather than to provide them a solution.

“I don’t know why these villagers will not receive compensation,” he said.

District Governor Kit Sopha, who signed the eviction letters, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Sia Phearum, secretariat director of the Housing Rights Task Force, said he felt for the families.

“If that happens, the victims will again be worse off,” he said. “How can they reduce poverty if they face the same thing again? How can their children get education and health care? It has a huge impact if they face eviction again and again.”

To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at [email protected]
With assistance from Shane Worrell


  • UN bodies call for drug centre closure

    Thirteen UN entities on Monday issued a joint statement calling on countries in Asia and the Pacific to close all compulsory drug detention and rehabilitation centres to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and other diseases and some forms of human rights violations. The group includes

  • Man on run after family murder

    A mother and daughter were found dead amid a pile of burnt rubble after a house in Thma Koul district’s Bonsai Treng commune in Battambang burned down at 1:40am on Sunday. District police chief Phong Sopheap told The Post on Monday that Kim Thoeun, 52,

  • Racism a ‘chronic disease’ in the US

    China said on Monday that the ongoing civil unrest in the US highlighted its severe problems of racism and police violence, and exposed Washington’s double standards in supporting Hong Kong’s protesters. “Black people’s lives are also lives. Their human rights must also

  • VN PM targets prosperous status for key southern economic region by 2035

    Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Saturday asked the southern key economic region to strive to become a powerful and prosperous region by 2035, 10 years ahead of the deadline for the same goal for the whole nation. He made the remarks while chairing a meeting

  • Thai MPs push $60B Covid-19 aid package through Parliament

    A covid-19 financial aid package sailed through Thailand’s House of Representatives on Sunday but opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) attacked the 1.9 trillion baht ($60 billion) aid as mostly benefiting big businesses. After five days of debate, the lower house voted in favour of the package

  • Indonesia backtracks on decision to relax wood export terms

    Indonesia has backtracked on a decision to relax export requirements for timber products months after issuing a deregulation policy that environmental groups criticised for threatening to put sustainable timber trade at risk. On May 11, the Ministry of Trade issued a regulation annulling its previous regulation