Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers fear eviction after homes marked

Villagers fear eviction after homes marked

Villagers fear eviction after homes marked

110720_6
A woman walks past homes that have been spray-painted in Trapaing Chhouk village, in Teuk Thla commune, in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district yesterday.

More than 50 representatives of a community in Sen Sok district’s Teuk Thla commune gathered yesterday at the commune office to inquire about why local officials had spray-painted red markings on their homes, fearing they may be set for demolition.

The villagers claimed to be representing roughly 400 families in Teuk Thla’s Trapaing Chhouk village whose homes were marked and numbered by police and local officials this week. Community representative Chheang Rith, 39, said these officials did not give residents any indication of why their homes were being marked, prompting widespread fears of an impending eviction.

“We aren’t holding a strike or a demonstration,” he said. “We just want the authorities to clarify why they sprayed red numbers on the walls of our homes.”

Trapaing Chhouk resident Leav Srey Touch, 39, told commune chief Tan Navin that she had been paralysed with anxiety since the number was sprayed on her home.

“I am so worried that I cannot sleep or eat because of this,” she said. “I don’t know what [local officials] want to do.”

Trapaing Chhouk was gutted by fire in 2008, and current residents of the area have therefore been forced to rebuild their homes on the site of the previous community.

Tan Navin told the assembled residents that he did not know about the policy behind the spraying of the homes, but that the rationale would be revealed next week. Later in the day yesterday, however, he told The Post that the government planned to renovate the area to decrease the risk of fire.

“The measurements are to develop a road and drainage system for the area to avoid the risk of a fire like in 2008,” he said, adding that the surveying of the homes would help local officials preserve “order” in the community.

“This area has a lot of rented homes that cause disorder and are involved in drug use and trafficking,” he said.

Sia Phearum, secretariat director for the local NGO Housing Rights Task Force, called yesterday for local officials to be transparent about their plans for the area and the homes of the affected villagers.

“The authorities should call the villagers to attend a meeting and tell them clearly why the surveying was done so that they aren’t frightened,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman