Hun Sen ‘looks down’ on land grab victims: NGOs

Hun Sen ‘looks down’ on land grab victims: NGOs

A coalition of housing rights groups that represent evicted communities has accused Prime Minister Hun Sen of “looking down” on victims of land grabbing after comments he made on Thursday.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Stung Meanchey overpass, Hun Sen asked the city’s poor not to squat under the bridge, an area the Phnom Penh Municipality plans to make a recreational space.

“Please, have mercy. Don’t stay under the bridge and make it your home,” the premier said. He then seemed to refer to how unspecified land activists had settled in areas and then made claims of land grabbing “using a theory that the winner gets the land, the loser gets money and you file a complaint to the European Union.”

Hun Sen later called on EU Ambassador Jean-François Cautain, who was present, to officially witness that “no one” lives under the bridge.

“But later people will claim they have lived here since 1979…If in three years, you leave and a new ambassador comes, they will go to petition him, so he accepts it and then comes to ask for government intervention. Cambodia has these kinds [of people].”

In a statement yesterday, the Housing Rights Task Force said the speech “looked down on the poor residents of Cambodia, affected by land grabbing in the past, currently and in the coming future”.

“As His Excellency was himself living among monks in a pagoda in his youth, he should know compassion and how painful it feels to see people looking down on others because of someone’s status,” the groups said.

Chhay Kimhorn, a representative of the Borei Keila community, accused the premier of unfairly generalising.

“Our cases are different to what Hun Sen said, but his speech intended to attack our community because Boeung Kak and Borei Keila people have protested.”

Government spokesman Tith Sothea declined to comment.


  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • We’re going to Wisney World!

    More than 6,000 mostly Chinese attendees witnessed the inauguration ceremony of a $1 billion Sihanoukville resort project called Wisney World in the capital on Wednesday. The event on Koh Pich, attended by several senior Cambodian government officials, is a joint venture between China’s AMC International and

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,

  • Gov’t continues China tilt as ties with the US slide on ‘interference’ in Kingdom’s internal affairs

    CHINA has granted some $131 million in aid to the Cambodian military. It comes as yet another sign that the Kingdom is strengthening strategic ties with its Asian neighbour to counter increasingly cold relations with the United States. The aid was announced as part of a