Mar. 31, 2011. UK newspaper The Guardian featured an article about the Boeung Kak case on Tuesday Mar. 29. You can read it here.
Mar. 31, 2011. On Mar. 29, the Phnom Penh Post reported:
A monk at Wat Ounalom in Phnom Penh on Monday fled the pagoda out of fear of arrest by authorities for his participation in protests held by Boeung Kak lakeside residents and villagers embroiled in a land dispute in Chi Kraeng commune.
The venerable Luon Savath, ordained in 1990, went into hiding after returning from a protest in front of City Hall at the weekend, he said yesterday, adding that police have threatened him with arrest on four previous occasions over his involvement in protests.
“The authorities have not only warned me that they would arrest me, but have tried to get me defrocked by calling me a fake monk who violates Buddhist rules of conduct,” he said.
Luon Savath said that a police truck followed him back to the pagoda on Sunday and that he saw police stationed near the pagoda before fleeing in a car driven by staff at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights…
Read the full article here.
Mar. 28, 2011. After hundreds of letters and numerous pleas and demonstrations, Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema has finally agreed to meet with the remaining residents of BKL. The meeting, set to go ahead on Mar. 30, is likely to see community representatives continue demanding for 15ha for onsite development. Initially, only 5 representatives were invited to the meeting, however, after residents told the MPP they would not attend unless all villages in the Boeung Kak area were represented, the MPP agreed to allow seven representatives to attend the meeting. The community’s request to have NGO staff monitor the meeting was denied.
The MPP’s agreement to meet with the villagers comes after a Friday demonstration where one community activist was beaten and detained. The Phnom Penh Post covered the incident – you can read their account here.
Mar. 25, 2011. LOCOA-Philippines has staged a mass action in Manila at the open space in front of Country Space Building 1, the building that houses the Cambodian Embassy (7th Floor).
Moving in a circular formation holding placards the demonstrators called for a stop to eviction, making way for land sharing and people’s participation. People going to the bank and the embassy, including the passers-by and the commuters on the busy street could hear the call “Urban Poor of Asia, UNITE…STOP EVICTION IN CAMBODIA STOP! STOP! STOP!”
The Ambassador was reportedly out, but a personnel and a security guard received LOCOA’s letter to the Ambassador and the Governor of Phnom Penh. The letter was also sent to the Governor and the Ambassador by email and by fax on March 21.
The group also released 3 small birds to wish the Cambodians good luck in their negotiations with their government.
Mar. 25, 2011. A female Boeung Kak community activist was detained and taken away by the police at the start of a BKL residents’ demonstration at the Municipality of Phnom Penh early this morning. It is rumoured the cause of the arrest was her behaviour during a previous demonstration, during which she reportedly brandished a bottle of blood, threatening to throw it at policemen present at the community action.
Staff from UN-OHCHR later secured the activist’s release and she returned to a relieved crowd at the scene of the demonstration. Following her return, there were reports circulating among the crowd of the detained activist being beaten while in custody.
At around 9.30am, the demonstrators left the MPP and marched to the Boeung Kak area.
Mar. 24, 2011. A demonstration at the Municipality of Phnom Penh on Monday Mar. 21 by some 250 Boeung Kak residents marked the start of a week of demonstrations around Asia on behalf of the embattled lakeside residents. The community action was followed in Thailand by members of the Four Regions Slum Network (FRSN) that held solidarity demonstrations at both the Cambodian and Chinese embassies in Bangkok in support of the people of Boeung Kak Lake. FRSN attempted to meet with representatives of both embassies in order to submit solidarity letters echoing the demands of the people of Boeung Kak Lake for land sharing and an end to the evictions, but in spite of some dialog over the phone with embassy officials, both embassies ultimately refused to send a representative outside to receive the letters that FRSN wanted to submit.
At the Cambodian embassy, FRSN ended up wrapping up its letter in a banner reading “Listen to the people! Open negotiations on land sharing on Boeung Kak Lake!” and placing it on the ground in front of the embassy. At the Chinese embassy, FRSN tied one of its banners reading “Chinese investment in Cambodia must not harm human rights!” to the metal barrier in front of the embassy and stapled its letter to this banner. Afterward, FRSN faxed the different letters to Kep Chuktema’s office and the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok, respectively.
On Mar. 24, some 55 members of Bangladesh-based organisation Shelter for the Poor, went to the Chinese embassy in Dhaka to try to hold a demonstration and submit a solidarity letter supporting the people of Boeung Kak Lake by demanding that the Chinese government persuade Erdos Hongjun to suspend investment in Boeung Kak until an agreement is reached with the people on their alternative land sharing plan.
Shelter for the Poor reports that the police did not allow them to hold a demonstration, because the Chinese embassy is located in a high security area where there are many foreign embassies and the Bangladesh authorities do not permit demonstrations in this area. However, they were allowed to submit their letter to the front desk at the Chinese embassy, which stamped their letter as being received.
After leaving the Chinese embassy, the group led by Shelter for the Poor went to Baridhara Lakeside and formed a human chain holding a banner pertaining to Erdos Hongjun’s investment and evictions on Boeung Kak Lake.
Mar. 17, 2011. Local authorities have given 19 households in Boeung Kak’s Village 3 until Mar. 20 to accept compensation and demolish their houses to make way for a new access road to the. Residents say Phnom Penh Municipality is set to pay the affected households compensation, which they claim ranges from US$8,500 to US$10,000.