Tep Vanny, a representative of Boeung Kak lake villagers, said that people wanted development in the capital, but not the kind that involves forced evictions. “We are hurt when our homes and belongings are destroyed,” he said. Lim Sambo, a former resident of the Group 78 community in Chamkarmon district, said that the $8,000 he received to evacuate his home was not enough to buy land in city centre, so he was forced to relocate to the outskirts of town. “My living conditions are worse. When I lived in Group 78, I sold porridge and Khmer noodles at my house, so I earned enough money to support my family,” he said. “Now I don’t earn enough from selling coconuts, because I have to pay for petrol to travel into the city everyday from my house in Dangkor district.
“I want the governor and our government to develop the city without forced evictions,” he added. “If you evict them, your people will be poorer and poorer. It’s not a good kind of development.” Phnom Penh governor Kep Chuktema and his deputy, Nuon Someth, could not be reached by the Post for comment yesterday.