Boeung Kak lake community members, some carrying model houses, held a demonstration in front of the Phnom Penh Municipality, seeking a final resolution for their 7-year-long struggle after a private company obtained a 133 hectares area and proceeded evicting 3000 of the 4000 families living there.
This is a follow-up post on the ‘Quest for Land‘ story which is available as an iApp on iTunes and which reports on land issues in Cambodia since the year 2000 with texts by Robert Carmichael and over 700 photographs.
Where is the fervour which was swelling the streets of Phnom Penh during the previous ceremonies around the passing away of King Norodom Shanouk? Where has it gone? Besides invited groups and boy-scouts which were provided with plastic flowers and small photographs of the late King, concentrated along Sihanouk and Sothearos Boulevards, the carefully choreographed procession walked along empty streets…
A somehow subdued ceremony was held in front of the Royal Palace in the afternoon of the 1st of 3 days of ceremonies for the transfer of late King Norodom Sihanouk’s ashes to a stupa inside the Royal Palace compound.
Was it the presence of a delegation of opposition CNRP lawmakers, led by its Vice President Kem Sokha, which triggered a change of announced plans and kept both the Apsara dancers, all readied with candles, as well as the Queen Mother and her son King Sihamoni inside, behind the gates of the palace?
Besides a few tourists, delighted by the show of colourfull saffran-clad monks in front of the fairy-tale lights of the palace’s walls, there was no public to be seen: a far cry from the throngs of devotees who filled the streets during the previous ceremonies in 2013.
Some of the ahe ashes of late King Norodom Sihanouk, deceased in Beijing on October 15th 2012, will be transferred from the Royal Palace to a stupa within the compound.
About 1,000 buddhist monks received alms in front of the palace , before entering through the side door and starting a 3-day long ceremony.
The opposition CNRP paid respect to the late King at his memorial monument at the same time. Missed that… Didn’t know… Should have known…
Reminder: my e-book about King Norodom Sihanouk, with texts by Abby Seiff and Pierre Gillette, is available on iTunes at THIS LINK for the modest sum of 3.99$US.
About 200 members of the Khmer Youth Group, together with other civil society groups, monks from the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice (IMNSJ), Radio Beehive’s Mam Sonando and CNRP Lawmaker Real Camerin, stormed through two or three blockade attempts by Municipal Security Guards and Riot Police before being stopped at a few meters from the Vietnamese Embassy. During the three-hour standoff, there was some pushing and pulling, and a few stones were thrown. The demonstration was held to demand apologies from Vietnam regarding what the protesters consider the annexation of Kampuchea Krom.
See also HERE…
The Boeung Kak lake community held a demonstration in front of the Anti Corruption Unit gates regarding their land issue with Mr Lao Mengkhim, Senator, heading the company which obtained a 99 year lease on the 133 hectares of Boeung Kak lake, evicted 3000 families, and just recently sold about 1 hectare to another company (which it is not supposed to do under the lease agreement).
The Boeung Kak case has been dragging on since 2007, and it seems to be far from over. More on this story and on other land issues stories in Cambodia from 2000 on can be found in ‘Quest for Land’, an app for the iPad and for Macs running Mavericks. The app can be bought AT THIS LINK for 8.99$
Better than a trip to Sihanoukville, better than a hammock in Kieng Svay, better than watching a ‘brodal serei’ match on TV: the shopping mall…
Sothearos Boulevard was flooded by a heavy, long rain. For some it is great fun. For the Japanese Cooperation it is probably not. The drainage system they set in place, and which is not yet finished, couldn’t cope with the amount of rain. I wonder which drainage system could cope with that quantity of water anyhow.