Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Boeung Kak activists petition World Bank, EU



Boeung Kak activists petition World Bank, EU

Boeung Kak lake activists hold placards outside the European Union Embassy in Phnom Penh yesterday during a protest calling for the release of Tep Vanny.
Boeung Kak lake activists hold placards outside the European Union Embassy in Phnom Penh yesterday during a protest calling for the release of Tep Vanny. Pha Lina

Boeung Kak activists petition World Bank, EU

Close to 20 Boeung Kak lake activists petitioned the European Union and World Bank yesterday asking for their intervention on behalf of jailed fellow activist Tep Vanny and a swift resolution to their land dispute.

Vanny is facing trial later this month for obstructing public officials at a 2011 protest outside City Hall and is under investigation for a 2013 protest outside Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house demanding the release of Boeung Kak activist Yorm Bopha.

Aside from Vanny, the petition asks the World Bank to address the group’s long-standing land dispute. The bank has previously been at the centre of a firestorm for its funding of a land-titling program prior to residents’ forcible eviction.

“Boeung Kak villagers request the EU and World Bank to intervene for Tep Vanny’s release – she was detained unjustly,” the petition reads. “Also, take action for the rest of the villagers who have not yet got a resolution or land titles from the Phnom Penh governor.”

Since 2013, while hundreds of villagers have been granted land titles an estimated 40 families are either awaiting titles or compensation for land lost.

Land activist Bov Sophea said the EU is a major donor to Cambodia, and as a “human rights monitor” the villagers were asking for the institution’s help.

While speaking to the media outside the World Bank, the villagers had a small skirmish with Daun Penh security guards, who did not want them talking to the press near the bank’s front gate.

The petition was received by staffers at both institutions, with a World Bank spokesman only confirming receipt of the document. The EU’s ambassador to Cambodia, George Edgar, said he was still considering what action to take in this case.

“In this case as in other cases, we look to the Cambodian court system to act transparently and fairly, in line with Cambodia’s domestic and international commitments,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen says Kingdom not a 'satellite country'

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia had sent diplomatic notes to various embassies demonstrating its stance and clarifying allegations that the Kingdom is a satellite country of China which will allow it exclusive access to the Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province. The response

  • Vast Prince Manor fun park opens to much fanfare in Kandal

    Chinese-owned Prince Culture and Development Co Ltd officially launched the $85 million Prince Manor entertainment centre in Kandal province on Wednesday. Prince Manor is located along National Road 1, 20km from the centre of Phnom Penh. It is the first major theme park project in Cambodia and

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Cintri strike ends, workers’ contracts to be terminated

    CINTRI (Cambodia) Ltd rubbish collectors who have been on strike for the past 13 days agreed to return to work starting Wednesday evening after the company agreed to terminate their contracts at the end of January next year and provide seniority payments and other benefits to