International mobilisation to save Boeung Kak Lake Residents from Eviction
A demonstration at the Municipality of Phnom Penh marked the start of a week of demonstrations around Asia on behalf of the embattled lakeside residents.
“Save Cambodia’s Boeung Kak Lake Residents from eviction,” chanted groups of urban poor, belong to LOCOA and Four Region Slum Network protesting in front of Cambodia and Chinese Embassies in various countries in a show of solidarity.
Phnom Penh, Boeung Kak residents marked the start of a week of demonstrations around Asia
A demonstration at the Municipality of Phnom Penh on Monday March 21 by some 250 Boeung Kak residents marked the start of a week of demonstrations around Asia on behalf of the embattled lakeside residents.
Thailand, Chinese investment in Cambodia must not harm human rights
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.
Bangladesh solidarity action in Dhaka
On March 23, 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.
Solidarity action in Manila
March 25, 2011. LOCOA-Philippines has staged a mass action in Manila in front of the Cambodian Embassy.
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.
Phom Penh, Detained BKL activist returns escorted by OHCHR
Mar. 25, 2011. At least one protester was arrested by the cops and three others passed out from the cops’ violence which took place when about 100 Boeung Kak residents were waiting the outcome of their request for 15-hectare of land to perform their own development in place. The city hall is supposed to provide an answer to this request on this Fraiday.
Mrs. Ly Mom, a representative of Boeung Kak residents, told reporters that numerous resident representatives were forced into police trucks, but other residents attempted to pull them back out. However, Kong Chantha, a representative of the residents, was arrested and taken to the Phnom Penh police station, but she was later brought back by a UN OHCHR car.
Regarding this issue, Am Sam Ath, an official for the Licadho human rights group, who was conducting his investigation at the incident location, declared that the police violence against peaceful protesters is a human rights violation against people who live under a democratic regime.
Boeung Kak residents have protested on many occasions already following the government’s decision to give away 133-hectare of Boeung Kak area to the Shukaku Inc. for a 99-year lease. The Shukaku Inc. belongs the CPP tycoon-senator Lao Meng Khin.