A group defending residents facing eviction from a lakeside development in Phnom Penh say they will continue demands for an investigation into a World Bank project.
The Minnesota-based Center on Housing Rights and Evictions says residents at Boeung Kak lake, which is slated for a multi-million dollar development, lost land they had lived on for years, despite a World Bank land management project.
The World Bank’s inspection arm submitted an internal report to the bank’s board earlier this month, concerning the Land Management and Administration project, but its conclusions are pending.
“We’ll continue to call for full inspection, in order to correct the current situation regarding the LMAP, as well as to remedy past violations of human rights that have occurred in the context of this project,” Bret Thiele, a legal expert for the group, said in an e-mail to VOA Khmer last week.
Some 4,000 lake residents are facing eviction to make way for commercial and residential properties under a government deal with a private developer. But many residents say they have a right to the land, having lived there for 20 years.
More than 900 families have been removed to an area far on the outskirts of the capital. Some families took lump-sum compensation. Still others want their homes to be developed along with the area.
A World Bank representative said its board of directors has until April 14 to look into recommendations on whether to investigate the land management project, which the CHRE says failed to protect the residents.