Cambodia

Boeung Kak Activist Detained After Demonstration

Yorm Bopha is accused of involvement in a violent demonstration over housing rights at the contentious development site.

A Cambodian protester, right, from Boueng Kak lake, cries as she clashes with police officers in Phnom Penh, file photo. A Cambodian protester, right, from Boueng Kak lake, cries as she clashes with police officers in Phnom Penh, file photo.
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A Cambodian protester, right, from Boueng Kak lake, cries as she clashes with police officers in Phnom Penh, file photo.
A Cambodian protester, right, from Boueng Kak lake, cries as she clashes with police officers in Phnom Penh, file photo.
Heng ReaksmeyVOA Khmer
PHNOM PENH - Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday detained an activist of the Boeung Kak neighborhood for intentional violence, rights advocates said.

Yorm Bopha, 31, and her husband, Lours Sarkorn, 56, were arrested after they appeared at their local commune office to inspect a voter registration list for the 2013 elections. Lours Sarkorn was released later.

Yorm Bopha is accused of involvement in a violent dispute in a separate case.

She has been involved in numerous demonstrations since the Shikaku, Inc., company began developing there, pushing thousands of families from their homes to make way for a commercial and residential complex.

Tep Vanny, a representative of Boeung Kak residents insisting on better resettlement options, said the arrest was a “cowardly act” by the court authorities, who have ordered similar detentions in the past.

Am Sam Ath, an investigator for the rights group Licadho, said he believed the arrest was aimed at stopping ongoing protests over the development.
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Cambodia Reduces Western Influence, Tilts Towards Locali
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Cambodia tilts towards China and its acceptance of more and more Chinese aid helps the impoverished nation to reduce influence of international donors who had sought to push Cambodia towards more democratic form of governance. Sebastian Strangio, the author of “Hun Sen’s Cambodia,” told a gathering in Washington that the balance between local interest and international interest in Cambodia is beginning to tilt much more in the directions of the local. VOA’s Men Kimseng reports from Washington.

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