Human Rights

Villagers Learn Prevention, Solutions to Forced Evictions

Tep Vanny, rear center, of Boeung Kak lake, scuffles with riot police officers during a protest rally against land eviction near the prime minister's residence, in Phnom Penh, file photo.Tep Vanny, rear center, of Boeung Kak lake, scuffles with riot police officers during a protest rally against land eviction near the prime minister's residence, in Phnom Penh, file photo.
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Tep Vanny, rear center, of Boeung Kak lake, scuffles with riot police officers during a protest rally against land eviction near the prime minister's residence, in Phnom Penh, file photo.
Tep Vanny, rear center, of Boeung Kak lake, scuffles with riot police officers during a protest rally against land eviction near the prime minister's residence, in Phnom Penh, file photo.
Kong SothanarithVOA Khmer
Around 250 villagers from 41 different impoverished communities gathered in Phnom Penh Monday for a two-day seminar that looked into strategies to prevent forced eviction.

The seminar looked into questions of infrastructure, health, education, and jobs—“to advocate in the future,” said Ee Sarom, head of the Teang Tnaut Association, which sponsored the meeting.

Rights workers estimate that at least 150,000 people have been forced from their homes in Cambodia in the last decade, in the midst of expanded urban and rural developments.

The village representatives wrote on paper the problems they hope to submit to authorities.

“The evictions are serious, actually, in Cambodia,” said Yorm Bopha, an activist who was released on bail recently and is facing assault charges that her supporters say are aimed at curbing anti-eviction demonstrations. “We are seeking the will of the government to deal with the evictions.”

Long Dimanche, a spokesman for the Phnom Penh city government, told VOA Khmer the municipality is poised to address poor communities and their needs in the coming year.

40th Anniversary of Khmer Rouge Takeover

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Hun Sen Seeks Official Maps for Vietnam Border from UNi
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07 July 2015
Prime Minister Hun Sen has written to the UN Secretary-General to request an official map that would show proper border demarcation between Cambodia and Vietnam. The request comes following a clash between pro-opposition activists and Vietnamese security personnel near the border in Svay Rieng province last month. The maps that Cambodia currently uses in border talks with Vietnam are highly controversial, as is any dealing with the border in general. Cambodia has over the centuries lost land to its larger, more powerful neighbors, Thailand and Vietnam, and encroachment issues tend to provoke strong nationalistic fervor among many everyday Cambodians. That makes it a hot button issue for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, which has in the past included anti-Vietnamese rhetoric to its politics. Hun Sen wrote to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that he was requesting the official maps to quell potential “extreme nationalism and ill intent,” due to confused public opinion. VOA Khmer's Neou Vannarin reports from Phnom Penh.

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