A Phnom Penh development company ceased filling Boeung Kak lake on
Friday, following a protest of hundreds of lakeside residents in front of its
Protesters requested that Shukaku, Inc., stop filling the
lake and resume direct discussion with residents over compensation costs
for leaving the area.
More than 300 protesters staid in front of the Shukaku
office, on the east side of the lake, for two hours Friday morning, before the
company shut off a fill pump that had been throwing mud and water from the
bottom of the Tonle Sap into the lake since last week.
The pump was still shut down Friday afternoon.
The protesters had two demands Friday: that the pump be shut
off and that they have direct talks with authorities and Shukaku.
Sok Sambath, governor of Phnom Penh's Daun Penh district, and Chan Na,
a Shukaku representative, told representatives of the protesters in a meeting
Friday they would agree to temporarily stop filling the lake, until a
resolution can be found with residents.
"We will forward your proposal to the government for
discussion," Sok Sambath said.
Boeung Kak lake has been slated for development under a
99-year, $79 million lease between the city and Shukaku, but residents have
proven reluctant to take a city buyout of $8,000 per home.
The development would include residential and commercial
properties, as well as a hospital and university and other businesses.
"We agreed to accept the results of the first step, but
we have not reached our request yet," said Be Pharum, a representative of
the protesters said following the meeting. "We must wait for the final
Other residents warned they would continue to protest if
their demands for a larger compensation package fail.