Adhoc President Thun Saray on Tuesday called on the Delegation of the European Commission to Cambodia to press embassies and donors to meet with the government over forced evictions in the country.
Speaking at a press briefing held in Phnom Penh to announce a European Union sponsored study tour to Europe for 15 representatives of Cambodian civil society, Thun Saray asked the delegation’s Charge d’Affaires Rafael Dochao Moreno to encourage “donors to meet as a group with the government” to discuss evictions.
“Some people in the government focus on development alone,” he said. “Our government continues to do corruption.”
Before Thun Saray made his request, reporters attending the briefing asked questions about the recent violent forced eviction of the Dey Krahorm community in Phnom Penh and the impending eviction of the residents around the capital’s Boeng Kak lake, which is currently being filled in.
Moreno did not respond to Thun Saray’s request at the press briefing, but told reporters that although he could not speak to specifics of each case, his commission is taking the issue seriously and that the government of Cambodia is aware of the problem.
Monreno added that forced evictions were raised during a formal meeting on human rights and democracy between the delegation and the government in November.
“We cannot believe in the force of the most powerful, we cannot believe in the power of the richest people. We must believe in the dialogue, and we must believe in the rule of law,” he said.
CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said by telephone that he didn’t “care what Adhoc told the EU committee delegation” and that he is ready for whatever questions donors or embassies may have on the issue of evictions.
“Whatever the government decides is based on the whole interest of the people and the state,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Cheng Sokhorng)