Boeng Kak Evictees Attempt to Oust World Bank From Country

In a departure from their previous strategy of asking the World Bank for help, current and former res­idents of Phnom Penh’s Boeng Kak neighborhood pelted the Bank’s country office with raw eggs yes­terday to demand that the organization pull out of Cambodia.

The protesters accuse the Bank of standing aside as the government took the Bank’s money for a land titling project while forcing some 3,000 families out of their Boeng Kak homes to make way for a CPP senator’s high-end real es­tate project. The families have been pleading with the Bank for help ever since. Monday was the first time they called on the international lender to exit Cambodia.

A protester from the Boeng Kak neighborhood lays down outside the World Bank’s country office in Phnom Penh yesterday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
A protester from the Boeng Kak neighborhood lays down outside the World Bank’s country office in Phnom Penh yesterday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

“We don’t need the World Bank be­cause it violates human rights and the land of the Khmer people. If the World Bank stays, many more families will suffer,” Sie Na­reth, one of the evictees, said during the demonstration.

“We are throwing the chicken eggs to expel the World Bank be­cause the Bank’s money causes many families to suffer from the gov­ernment’s development projects. We will come back every week to protest and throw chicken eggs until they leave Cambodia.”

The protesters, who arrived at about 8:30 a.m., left after Bank spokes­man Bou Saroeun came out­side to accept a petition from them at 10 a.m. Mr. Saroeun did not reply to a re­quest for comment.

The Bank froze all new lending to Cambodia in 2011 in protest over the Boeng Kak evictions but is pre­paring to start lending again, possibly in a matter of months.

Daun Penh district governor Kouch Chamroeun said the protest was illegal because the participants had failed to request permission to de­monstrate, and because it in­volved egg throwing.

“I have printed some photos show­ing that they threw chicken eggs at the gate of the Bank, and I have reported this to the Phnom Penh mu­nicipal authorities, asking for in­struc­tions if they do it again,” Mr. Cham­roeun said.

“If any action is illegal and causes trouble for Bank officials, we will take action,” he added.

[email protected]

Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA new weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.