Boeng Kak Protesters Egg Embassy, Ex-Governor’s Photo

The ever-innovative activists of Phnom Penh’s Boeng Kak neighborhood added a little yolk to their latest protest against the community’s forced evictions Wednesday morning, egging both the Singaporean Embassy and photographs of former city Governor Kep Chuktema.

About 50 Boeng Kak protesters targeted the Singaporean Embassy on Norodom Boulevard for a second time Wednesday in response to a Singapore-based company’s pending plan to purchase a 1.35-hectare plot of land from Shukaku Inc., which evicted some 3,000 families from the roughly 120-hectare site.

A protester holds up a photograph of former Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema as it is pelted with eggs by fellow protesters near the National Assembly on Wednesday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
A protester holds up a photograph of former Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema as it is pelted with eggs by fellow protesters near the National Assembly on Wednesday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

“We would like to ask the embassy to intervene to stop the company from buying the Boeng Kak land, because many families are suffering because of Shukaku,” said Sear Nareth, one of the protesters.

No representative of the embassy came to accept the protesters’ petition, however, and Daun Penh district security guards soon pushed the protesters away from the building. A streak of yolk could be seen on the embassy’s front gate after they left.

When protesters targeted the building for the first time earlier this month, the embassy issued a statement claiming it was in no position to intervene in “this reported commercial dispute.” The HLH Group, whose subsidiary D’Lotus Development is preparing to buy the Boeng Kak land, says the deal is pending a full legal review.

After leaving the embassy Wednesday, the protesters then marched to the National Assembly, but were prevented from reaching the building by steel gates and more security guards. Undeterred, the protesters produced photographs of Mr. Chuktema, the former Phnom Penh governor, which they egged at close range.

Mr. Chuktema, who stepped down last year, served as governor during the years that Shukaku and the municipality evicted the Boeng Kak families.

“We threw egg on the face of Kep Chuktema because we are homeless thanks to this individual,” said Chan Sarin, another protester.

Pushed back once again by security guards, the protesters then met with opposition CNRP lawmaker Um Sam Ath, who promised to raise their concerns during a future National Assembly session.

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