High profile activist monk Loun Sovath and a CNRP lawmakers-elect delivered rice and money donated from Khmer people living in France and Canada to families embroiled in long-running land disputes and protests in Phnom Penh on Friday.
Speaking at the ceremony in Wat Samaki Raingsey pagoda in the city’s Meanchey district, Loun Sovath used the event to take aim at the land policies of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government.
Reminding participants at the event that the CPP’s election campaign in 2013 had called for voters to “pity, love and trust” the ruling party, Loun Sovath added: “If you pity and you love me, please don’t shoot me and grab my land.”
“The Cambodia of today has no state of law and no respect of people’s rights, because it is a fake democracy,” Loun Sovath told the crowd of more than 170 people, from the Borei Keila and Boeng Kak communities and the families of 23 people detained during strike protests last month.
About $4,000 worth of rice and cash was distributed at the event. Kan Samneang, 24, whose 26-year-old husband Kem Phalleam was shot and killed during protests on Veng Sreng Street on January 3, received $80.
“I am happy to receive this present, because I have never received a gift from the government after my husband died,” she said. CNRP lawmaker-elect Long Ry accused government authorities of “clearing households and shooting people dead.”