Residents and evictees from Phnom Penh’s Boeng Kak and Borei Keila neighborhoods returned to the World Bank’s country headquarters on Norodom Boulevard on Monday to hurl eggs at the front gate and demand that the international lender leave Cambodia.
The same group egged the office exactly two weeks ago and vowed to return every week until the Bank pulled out, but skipped the following Monday because of Chinese New Year. The protesters blame the Bank for letting the government force thousands of families out of their Boeng Kak homes during a Bank-funded land titling project, and for failing to help them afterward.
“The World Bank must leave Cambodia,” said Sie Nareth, a Boeng Kak evictee and one of about 40 protesters outside the Bank’s offices on Monday morning who pelted the front gate with dozens of raw eggs.
“We don’t need the World Bank, because the Bank’s loans have caused many people in Boeng Kak to lose their homes for a development project,” she said.
Despite last week’s hiatus, Ms. Nareth said the protesters would maintain a regular egging schedule from now on.
“We will come back here every Monday to throw chicken eggs until they leave Cambodia,” she said.
The protesters handed Bank spokesman Bou Saroeun a letter stating their position when they came two weeks ago, but say they have received no reply.
Contacted on Monday for comment, Mr. Saroeun hung up on a reporter.
Daun Penh district governor Kuoch Chamroeun called the egging “immoral” and said authorities would take unspecified measures against the protesters if and when the Bank asked for help.
City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche called the protesters “gangsters,” but also said authorities would not take action unless the Bank asked them to.
“I think this is illegal because they threw chicken eggs at someone’s gate,” he added.