Tensions at the embattled Dey Krahorm community in Phnom Penh have escalated again with several standoffs taking place over the weekend.
Around 400 people confronted 20 military police and several representatives from 7NG, the company that is developing the area, at 10 pm Sunday night.
The standoff began as the authorities tried to put oil drums filled with water across public roads along the north and west sides of the site.
The crowd, which rights activists on site said came from several nearby communities as well as Dey Krahorm, removed the barrels on three occasions between 10 pm Sunday and 5:30 am Monday.
At one point, villagers lined the sides of the road to prevent police from halting vehicles carrying supplies to the small market, that operates in a corner of Dey Krahorm, said one activist who asked not to be named.
Similar incidents took place Saturday night, according to activists and villagers in the area.
Around 100 landowners are refusing to move to an alternative site in Dangkao district until they are paid proper financial compensation for their land in Dey Krahorm.
Daun Penh district police chief Ouch Sokhon said 20 police officers were sent to set up a roadblock to prevent vendors from bringing too many goods to the Dey Krahorm market as the municipality is planning to build a park at the location.
“If they bring too many goods it will be difficult to remove them,” he said.
Bags of excrement and urine were thrown at police by local protesters but the officers did not react, he added.
A letter claiming to represent 100 families still renting properties at the Dey Krahorm site was also sent to National Assembly President Heng Samrin stating that the renters would move out if they are given alternative land or cash.
“I am fighting for a place to move to,” said Hem Vuthy, a representative of the renters, Monday.
Srey Sothea, 7NG chairman, said the bad behavior of many renters in the Dey Krahorm community made it hard to help them, though he did not rule out the possibility.
“If we are given a clear number of renters we may consider it,” he added.