About 10 residents from Phnom Penh’s Borei Keila neighborhood, where forced evictions have made way for corporate development, on Tuesday blocked an excavator from knocking down an uninhabited building, an official said.
Residents and activists blocked the excavator at about 8 a.m., fearing the demolition also could have taken down a far larger adjacent building, said Keang Leak, deputy governor of Prampi Makara district.
Girls walk toward the building under threat of demolition, right, in Phnom Penh’s Borei Keila neighborhood on Tuesday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily) Phanimex, the company that leased the land from the government, arranged for the building to be flattened.
However, authorities ordered a stop to the demolition after police living in the attached building raised concerns, he said.
“After listening to the concerns of police about the effect of knocking down the attached apartment, we decided not to knock down the building,” Mr. Leak said.
Nov Nary, 56, who is still fighting for compensation after her 2012 eviction and is currently living in the attached building, said she blocked the excavator because of her previous run-ins with Phanimex, which has built only eight of the 10 apartment blocks it promised to displaced residents.
“We won’t let the excavator knock down this building, as they might knock down the whole building,” she said.
Phanimex could not be reached.
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