Mass Eviction Looms Ahead Of East Asia Summit

Hundreds of families living near Phnom Penh International Airport are facing imminent eviction from heir homes as security preparations begin for world leaders who will attend next month's Asean and East Asia summits. A total of 387 families living on 6.3 hectares of land to the east of the airport have been told to leave their homes to make way for a security road, a longer runway and so-called "buffer zones" for planes carrying international delegations, including U.S. President Barack Obama, said Sok Suthoeun, chief of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA). ... families facing eviction have filed complaints with the government against local officials whom they say gave them permission, over many years, to build their homes on the land in the first place. However, local officials have claimed that the families are living on the land illegally, an allegation that is being contested by human rights workers. Residents in the area said yesterday they would not be leaving their homes voluntarily. ...