Rainsy Says Those Behind Boeng Kak Deserve Jail

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Monday vowed to return Phnom Penh’s beleaguered Boeng Kak neighborhood to its residents and to have those who filled the lake with sand thrown in jail, should the opposition CNRP ultimately prevail in contesting the unofficial results of last month’s election. The Boeng Kak neighborhood witnessed some 3,000 families forcibly evicted after the city leased the land to CPP Senator Lao Meng Khin in 2007. The area has since become the flashpoint of years of anti-eviction protests around the city, and also led the World Bank to suspend loans to the government over the unfair treatment of the area’s residents. … Mr. Rainsy alleged that both Mr. Meng Khin, whose real estate firm filled in the lake, and former city governor Kep Chuktema, who oversaw the evictions when he was in charge of Phnom Penh, should be held legally re­sponsible for their actions. “Kep Chuktema conspired with Lao Meng Khin, the owner of Shukaku Inc., who filled in the lake and took this land for their own interests, so they must be responsible for the filling,” Mr. Rainsy said. … Housing rights groups say the government violated its own land laws in Boeng Kak by failing to give the thousands of families who once lived there the chance to apply for land titles.