borei keila


Phnom Penh. 3/12/2014: Settlement which grew at the foot of the buildings which were promised to the Borei Keila community before their violent eviction on January 2012. Borei Keila is one of the ‘Hearths of Resistance’ where citizens resist the erosion of their rights. Many members from the community have radicalised, and systematically join other communities entangled in similar land issues to support them in their struggle.

This is a follow-up on ‘Quest for Land’, an app for the iPad with an in-depth, interactive reportage with over 700 photographs covering all aspects of land issues in Cambodia. Text by Robert Carmichael, photographs by John Vink. Available on iTunes HERE.


A scared woman runs from police and municipal forces during clashes with residents of Borei Keila community on February 14, 2014 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. A building which has been occupied for the last two days has been raided by the Cambodian Security forces who sought to forcibly evict the residents. Early on the morning of Valentine’s Day, the road leading into Borei Keila was blocked by riot police, military police, and municipal security guards, who had been deployed to remove all of the families which had occupied the building. Over the course of the violent eviction, at least 6 people were injured, including a woman who was 6 months pregnant. Two days before, on Wednesday, more than 150 people, who had been evicted from their former homes in Borei Keila in January 2012, had moved into the building. The housing building had been promised to them in 2003, as part of a land sharing agreement when the land of Borei Keila had been leased to a private company. The families who had chosen to stay in Borei Keila were violently evicted in 2012 by over 100 security forces, who destroyed more than 200 homes. (Photo by Omar Havana/Getty Images)


Dissatisfaction Burns At Borei Keila…

The Borei Keila community which was cheated into a flawed on-site development by Suy Sophan, owner of development firm Phan Imex, and now live in disgracefull conditions following their eviction in January 2012, marched to City Hall to burn an effigy of the lady and request the authorities finally decide upon their fate regarding plots of land they were promised as a replacement.

This is a follow-up post on the ’Quest for Land’ story which is available as an iApp on iTunes and which reports on land issues in Cambodia since the year 2000 with texts by Robert Carmichael and over 700 photographs.

“Meng Kimlong is a photographer for the Phnom Penh Post who has covered the forced evictions of the Borei Keila community in Phnom Penh, from their start in January 2012. His images show the continuing struggle of Borei Keila’s residents as they fight for an area to be re-housed in the nation’s capital.

‘More than 100 police officials (including guards and workers from a private company) demolished over 200 homes at Borei Keila in Phnom Penh, 3rd January 2012. Residents attempted to fight back by throwing bricks and petrol-bombs  at the police in protest of their evictions. At least ten people were injured and another ten arrested during the armed clash over the forced eviction in the capital’s Borei Keila community.’ - Meng Kimlong”