Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday summoned social analyst Heang Kimsroeun over a complaint he filed about land reclamation near Koh Pich island.
Judge Say Nora said in the summons that Mr Kimsroeun has to appear in court to be questioned over the complaint on April 29.
“The plaintiff, Heang Kimsroeun, has to come to court on time and bring relevant documents,” Judge Nora said.
Mr Kimsroeun yesterday said he filed a complaint regarding a land reclamation project on the Tonle Bassac river.
“My job as a social analyst is to monitor. I decided to file the complaint in order to ask the court to look into who has the right to reclaim parts of the Tonle Bassac river, near the Koh Pich Exhibition Centre,” he said.
Mr Kimsroeun noted that reclaiming the river tributary is illegal and that it will affect the lives of people living near the river in the future.
“I want the court to find the person responsible for filling land into the river tributary, and why they did it,” he said. “I want to know if there’s a government sub-decree permitting it, and the reason why the river is being filled.”
On April 3, Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng said the reclamation project is part of renovation work to build a water treatment facility and sidewalks.
“I was there at night to check the situation because of constant online posts which accuse us of not being aware of what is going on,” Mr Sreng said. “We can confirm that reclamation work in the area is only for our project and there is no work being done to fill up that portion of the river for private development.”
He noted that City Hall studied ways to make the area more attractive.
However, Mr Sreng’s explanation was not enough for Mr Kimsroeun.
“I do not believe in Mr Sreng because every development project in the country is usually publicised,” he said. “There is often ceremonies and events about the project first so the public knows. This case gained attention only after the public reacted.”