Aside from the violence which accompanied the action, the demolition attracted media attention because it was “one of the biggest urban redevelopment stories in the capital over the last decade.” But city officials denied the action was an eviction:
Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Mann Chhoeun said the action was not an eviction. “The activities of tearing down the homes at Dey Krahorm is not an eviction but just an effort to clear the area for development.”
“Loud pounding noises woke me up this morning. Startled where the noise is coming from I looked out of my window and saw hundreds of men wearing green shirt, hammering the small houses in front of the building where my whole family live. It’s my first time to encounter scenes like this and it sent goosebumps all over me. There were lots of police men guarding the site and hundreds of spectators from their homes watched how their fellow Cambodians ruined other people’s houses in a small span of time
“One by one the houses are torn down, I have seen smoke from afar but dunno if it’s teargas or fire extinguisher. I have seen residents standing with their houses shouting angrily to the demolition team, some residents were even hurt because they don’t want to move out and forced to fight with the uniformed men.
“I don’t know the whole story behind this horrifying scene, I don’t know if the land is under the government or under a private individual. All i know is that there are people out in the street this morning asking for some more time to discuss this matter before proceeding with the demolition. But people with no hearts didn’t listen.”
The woman then screamed at intervention police officers, “You are Cambodian, but want to kill Cambodians. You destroyed my house. You're like gangsters.”
A Dey Krahorm resident sits on the remains of her home as she waits for a truck to transport her to a new location. “I have no money,” she said. “What can I do? I don't know where I will sleep. I can't do anything because they destroyed everything.”