Monday, March 2, 2009

Aussie Ambassador to Cambodia on violent and illegal evictions at the doorstep of her embassy: "I don't find it embarrassing, no"

Margaret Adamson, Australian ambassador to Cambodia (Photo: Australian embassy)

Excerpt from Cambodia for Sale
Dateline SBS (Australia)

It's Australia Day at Ambassador Margaret Adamson's residence.

REPORTER: Are you concerned that violent and illegal evictions are going on on the doorstep of the new Australian embassy?

MARGARET ADAMSON, AMBASSADOR TO CAMBODIA: Well, Of course we have concerns about how the Cambodian Government manages the issue of land tenure. It's a long-standing issue in the country and we have concerns which we express to the Cambodian Government on a regular basis.

REPORTER: This was right on the doorstep of the new Australian embassy, so it must be... doubly embarrassing for you at this stage, no?MARGARET ADAMSON: I'm conscious of the location. .. I don't find it embarrassing, no. I find it a matter as I've said before to you, that is a matter which is played out in different parts of the country, so I don't see find on the doorstep of the Australian embassy any less deserving of our attention than anywhere else in the country.

REPORTER: Under the 2001 law, don't they have residency rights or possession rights?

MARGARET ADAMSON: It's very difficult to prove, though, isn't it? It's very difficult to prove...

REPORTER: If they've been there for longer than five years noticeably without violence... I understand what you say.

MARGARET ADAMSON: Absolutely. Absolutely. No, I understand what the principles are, but it is difficult indeed to actually have the documentation, documentation that is accepted, to enable those claims to be respected.

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