The wise elders say development is ruthless. They would share anecdotes revolving around the times when most of the world was ruled by despots and kings or maybe when industrialization had just spawned. And each one of these stories would have a mention of the dark side of the development, where many were oppressed against. They say that development always stirs up peace and leads to a chaos. But the times have changed. Peace and development are not the different sides of the coin. They in fact complement each other. Peace is not just the opposite of war, but conveys a deeper semantics which involves people living a comfortable life. The only way to achieve this comfort is through development.
But there are times when development plans do not turn out to be as holistic as planned. Somewhere down the planning or execution phase, some unaccounted factors stir up an issue.
One such case is the Boeung Kak Development Project (BKDP) in Cambodia. Boeung Kak Lake (BK Lake) was one out of the seven natural lakes. It was located in the center of the capital Phnom Penh city. The Boeung Kak Development Project is planned to change the face of Phnom Penh by making space for new commercial and residential areas. Since 2007, the authorities, developers, and affected communities have been involved in a contentious dispute that has been taking time to resolve. Various problems concerning land ownership, , the lack of government transparency, the right to adequate compensation, the right to protection from human rights violations including forced eviction and violence have come to the forefront.