Cambodian environmental activists are calling for the demolition of the shuttered Chinese-owned Jin Ding Hotel and Casino in Sihanoukville, and have accused provincial authorities of dragging their feet in punishing the casino owner.
The casino was ordered to close in March for operating without a license and releasing untreated sewage water directly into the sea. It was also found to be playing loud music on the beach, which is a violation of the law.
In a petition filed by Cambodia-based group Mother Nature, the group has called for the casino’s complete destruction, and have cited repeated delays by Cambodian authorities to fulfill their promise to tear it down.
Speaking to RFA on Tuesday, Mother Nature activist Long Kunthea said provincial officials have been slow in implementing the law and bringing the casino’s owner to court.
“I think that authorities have been relaxing their enforcement of the law and have been moving much too slowly, because from May until now in September they haven’t moved on this and say that they are waiting for permission to proceed,” she said.
The group said if the structure is not torn down it will likely be reopened at a later date.
The activist warned that if the provincial officials ignore the group’s petition, young Cambodias will march to demand the authorities to do their job.
Speaking to RFA, a spokesman for the Preah Sihanouk provincial court Kheang Phearum said the authorities have not set a date to remove the casino structures but said that the resort is no longer in operation in any case.
“Since provincial authorities closed the casino, it has been inactive, so no action has been taken so far,” he said, adding, “We should let the relevant departments work on this.”