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Plea from rooftops

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Dec 15, 2012 | From the print edition

Photographs>> Obama • Cambodia

A message for President Barack ObamaPeople who live next to the Cambodian capital’s airport had a message for US President Barack Obama, but he did not get to see it when he visited Phnom Penh in November end. On November 15, city officials arrested eight persons for plastering Obama’s picture on their rooftops and spray-painting messages of “SOS”.

Their community of about 400 families lives in rickety homes with corrugated tin roofs adjacent to the Phnom Penh airport’s only runway. People say in July they were asked to vacate their land so the airport could enlarge its runway and build a security buffer zone. Police ordered removal of the rooftop artwork and arrested those responsible, said Long Kimheang, spokesperson for Housing Rights Task Force, an advocacy group that works with people facing eviction.

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