The Borei Keila community which was cheated into a flawed on-site development by Suy Sophan, owner of development firm Phan Imex, and now live in disgracefull conditions following their eviction in January 2012, marched to City Hall to burn an effigy of the lady and request the authorities finally decide upon their fate regarding plots of land they were promised as a replacement.
This is a follow-up post on the ‘Quest for Land‘ story which is available as an iApp on iTunes and which reports on land issues in Cambodia since the year 2000 with texts by Robert Carmichael and over 700 photographs.
Six unions (N.I.F.TU.C., U.M.W., F.U.F., N.T.U.C. and TUF.W) managed to gather about 1000 garment workers with pink T-shirts with ‘We Need Decent Wages’ written on the back at Freedom Park. Other important unions did not show up for this demonstration which was asking for a monthly salary of 150$US.
After a garbled National Anthem, followed by 15 seconds of the 1-minute silence for the workers who were killed by the army beginning of this year, and speeches by the union leaders, part of the protesters went on an embassy tour (the U.S. and the E.U.) to deliver petitions, had a stopover at the memorial for Chea Vichea (for which the security barriers set up by the police to prevent the demonstrators from accessing Independence Monument and the Prime Minister’s residence were pushed back 20 meters) and finally disbanded at the National Assembly.
This is a follow-up post on my ebook ‘A Fine Thread’, available for your iPad and your Mac running iBooks. Available for 4.99$US on iTunes HERE.
The quiet Phnom Penh morning picked up a little bit of steam with about 150 factory workers from Y&W Garment hopping from one place to another to deliver petitions. It went from the Municipal Court to the National Assembly, followed by the Senate.
It seems the authorities have modified their strategy since a couple of weeks regarding petitioners: reduce police presence or at least proximity, hide the security guards, get three to five representatives to deliver their petition as fast as possible. The result is satisfied petitioners, a reduced protest time and less nuisance for the traffic. Who wouldn’t be happy with that?
This is a follow-up post on my ebook ‘A Fine Thread’, available for your iPad AND on your Mac running Mavericks OS with iBooks. Buy it on iTunes HERE.
Slow morning today… A small delegation of evicted villagers from Koh Kong province showed up to deliver a petition at the National Assembly. That’s it. But the day is not over yet…
Time to tackle the keywording backlog of nearly 3000 photographs in the database…
So, this was the fifth and supposedly the last day of the anti-Vietnamese demonstrations which roamed the streets of Phnom Penh lately. It was all triggered by a spokesman from the Vietnamese embassy who said during a radio interview last June that Kampuchea Krom belonged to Vietnam long before its official annexation in 1949. These few words were enough to revive strong anti-Vietnamese feelings among a fraction of the population, and most certainly made the buddhist monks from Kampuchea Krom who live now in Phnom Penh very angry. As for the requested apologies from the Vietnamese embassy, the protesters are still waiting…
The 150 demonstrators from the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association who had been marching to the National Assembly in the morning to protest the annexation of Kampuchea Krom by Vietnam in 1949, continued their march towards the Vietnamese embassy with a stopover at the United Nations Human Rights office where a petition was delivered. Singing and fingerpointing the Vietnamese embassy ended the demonstration around 4:30 PM.
The moderate faction of the anti-Vietnamese Kampuchea Krom demonstrators, some 100 protesters led by Thach Setha, head of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association, patiently waited for the inauguration ceremony of the new Calmette hospital wing attended by King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen to be finished, before starting a march towards the National Assembly.
Today is World Habitat Day, and more than 800 people gathered in the streets of Phnom Penh to celebrate that one special day recognising their issue.
Remember: about 11% of the Cambodian population has been, at one point or another, a victim of a land issue since 2000. That is a lot of people. That is a lot of cropped up anger. Some of it was vented today through the demonstration’s loudspeakers which were taken to the National Assembly and the park in front of Wat Bothum.
A few members of the other land issue which preoccupies a lot of Cambodians, namely the territory of Kampuchea Krom which they claim was unrightfully grabbed by Vietnam in 1949, took advantage of the concentration of discontented people to distribute a booklet about their version of history.
UPDATE: at 16:45 I added photographs of people burning Dong during the Kampuchea Krom demonstration at the Vietnamese embassy.
PS: ‘Quest for Land‘, an in-depth reportage with texts by Robert Carmichael and over 700 photographs on land issues in Cambodia since 2000 is available as an iApp on iTunes HERE.