Prime Minister Hun Sen has lifted the ban on gatherings of more than 10 people. It is possible to have political demonstrations again. On both sides, be it CNRP or CPP. The CNRP could proceed unhindered with a meeting of 600 supporters in Sa’ang district, the same place where several army units and a few hundred moto-dups showed up to disrupt the same type of meeting a few weeks back on January 21st (see HERE).
Judging by the number of participants, the mobilisation to free the 21 workers, union leaders and activists who were arrested during the early January crackdown by the armed forces on striking workers is not really gaining momentum. Only the infatigable ladies from Boeung Kak lake and monks from the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice (IMNSJ) showed up in front of the Supreme Court to plead for the release, joined by Mam Sonando with a few of his followers. Opposition party co-President Sam Rainsy made a 5-minute appearance (which I missed because I left to cover the demonstration by the Phnom Penh Referral Hospital staff fearing their building was sold by the government).
Update: it seems there is no more demonstration ban. Prime Minister Hun Sen said today both opposition and pro-government demonstrations are no longer forbidden…
In an attempt to put pressure on factory owners and the government to obtain a wage of 160$ for the garment factory workers as well as the release of 21 workers, union leaders and activists jailed after January 2nd and 3rd crackdown on striking workers, several unions organised the first day of an overtime strike, asking workers not to stay at the factory after their normal 8-hour shift.
Choreographer Manou Phuon continues her investigation on how to use khmer boxer’s moves into a contemporary dance narrative with the dancers from Amrita Performing Arts. For those who know about khmer boxing it might seem obvious but it isn’t. It is about trial and error. It is about analysis and perfection. It is about coordination. About getting rid of the superfluous, about not betraying either side. A fascinating quest.
And HERE is a small multimedia piece about ‘brodal serei’…
Members of the Borei Keila community, on this International Day of Social Justice, collected a bowl of soil from the place they were violently evicted from in 2012 and, after a few prayers, brought it to the Preah Ang Dongker riverside pagoda to rest in the urns in which revellers stick their joss sticks whent they come to pray.
See more on the Borei Keila land issue HERE.
Choreographer Manou Phuon digs into her cambodian roots again by working on a piece inspired by khmer boxing. ‘Khmeropédies’, her previous three choreographies she put together with the Amrita Performing Arts dancers, were stretching or liberating the extremely codified traditional khmer ballet repertoire through her contemporary dance background.
See more about khmer boxing HERE.
It is the type of question which will pop up during an open forum moderated by But Bunthen, Leader of the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice (IMNSJ), and organised by the Boeung Kak lake community who invited Y. Vireak, Director of CLEC and human rights Advocate, Tep Vanny, Land Rights Activist, Kem Ley, Researcher at the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR), Ven. Khem Sam Oeun and Tep Teav.
The very few people who were symbolically occupying an unfinished building which was promised to the Borei Keila community more than 2 years ago if the development company Phanimex had not ‘unfortunately’ run out of money to finish the last 2 of 10 buildings, were roughhandedly expelled at 6:30 AM by municipal guards wearing ‘Lucky’ helmets. Some of them were carrying heavy metal bars used in reinforced concrete. Several people were wounded.
The whole Borei Keila story is HERE.
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.