Some 200 people, ordinary citizens, buddhist monks, activists and relatives gathered at the gates of Prey Sar prison in solidarity with -and to plead for the liberation of- those who were arrested and sentenced to 1 year in prison with an unusual speed in the past week for rather questionable reasons, ranging from obstructing traffic with a bed during a land issue demonstration, or carrying flag poles for another planned land issue protest.
Despite the obstacles laid out by the authorities at the exit of Wat Samaky Reangsey and Boeung Kak lake, some 800 people showed up at the National assembly to protest a wave of arrests among the activist monks and the land rights activists.
Edited at 12:50… That’ll be 200 demonstrators instead of 800. 800 were announced but many couldn’t show up.
The community which was evicted from Choam Ksan district in Preah Vihear and who is hosted by the buddhist monks at Wat Samaky Reangsey since nearly two months were denied a march towards the National Assembly by police forces this morning.
Two monks who wanted to join them yesterday were arrested for transporting poles with flags.
Two more arrests today… Khet Vannak and Thach Sang, buddhist monks from the Stung Meanchey pagoda, were detained by police forces who were preventing evicted villagers who are staying at Wat Samaky Reangsey to march to the National Assembly. With 4 arrests yesterday (see HERE), and CNRP member Meach Sovannara plus the 7 land rights activists from Boeung Kak lake on monday, this is a worrying trend to say the least. The 7 from Boeung Kak were sentenced to 1 year in jail for having ‘obstructed traffic’ (they dragged a bed in the middle of the road to protest flooding in their homes caused by the filling of a lake by a development company). Venerable Luon Sovath, the ‘media monk’ and land rights activist, has to go to court on November 25th following charges of treason and affiliation to the terrorist organisation of Khmer People Power Movement (KPPM).
The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago. I wasn’t there that night. About ten years later I spent some time in Berlin. It is all on my website at THIS LINK.
Here is a selection of second takes from the Water Festival, the crumbs that don’t fit.
The complete set with all the better photographs was uploaded on my wbsite at THIS LINK.
So the Cambodian countryside finally made it to Sisowath Quay to attend the longboat races on the Tonle Sap for this 2014 edition of the Water Festival. Attendance was definitely higher than previous days although it didn’t reach the one from 2010. And certainly not the attendance of 1991 (see the last photograph of this set).
More photographs from the 1991 Water Festival HERE.