The Sam Rainsy Party teams travel deep inside Cambodia to educate, mobilize and empower the people.
Let us join our voice and let us take a big step forward through grassroots organizing.
Amazingly rare critics from inside the ruling party official. Very courageous, a sign of change? Grassroots power!
Tycoon lands surprise | National news | The Phnom Penh Post
One of the country’s best known tycoons yesterday delivered an impromptu speech to senators and parliamentarians that was as surprising in its content as it was in context… Photo by: Heng Chivoanc
Posted in Articles, Personal Blog
Tagged Cambodia, Democracy, Economic Land Concessions, farmers, Freedom, human rights, Justice, Land Disputes, land rights, Provinces
Planting Democracy Seeds-Part 2
Rattanak Mondoul-Battambang Province-North West Cambodia
“My first husband died when he was just 25 years old. We had two children. We came to this part of the forest over 10 years ago. It was nothing but land mines. We were too desperate for land. Our young children watched their children blown up by a land mine”.
“I was clearing the forest and there it was: 3 land mines. I was so terrified, I was paralyzed. I will never forget that day”.
“The rich man tells me that I do not own this land, because I am too young. I say to him that I came with my father to plant these mango trees. I crossed this creek with my father every day. I know every parcel of this land. Do you?”
As I listen to this group of 40 farmers talking about their desperate search for land to cultivate, I hear their burning need for justice. For over a decade, they have farmed these plots of land collectively and have managed to build a community and survived year after year from the crops.
Today, rich and powerful men claim that every single plot of land in this community is theirs. They have the backing of the new village chief and the commune chief. They are protected by police and local authorities.
I say to the villagers:
Tell your stories. Tell the truth. That is your power.
Stand up together. That is your power.
Speak with one voice. That is your power.
The rich men do not have your power.
“Land is life- land is hope. ” a song from the messenger band. A group of young women who put justice into songs.
Posted in Personal Blog
Tagged agriculture, Battambang, Cambodia, Campaign Trail, corruption, Democracy, Economic Land Concessions, farmers, Freedom, Land Disputes, land rights, Provinces
From land owners, our villagers are now daily laborers. From proud farmers to landlessness. Development is not a good reason when there is gap in distribution of wealth. How many people are employed by these companies?
The King of Koh Kong speaks out | National news | The Phnom Penh Post
Mu Sochua, MP
“I do not fear death; I fear political silence against injustices”
-Malalai Joya, MP Afghanistan
Donate to Mu Sochua’s Justice Fund
Thursday, June 09, 2011
By Mu Sochua
Six AM breakfast in Phnom Penh followed by a 4 hour drive up North to Battambang lands us in Koh Kroloh district of the province. The more off-road our journey gets the closer we get to the village, where landless people are having their sesame crops destroyed by what is being recalled as “the others”.
The land we stand on used to be a forest occupied by the Khmer Rouge, before integrating with the Royal Government Forces in 1997, and is now being seized by army chiefs. Despite the fact that the land is state owned, meaning that it is available for social concessions- for landless people, high ranking officials as well as private parties secretly want to keep this land as private. The issue has been brought up by landless farmers who have came from neighbouring districts in hope of harvesting state land as a mean for their livelihoods. The government on the provincial level has refused to come in and take control of the situation, leaving actions taken on this land highly questionable and evidently harmful for the landless farmers who have been residing the area for a number of years now.
After meeting with the farmers and investigating the damaged fields, Sochua, her team and the victims were brought to the local police station to personally discuss land issues with the authorities.
Sochua holding sesame crops
Sochua talking with farmers about their destroyed land.
Walking towards destroyed field.
Farmers brought to police to discuss land issues w/ local authorities.
Investigating destroyed sesame crops.
Investigating destroyed sesame crops 2
Local transportation 2
Sam Rainsy Party member at work.
Landless farmer, victim of land mine
In the fields.
Listening to their thoughts and concerns.
Photos by Philip Skoczkowski