By Mu Sochua- August 31, 2010.
I am currently walking the campaign trail in Sampov Loun (North of Battambang), 5 km from Thailand. This is where I won my first seat, in 1998. Among the 30 men and women who came to the first meeting, 8 men and one woman are land victims. A very, very hard feeling to see such poverty and injustice. A very small number of the people were born here. The very high number of youth come from different parts of the country, seeking employment in the corn, and cassave fields. They take whatever wage is offered them (about US 2 per day). I make my visits to each community short as the workers are too tired to listen.
The military and powerful local authorities do whatever they wish and the Thai middlemen set the price of the farmers’crops.
Here is my personal challenge:
The biggest challenge is where to stay: last night we arrived in the town of Sompouv Loun, in the middle of rain and mud. We finally located a guest house , got excited but quite appalled by the colors of the rooms and beddings and the smell and the huge spider in the bathroom: it is rather a brothel than a guest house. Changed to another place that is better but found 5 well dressed and made up young women waiting for the men in this frontier town. Not much choice.
I am communicating with you, thanks to my very useful assistant who purchased a special quick internet broad band sim that connects me anywhere. It is 3Am and I can not wait to get out of this brothel.
Missing my comfortable bed. The flashing red blanket has a very bad smell and the pillow cases have not been changed since the last 5 customers.
Gotta get out of here. Next time I will bring my own hammock, pillow and sheets and insect repllent and will sleep in the village.
But no internet.
Home in five days.