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Tag Archives: Land Disputes
Hear the cry for justice. Take action and do not watch passively.
Write to your local and national politicians about these abuses.
Cambodia is hosting ASEAN . President Obama and Sec. Clinton are expected to attend. We need to tell each story of abuse, in particular of women’s human rights violations as Sec. Clinton is a champion of women’s human rights.
USA should not just think about a strategic presence in ASEAN. USA, like any other country that preach human rights, must come with a very clear message:
Free and fair elections for true and not facade of democracy.
Wednesday 18 January, 2012
Sam Rainsy Party MPs, Sovan Pisaka and Mu Sochua were able to enter the Social Affairs Center(the small door was open very shortly for the security guard to enter) where 18 women and 2 children from Borei Keila had been illegally detained by the municipality since 11 January as they demonstrated outside of the municipality office to demand for housing and compensation for their belongings that were destroyed by PHANIMEX company.
The head of the center asked the two lawmakers to leave as they did not have permission. He then locked both gates. He informed both lawmakers that the women and children were at the center but were not registered. The municipality had asked him to watch over them.
MP, Mu Sochua spoke to the women about their rights and the gross violation of human rights committed by the authorities and the company. The head of the company had been every day to force the detainees to thumbprint to accept her offer.
When asked what they wish to do, the women said they wanted to leave the center as they feel scared, unsafe and shame for having to be detained with homeless, mentally disturbed people, drug addicts and young men who are violent. They wish to obtain housing in Borei Keila as promised to them by the prime minister.
After our short meeting, the women gathered their belongings and started climbing over the fence.
Their husbands ad relatives who brought them food and medicines helped them from the other side of the fence and they quickly left the center for town.
The two MPs were locked inside the center for 15 minutes till the head of the center unlocked both gates.
SRP MPS, will send a letter to the Minister of Justice to request action from the municipality court against the authorities and the company for illegal detention.
Since the destruction of Borei Keila, no representative of the government has provided support or care for the victims. The office of the governor and local authorities have provided full protection and total carte blanche to the company to threaten the victims and manipulate the situation.
This is Cambodia!
Video to follow soon.
Amazingly rare critics from inside the ruling party official. Very courageous, a sign of change? Grassroots power!
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
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.
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?
Mu Sochua, MP
“I do not fear death; I fear political silence against injustices”
-Malalai Joya, MP Afghanistan
Monday, 11 July 2011
Ground Broken Where a Lake Once Stood
Chun Sakada, VOA Khmer | Phnom Penh
Photo: Heng Reaksmey, VOA Khmer
Children sit on top their inundated homes, where Shukaku, Inc., has been pumping fill into Boeung Kak lake, (File photo).
The city develops with the rich. But we are poor.
The controversial development of Boeung Kak lake saw a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, despite months or even years of protest from villagers who said they didnt agree with a company buyout or resettlement plans.
The development company, Shukaku, Inc., which is owned by a ruling party senator, held its groundbreaking ceremony even as Phnom Penh authorities announced they would not consider a proposal by villagers to have a portion of the development set aside for them.
The ceremony marked a defeat for residents who have helplessly watched Shukaku pump fill from the bottom of the Tonle Sap into the lake, sending a rising tide of water into neighborhoods and replacing a massive body of fresh water in the north of the capital with sand.
Steadily evicted, bought out or flooded from their homes, angry residents have made numerous protests in front of City Hall and most recently filed complaints to the US Embassy, the EU and the British Embassy.
Im disappointed in the local authorities, for we have always believed in them to solve this land dispute for us, said Su Sophal, a 33-year-old resident of the lakeside community. But now the city has denied my proposal. I have no belief left in the city. I do not know that I can depend on someone to help solve this problem.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema said the city had not made leadership mistakes, but he acknowledged there remained complications for villagers who refuse to leave.
We will continue to solve some remaining problems with the residents at Boeung Kak lake, he said. My officials and I have not done anything wrong from the principle of government.
Lao Van, a representative of Shukaku, said at the ceremony the company had followed its development plan since 2007.
The master plan for Boeung Kak development includes a trade center, a modern supermarket, conference hall, entertainment, nightclub, hotel, university, hospital, residences, pleasant and attractive places and infrastructure, he said.
Such plans were little consolation for villagers like Pol Srey Pov, 36, who said she considered herself a legal landholder whose rights were violated by the citys 99-year-lease with the developer. She and others had hoped to have a plot of land 4 meters by 16 meters on some 15 hectares of the 133-hectare development.
The crime the women committed: defending their right to live in dignity. That is too much for the Phnom Penh authorities.