1. Odourless Money…

    In French they say ‘l’argent n’a pas d’odeur’ (money has no odour)… Really?

    Six villagers from Oral and Thnong in Kompong Speu province whose lives were heavily impacted by the 8,343-hectare sugar cane plantation Phnom Penh Sugar, owned by ruling party Senator Ly Yong Phat, which was financed with a loan by ANZ Royal Bank, demonstrated in front of the bank’s main office. Ten trucks with about 150 villagers were prevented by the police from leaving their province to join the demonstration in the capital.

    UPDATE: Some 100 villagers finally managed to join the 6 protesting in front of the bank. I added 9 more photographs…

    See also THIS, at a time when it was not clear yet that this village was involved in the same issues as Oral.

  2. Don’t Touch Their Rice…

    Twenty-four hours after the area of Boeung Kak lake was flooded, the water went down a few centimeters only, leaving tens of houses filled with itchy and foul water. The area is located next to a containment lake which was filled up with sand by development company Sukaku Inc. who was granted a 99 year lease to develop the area.

    The angry residents, just like the day before, held a demonstration in front of City Hall, this time ripping open bags of rice contaminated by floodwater and spreading its content on the road.

    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.

    (Source: johnvink.com)

  3. When The Rain Stops…

    In Phnom Penh, when the rain stops, the waters recede and the flooding eases away… Except in Boeung Kak: the water stays a bit longer. The following photographs were taken several hours after most other parts of central Phnom Penh were dry. 

    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.

    (Source: johnvink.com)

  4. Cambodia Knows About Refugees…

    The Australians who masterminded the idea to get rid of people who thought a rich country like Australia, which was built upon massive migrations, would be generous enough to take them in, are so scared of changing anything in their comfortable life that they just don’t see the energy refugees bring to a country. Dumping those who came for help to a country like Cambodia which is still struggling to find some social justice is a clear demonstration of cynicism for one side and greedy cynicism on the other.    

    In fact many Cambodians were a refugee at one point in their life. Many still are. Look at these few photographs, or see many more on  my website.

    I worked on refugee situations for many years… These stories can be found HERE. It looks like I will pick up where I left.

  5. Civil Society Protests Australian Refugee Deal

    Some 150 members from various civil society groups, taken in hand by monks from the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice (IMNSJ), held a protest in the vicinity of the Australian Embassy which was cordoned off by riot police units. A short scuffle when demonstrators tried to force a passage resulted in the injury of one land rights activist.

    The Canberra government will sign a controversial agreement with the Cambodian authorities this afternoon regarding refugees who arrived on their soil to be sent to Cambodia on a voluntary basis instead, in exchange for a $US 40 million aid package spread over the next years.

    (Source: johnvink.com)

  6. Cambodia Came A Long Way Since 1989

    The last Vietnamese soldier officially left the Cambodian soil tomorrow September 26th, 25 years ago… The signing of the Paris Peace Accord of 1991 was now possible.

    I spent one month in Cambodia in May and June 1989, a few months before the Vietnamese army withdrawal.

    My first visit in S.E.Asia… Here is what I came back with (updated with never published before photographs)… 

  7. Development or copy-paste architecture…

    For the past 5 years I have been documenting the development projects in areas where people were evicted from. Well… in fact it ends up to be a reflection on what the ‘ideal’ city looks like for some after a very superficial imagery transfer from one culture to another.

    These other landscape photographs can be seen on my website at this link.

    Here is a recent set…

  8. Hydropower Dam Protest Runs Dry…

    The intimidating presence of a considerable numbers of riot police deployed at Wat Samaky Raingsey and near the Stung Meanchey bridge, thwarted the plan to have 100 buddhist monks and environment activists demonstrate at the Chinese embassy against the construction of the Areng valley hydropower dam.

    Just 1 tuktuk with 4 Borei Keila land rights activists and 3 monks managed to stay a few minutes before the embassy before being pushed away by the police.

    Moments later another group of monks, joined by villagers from Kampong Speu province, gathered at Freedom Park.

    (Source: Hydropower Dam Protest Runs Dry...)

  9. On the beaten track…

    Both the evicted communities from Lorpeang (Kampong Chhnang) and Malai (Banteay Meanchey), hosted and supported by land rights activists and buddhist monks in two different locations, marched through the streets of Phnom Penh to deliver petitions at the Ministry of Justice and the National Assembly for the first and at the National Assembly only for the second group.

    (Source: johnvink.com)

  10. Unrelenting Borei Keila…

    The community of Borei Keila which was forcefully evicted in January 2012 after countless intimidations, lies and cheatings since 2007 (see HERE), held a demonstration in front of the municipality building.