1. Thevada On Its Way… Time For A Change…

    At 8:07 AM this morning the Thevada for the Khmer New Year was welcomed by the Cambodians. He was presented offerings at the doorsteps, rich and poor alike. Negotiations between the old Thevada and the new one will go on for the next couple of days before the old year vanishes and the new one starts for real. Time for a change…

    A happy Khmer New Year to all…

    (Source: johnvink.com)

     
  2. Rohingya Issue Not New…

    I updated the story I did on Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in Bangladesh back in 1992 with new scans and never before edited photographs.

    The full story on my website can be found HERE.

     
  3. Unions Photo-Op…

    Various worker’s unions tipped off the press that they would distribute leaflets at both Canadia Industrial Park and Bright Sky factory, calling for a worker’s walkout after Khmer New Year, one way to alleviate if not to prevent harassment by the authorities. And so it happened. The operation went on unhindered despite the army patrols along Veng Sreng street and the military helicopter scanning the area a few times from the sky. Several hundred leaflets were distributed by a handfull of militants to workers from the Canadia Industrial Park leaving the premises for lunch.

    The operation at Bright Sky factory was less successful as it turned out most of the workers preferred to stay inside the cafetaria of the factory. Meanwhile thousands of workers further down Veng Sreng street were having their lunch break without having seen the flyers…

    This is a follow-up post on my ebook ‘A Fine Thread’, available for your iPad on iTunes HERE.

    (Source: johnvink.com)

     
  4. A 1-Year-Old Child Should Be Able To Walk…

    The Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), a merger between the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party, celebrates its first anniversary at the party headquarters.

    Discreet negotiations about an electoral reform seem to be under way between the CNRP and the ruling CPP to end the deadlock which followed the July 2013 elections, when the 55 CNRP lawmakers refused to take their seats at the National Assembly. At the same time the CPP has kickstarted the same legal machinery which successfully hampered Sam Rainsy’s movements in the past.

    (Source: johnvink.com)

     
  5. Tradition And Politics Can Mix…

    The opposition CNRP Youth organised a set of traditional games at Wat Phnom ahead of Khmer New Year. It is about the only thing they can do unhindered…

    (Source: johnvink.com)

     
  6. Street More Free Than Freedom Park…

    The 4th attempt, under close scrutiny of journalists, human rights workers and citizen journalists, by Mu Sochua, CNRP lawmaker, to reach the center of ‘Freedom Park’ this morning was again prevented by security guards from the municipality.

    Moments later, some 100 people were protesting on the sidewalk opposite the municipal court where a bail hearing was held for Vorn Pov, a union leader jailed during a miltary crackdown on striking workers at the beginning of January. A riot police intervention came only after the crowd crossed the road and massed at the entrance gate of the court.

    (Source: johnvink.com)

     
  7. Park Not Free On Day 3…

    The third attempt in as much days by Mu Sochua, opposition CNRP lawmaker, to reach the center of ‘Freedom Park’ was again prevented by municipal security guards who took over from a first blockade by a unit of riot police. The lawmaker made her point clear: freedom of expression, since a violent crackdown in early January (see HERE), is still not allowed at ‘Freedom Park’. Closely monitored by a considerable amount of journalists and human rights observers, she made several attempts to break through the barrage, holding and reading cards which mentioned the Cambodian laws regarding freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

     
  8. Five Hundred Thousand Plus One…

    A new report by human rights NGO LICADHO states that half a million people in just 13 provinces in Cambodia were affected by land issues since the year 2000 (see the report HERE). Also see ‘Quest for Land’, an app for the iPad, which gives an overview of land issues since 2000. You can download the app HERE.

    Make that half a million plus one: opposition CNRP lawmaker Mu Sochua was evicted by municipal security guards for the second time in two days from ‘Freedom Place’ where public gatherings are prohibited since early January.

    And on this same morning evicted communities, or soon-to-be-evicted communities from Phnom Penh gathered yet again in front of City Hall to meet with the authorities regarding a resolution of their land issues.

    (Source: johnvink.com)

     
  9. Beehive Tries to Sting…

    Braving the current protest ban, Mam Sonando, director of Beehive Radio, gathered about 100 supporters for yet another demonstration (see  another one HERE) which planned to march to the Ministry of Information to request the bandwith for an independent TV station.

    A considerable number of municipal guards and riot police prevented the march to take place but could not stop the demonstrators to make their point for over an hour near Naga bridge. The temperamental municipal guards were again responsible for the violent incidents during which at least one person was injured on the head by a bludgeon.

     
  10. The CNRP Still Has Legs…

    The opposition CNRP held a commemoration ceremony for the 1997 grenades attack near the former National Assembly on a Sam Rainsy Party rally which killed 16 and injured over 100, Sam Rainsy included.

    The demonstration ban imposed by the actual government following the violent crackdown on striking workers and CNRP supporters early January was somehow circumvented and a march in the blistering heat, all the way from the ceremonial ground to the CNRP headquarters in Chak Angré was organised. It was the first significant CNRP demonstration since the public forum at Freedom Park was suppressed. The CNRP held a congress on its premises, which was the only legal alternative to a prohibited gathering at Freedom Park. True, the 800 or 1000 CNRP supporters spilled over on the road somewhat…

    (Source: johnvink.com)