Tuesday, November 24, 2020
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Two Buddhist monks forced to flee to Thailand

Bor Bet and Sim Sovandy fled to avoid arrest after taking part in protest for the release of a trade union leader. The two spent over two months hiding in the forest, then after a two-day trip they crossed the border. Police and authorities searched for them at their temple and in their hometowns.

Phnom Penh, thousands march against illegal land seizure

The protesters came from the provinces of Koh Kong, Svay Rieng and Tbong Khmum. They blocked the access road to the land ministry and asked (in vain) for a meeting with the authorities. Behind the expropriations are businessmen linked to the ruling party or Chinese and Indian companies.

On the streets for freedom and rights: Cambodian activists arrested

A Buddhist monk and a famous local rapper also detained. Protests over the detentions of opponents and the management of the border issue with Vietnam. The United Nations warns: respect the "right to freedom of expression and peaceful association".

World Environment Day: Ecologists risk arrest in Cambodia

About twenty "Mother Nature" activists organized a bike ride from the island of Koh Kong to Phnom Penh. The goal was to deliver a petition to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The police stopped them, seized the bycyles and T- shirts with their logo. For the authorities, the march risked creating a Covid-19 outbreak.

Laos’s latest dam project sets of alarm bells about the Mekong’s health

The government is aiming for a dam that can produce 1,460 megawatts of electricity for export to Thailand and Vietnam. Construction is expected to begin in late 2020 or early 2021. Critics want data on its economic, environmental and social impact.

Threatened by deforestation, Cambodia loses 26 per cent of its forests in 43 years

Growing demand for timber is the main cause with unsustainable development causing degradation for ecosystem and people. The country has about 8.7 million hectares of evergreen, semi-evergreen, deciduous and dry dipterocarp forests, and flooded forests. The UN offers some recommendations to change course.

Phnom Penh’s hard-line against Sam Rainsy’s return

The opposition leader says he is going to return from exile on 9 November, urges soldiers to defect, and promises to lead the "restoration of democracy" in the country. The government reiterates that planning a coup d'état involves a sentence of 15 to 30 years.

Some 90 per cent of the economy in Sihanoukville is in Chinese hands

Chinese nationals own more than 90 per cent of all businesses in Sihanoukville, one of Asia’s main gambling hubs.

Cambodian government bans child labour in brick kilns

Under new ministerial regulations, employing minors becomes a crime. On 9 March, a nine-year-old girl lost her arm in a Preah Prasap kiln. For PIME Missionary, "it is necessary to counter the idea that those who do not produce are useless to society."

Chinese nationals lead in terms of offences

In the first three months of 2019, 241 Chinese were detained by Cambodian authorities, more than the Vietnamese, Thais, South Koreans and Americans. Chinese nationals also top the list of victims of offences as well.

Cambodia’s small Church announces 294 baptisms on Easter night

This is “God’s work,” says the vicar of Phnom Penh, Bishop Schmitthaeusler, who urges the faithful to experience their mission as baptised and sent: “the Church has been, the Church is, the Church shall be.”

Farmers protest in Phnom Penh against large-scale sugar plantations

In 2010, over 1,500 families were evicted from land they had farmed for 31 years. The farmers want the ministry to speed up the compensation process. Previous agreements were reached without any participation from the communities concerned.

Drought warning leads Cambodian government to tell rice farmers not to plant

Water shortages have been reported in 16 Cambodian provinces. El Niño is behind higher-than-average temperatures. About 75 per cent of Cambodia is farmland, devoted mostly to growing rice. The authorities hand out fertiliser and water to affected communities.

Cambodian indigenous group files lawsuit against French company over seized land

Over 800 families suffered damages by a Socfin-KCD plantation, which is funded by Bolloré. The plaintiffs lost hope of obtaining justice in Cambodia and so took their case to France.

Casino boom in Cambodia: + 53 per cent in 2018 only

About 150 casinos are now in operation, up from 98 in 2017. In the coastal province of Sihanoukville alone there are 88. The law bans Cambodians from entering casinos. For PIME missionary, “it is difficult to assess the consequences of the trend because all this has happened so fast”.

Wave from Laos dam collapse hits Cambodia

Evacuations underway in the northeastern province of Stung Treng, on the border with Laos. Rescuers' efforts continue. 27 dead are ascertained; 131 missing. Message of condolences from the Archbishop of Seoul and a contribution of 43 thousand euros for aid.

Witch hunt in Kampot: Three women prove their innocence in pagoda

A woman and her two daughters were accused of causing death and disease in the village of Kandal Tuol.