This is my first blog of 2014 and I wish you all a Happy New Year ! Unfortunately it has not been a good start to this year for many here in Cambodia. As you may or may not be aware there have been violent clashes between security forces and protesting garment factory workers on the 2nd January. Five people were shot dead and about 40 taken to hospital, many with gun wounds and others with the broken bones and bruises from severe beatings by the security forces.
Cambodia is not, as we are led to believe a democracy, but a dictatorship. It has a brutal regime. Those striking are asking for a minimum wage of $160 a month(£97.5). That is less than £25 a week for what is 8 hours of work six days a week. They are being offered $80 a month as a minimum wage (£49). That is less than £12.50 a week….
Nike,Adidas, Gap, Walmart and H&M are some of the biggest companies that use these factories. So far they have had little, if anything to say about the brutality. This is quite worrying as I wonder how many people know what has been going on. There was very little coverage of this incident on the news back home. Initial reports said that three had been killed but unfortunately it rose to five. The weapons used included AK-47’s, metal poles, knives , slingshots and batons…..just what every democratic country needs. Some of the protesters threw rocks.
23 were arrested and their whereabouts kept secret for several days. Even now there is no certainty as to where they are and many, if not all, required medical treatment after their beatings. One is a juvenile and should not be in an adult prison. For a bit more information on this situation please see http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/silence-broken-last
Later in the week a peaceful protest in Freedom Park was broken up by the security forces aided and abetted by a large number of thugs. The whole area was cleared and public meetings of 10 or more are now banned. Those who were peacefully protesting at Freedom Park were mainly women, children and monks. http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/military-police-storm-freedom-park will give you a bit more information.
This is NOT to GLORIFY but to INFORM as people need to know what is going on. So, until the whole world hears…..
This lovely family were unfortunately involved in a moto accident a few weeks ago outside our house. None were badly hurt but suffered cuts and bruises to their left legs and arms as they fell off the bike so we took them inside and did the best we could to patch them up. I am not too keen on the sight of blood by you sort of go into auto pilot when you have too…..I don’t know what the husband does but the lady collects rubbish for recycling in the area where we live. These photo’s were taken just a few days ago when we bumped into them.They are all healed now and as you can see full of smiles…