Organised by: The Sombath Initiative
11am, Wednesday 31 August, 2016, Bangkok
At a time when ASEAN is witnessing an alarming increase in human rights abuses, restrictions on civil liberties, and a shrinking of democratic space in a number of its member states, what kind of example does this year’s ASEAN Chair, Laos, set for the regional bloc?
By Ros Sokunthy
“Last night I heard the Prime Minister said he never heard about community land conflicts, so I want to send a message to the Prime Minister that my community has a land conflict with the company KDC International. We want the company to stop building the wall; we want the government to order the police out from our village; we want the courts to release the 5 villagers who were arrested; and we want to get a fair and just solution to this land conflict.”
“[Mr.] Den is not going anywhere, he is always with us, in our heart” said the sister of Mr. Den Kamlae, a land rights defender who has been missing since 16 April 2016, during a traditional ceremony held in June to mark three months since his disappearance. The family and villagers believe that local officials are involved in Den’s disappearance as a result of his activism and involvement in the community’s dispute with the national park department on land issues.