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.
July 11, 2016 - We, the undersigned Cambodian civil society groups, are outraged at the brutal murder of independent political analyst and grassroots organiser Kem Ley yesterday morning, and call for a prompt, thorough and independent inquiry into his death.
Kem Ley, 46, was shot twice, in his chest and his head, in a heavily-frequented Caltex petrol station cafe in central Phnom Penh shortly before 9.00 on Sunday morning.
Since the early 1990s, Cambodia has been heavily reliant on foreign aid. The Cambodian Government is seeking to reduce donor-dependence and increase self-reliance, aiming to lift the country to the status of higher middle-income country by 2030. This goal depends heavily on increasing private investment, and the Government has described the private sector as the “engine of economic growth” for Cambodia. It is therefore seeking to encourage both foreign and domestic investment in order to maintain current growth rates and facilitate continued development of the country.