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Land siezures in Cambodia threaten the poor
This recent article by Seth Mydans of the New York Times reports on land siezures in Cambodia that are pushing thousands of the poor into homelessness and deeper poverty. Some excerpts:
“Expropriation of the land of Cambodia’s poor is reaching a disastrous level,” Basil Fernando, executive director of the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong, a private monitoring group, said in December. “The courts are politicized and corrupt, and impunity for human rights violators remains the norm.”
economy on the rise, land is being seized for logging, agriculture, mining,
tourism and fisheries, and in Phnom Penh, soaring land prices have touched off
what one official called a frenzy of land grabs by the rich and powerful. The
seizures can be violent, including late-night raids by the police and military.
In a report in February, Amnesty International estimated that 150,000 people around the country were now at risk of forcible eviction as a result of land disputes, land seizures and new development projects.
Whichever way the winds of history blow, some people here say, life only gets worse for the poor. If it is not “pakdivat,” revolution, that is buffeting the poor, they say, it is “akdivat,” development... From 1993 to 1999, Amnesty International said in its report in February, the government granted commercial development rights for about one-third of the country’s most productive land for commercial development to private companies.
Read the full article on the New York Times website here>>
Posted By Megan Liddle at 1:05pm on July 27, 2008
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