Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pursat Railway Communities

I meant to post pictures from this trip a few weeks ago, but never got the chance because I was off to Thailand and elsewhere immediately thereafter.  This community lives in and around a small station about 30km south of Pursat station, on the Northern Line  - the line that is intended to connect Cambodia with Thailand.  I don't know what is going to happen to these people.  The Project-sponsored resettlement site is chock-full, and eventually these people, who have built tailor shops and makeshift grocery stores on the station grounds, will have to move.  Where will they go?  After speaking to them a bit, we realized they have no clue - no clue about whether they will be forced to move, no clue about this project that will  inevitably displace them.

And, as in other land sector cases, these people will probably be given minimal (I'm talking like a month) notice of being relocated, as they are told to thumbprint (people don't typically use signatures here; they thumbprint documents) some contract or statement that they won't quite understand, before finally being required to move.  Many settled in the area after the fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979.

There's an early Tuesday morning rant.

By the way, aren't those old sewing machines rad?  They're everywhere here.

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