Thursday, April 5, 2012

Railway women

Notice that most are women, who brought their crying babies and small toddlers in tow, as they marched to the Bank office to personally deliver the complaint.  In developing countries, land is so closely linked to life and livelihoods.  

Unrelated to this case: Last week, during a regional conference, three sessions on land issues and one  session on Burma were canceled due to pressure by local authorities.  The evening before (notice to cancel is always short), the owner of the hotel where the conference was to be held stormed the halls, tearing down posters of Aung San Suu Kyi and threatening to turn off lights and electricity if any "sensitive" words were uttered.

Such is Cambodia.  It is not uncommon to have police surround you when you are interviewing communities in their homes or holding meetings with community members. I freely admit, however, that the first time I realized I was being followed, I freaked out.

I've been trying to keep this space free of work-thoughts, as work already pervades so much of my daily life.  But sometimes I just have to document it.

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