Sunday, February 26, 2012

Live with it

I can stop bleating on about the power cuts we're experiencing in Phnom Penh. Why? Because they are going to get worse before they get better. There's simply not enough electricity on the grid to meet the demands of the city's residents and businesses. So those sweaty hour-long blackouts will continue for the next month or two, no doubt at exactly the same time as my favourite television programme begins or when I'm in the middle of typing an important Facebook post!

You will no doubt have seen the media reports coming out of Cambodia in recent weeks that are exposing worrying trends. Whether its the security forces shooting unarmed workers, or protesters taking matters into their own hands and fighting back, by pelting factories with rocks, damaging company equipment and taking security guards as hostages. The country's leaders have stated that shooting protesters is not to be tolerated although the latest perpetrators remain at large, but neither is the violence by workers that we saw in one incident last week. It's getting out of hand. On both sides. And it will surely get worse. There's an undercurrent of 'enough is enough' from the man on the street involved in these disputes over land, property, workers rights and so on. I don't have the answer, there are too many factors and players involved for a simple solution, but I fear that like the power cuts, it will get a lot worse before it gets better.

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