Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Two strikes

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal came to a shuddering halt yesterday when the Interpretation and Translation Unit announced to all and sundry that they were going on strike over three months worth of unpaid salaries, leaving judges and everyone else sat in the court, in limbo. Funds for the Tribunal have been a touchy subject for a long while, with the international and national components scratching around donor countries to make ends meet. The 30 ITU staff had simply had enough. Some 270 local staff have not been paid since November because the Cambodian-funded side of the UN-backed court says it doesn't have the cash to pay them. It's a sad and sorry state of affairs when local staff feel they have no other recourse than to take such punitive action.

Up in Siem Reap, power has been restored across temple town after four days of blackout. A truck crashed into an electricity pylon - most of the town's power comes overland from Thailand - and caused the whole of Siem Reap to lose its electricity supply last Thursday. There were threats that it might last a week so there was a rush to buy generators amongst small businesses and individuals. Most of the major hotels weren't affected as they already had back-up supplies. It pisses me off when I lose electricity for a couple of hours, which has been the case in recent weeks, so I couldn't imagine a four-day blackout.

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Blogger Sue Guiney said...

Things did, indeed, get a bit testy up here in Siem Reap with people scrambling around in the middle of the night looking for a place to sleep. And of course, on the day the power went back on we had a sudden cool snap. I'm heading to Phnom Penh today, so hopefully power is reliable down there. And as far as the Tribunal goes, there have been so many problems along the way I don't know what to think anymore. It's all horribly disappointing,

March 6, 2013 at 1:22 PM  

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