The death tool from last week's collapse of a building housing garment factories in Bangladesh now stands at more than 500 and is expected to go higher. The disaster brings attention to the overall problems in garment factories in developing countries. VOA's Deborah Block give us a look at the economics of the industry.
Thousands of garment workers gathered in a demonstration in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, to demand better salaries and improved working conditions for the hundreds of thousands of workers in Cambodia’s factories. Workers say a government increase of the minimum wage, to $80 per month, is not enough to keep up with the rising cost of living in the country. The demonstration took place in front of the National Assembly, where representatives of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party and royalist Funcinpec addressed the workers. The demonstration was the first since political parties began ramping up for the July 27 national elections. (Suy Heimkhemra, Phnom Penh)
Cambodians have been settling in the United States for more than 30 years. Yet there are few real success stories in business. But there are exceptions, like Timothy Chhim, president of the Chamber of Commerce for Nanuet, New York. Chhim recently visited Washington for a business conference, he told VOA Khmer in an interview that's because many of them fail to think big, take risks and go after what they want. (Sok Khemara, Washington)
Housing rights activist Tep Vanny and other international rights advocates were awarded in a gala event at the Kennedy Center in Washington Tuesday night, sharing the stage with former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden. The event was held by Vital Voices, an organization established by Clinton in 1997. Tep Vanny accepted a global leadership award, calling it a sign that the Cambodian struggle for housing and land in the face of forced evictions had earned international recognition. VOA Khmer's Sok Khemera reports from Washington.
The award-winning documentary on Cambodian development, "A River Changes Course," screened in Washington last month for an environmental film festival. The festival examined the impacts of globalization and environmental destruction. VOA Khmer's Men Kimseng spoke with filmmaker Mam Kalyanee to discuss how these issues are addressed by activists and decision-makers.
Though the government has approved the Lower Sesan 2 Dam project, affected villagers in Stung Treng province continue to rally against it. They want authorities to reconsider plans for the hydropower dam. VOA Khmer's Say Mony reports from northern Cambodia in Stung Treng province. The villagers living along the Sesan river in Stung Treng province say they do not want to see the Lower Sesan 2 dam erected on the river, where generations of Cambodians have supported families by fishing and rice farming. Noy Phut is a fisherman here in Srek Kor village of Sesan district. He says if built, the dam would disrupt his ability to support his family by fishing. “Of course, there will be nothing,’’ Noy Phut said.