Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
Being a farmer is one of peace and quiet life. I would like to distract myself from the rest of competitive world by not getting involved directly to any conflict that has ravaged Cambodia so far. Inevitably, things have changed since I got elected as a vice-president and subsequently as a general manager of Cashew nut Association of Kampong Thom (CAT). CAT was established by Kampong Thom Provincial Department of Commerce in order to facilitate farmers and middlemen.
Things went wrong as expected, conflict has continuously appeared at community level between farmers and middlemen and local authorities. Farmers in communities have suffered the most as the result of the conflict. The middlemen tend to cheat while local authorities take bribe from those involved in dealing business with agricultural produce. As a matter of fact, farmers are in debt and lost the lands as the result. Most young adult from destitute families tend to leave for the neighboring countries, e.g., Thailand, Malaysia, and even farther to South Korea, and Japan and so forth to work as migrant workers such as construction workers, house maid, and cleaner so that they get some money to pay back the loan.
CAT has been doing anything to curb this plight from deteriorating by providing basic knowledge of agriculture and legal service to help farmers mainly cashew field. However, this effort is considered to be less effective due to lack of knowledge of conflict resolution or conflict prevention – Peace Study Approach.
Having been accepted as a Rotary Peace Study fellow, I find that it is important to know the root cause of the conflict and conflict analysis. The classroom work accompanied by field trips in Thailand and Sri Lanka bear a very useful fruit of peace construction to bring back home. Hence, I strongly determine myself to take away home some ideas of panel of negotiators, conflict analysis, mediator and equalizer, community involvement, etc.
Silot Uon – Cambodia
Rotary Peace Fellow – Class 25