Come support Cambodia’s “Avatars”
Like the film Avatar’s Na’vi people, who describe the Pandoran forest as “their everything,” Cambodia’s Prey Lang Forest communities say, “Prey Lang is our forest. Where there is forest, there is life. Where there is no forest, there is no life.”
Cambodia has its own “avatars.” The Prey Lang Network, representing hundreds of indigenous Kuy communities around the forest, is on the move to save the forest from the illegal logging, agro-industrial plantations, and mines that are hastening its destruction. To date, they have collected more than 30,000 sign-ons to a petition to Save Prey Lang.
Tomorrow, on May 25, 2011, Prey Lang Network members, will celebrate the forest in a mass rally and press conference at the Freedom Park in Phnom Penh. They are appealing to the Government to save Prey Lang and to the people of Cambodia and the world to support them. An anticipated 200 demonstrators, including Network members painted blue and in traditional dress like “avatars,” hope to call attention to the dire situation of Prey Lang forest and its communities. Supporters from Phnom Penh and other areas are expected to join the event, which will include songs and dances from the forest communities.
The Network is petitioning the Royal Government of Cambodia to:
- Stop granting economic land concessions and suspend all those already granted in Prey Lang and the surrounding buffer areas;
- Give protected status to Prey Lang and keep and conserve Prey Lang as a heritage for Cambodia; and
- Recognize the Prey Lang Network to be partners with the government in co-management of the forest.
- Prey Lang Rally at the Freedom Park in Phnom Penh: May 25, 8am-5pm.
- Come enjoy ethnic Kuy indigenous art, song, music and dance, telling the importance of natural resources and showing how Kuy culture is strongly tied to the forest.
- PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: As Cambodia’s “Avatars,” they will be in blue body paint and traditional Kuy dress, including hats made from tree materials. This will provide you with lots of good photo opportunities.
- Listen into a Radio discussion by Prey Lang Network members on May 25, 7-8am and 4-5pm on Voice of Democracy Fm 106.5