Accusations of landgrabbing overshadow ASEM
According to NGOs active in Laos, the recent ASEM 9 conference was held on land that had been taken away from local residents. They say this is representative of an increase in landgrabs across Asia.
Sylvia Kay recently toured Laos to look at the issue of land grabbing for Netherlands-based watchdog organization TNI. She met relocated locals, and says some degree of consultation with those involved did occur.
"According to one farmer we met, three meetings between locals and government officials took place," she told DW. "Apparently certain promises were made, but not delivered on."
Kay did admit, however, that compensation was paid, at varying levels, to relocated families. "I have no doubt that for some it would be the largest sum of money they have ever seen in their lives."
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