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Posted by: | Posted on: April 7, 2018

Can Cambodia’s fractured opposition survive?

Can Cambodia’s fractured opposition survive?

 PHNOM PENH, APRIL 5, 2018 3:48 PM (UTC+8)

In America, where many former CNRP officials now find themselves in exile, members of each clique have shared platforms and speaking engagements.

Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha have become figure of change against the status-quo of Hun Sen. The perpetual attempts of Hun Sen to divide them both has been in vain that leading to Hun Sen's aggressive paranoia to dissolve this party. The author must comprehend this moment that from what Hun Sen did in dissolving the CNRP, the unity and awareness have become greater and sounder in directing this force to bring back Cambodia's democracy, rule of laws, justice, wealth share fairness, social trust, and sustainable development.

Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha have become figure of change against the status-quo of Hun Sen. The perpetual attempts of Hun Sen to divide them both has been in vain that leading to Hun Sen’s aggressive paranoia to dissolve this party. The author must comprehend this moment that from what Hun Sen did in dissolving the CNRP, the unity and awareness have become greater and sounder in directing this force to bring back Cambodia’s democracy, rule of laws, justice, wealth share fairness, social trust, and sustainable development.

“Is the spirit of the CNRP still alive? Of course it’s still alive. The CNRM intends to be a placeholder for when the CNRP is reconstituted,” says Sophal Ear, associate professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College at Los Angeles.

The Cambodia National Rescue Party – North America (CNRP-NA), composed of chapters from different American states, was formed after the HRP and SRP merged in 2012. It was formerly the SRP-NA.

But, in 2014, a number of members and state chapters, supposedly those loyal to the HRP, broke away to create the CNRP-USA. Today, this group appears to have remained loyal to those who want to remain under the CNRP banner.

But Phan Prak, a representative of the CNRP-USA, says the organization “is not against the CNRM nor have we ever supported it. The CNRP-USA respects an individual to exercise their rights to join any organizations as they wish.”

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While there are attempts by government-aligned media to portray divisions within the opposition as a sign of its feebleness, another interpretation is that internal disputes ought to be welcomed in any pro-democracy party or movement.

Indeed, a positive reading of current events is that voices ignored in the past are now being allowed to air their thoughts and grievances. Some political analysts think this is an opportunity for a younger generation of opposition figures to emerge.

“It is so important for the opposition party to have new blood in its leadership. Leaders in the opposition party should be the mentors for the new blood,” says Noan Sereiboth, a political blogger.

There are some indications that is happening. Kem Sokha’s eldest daughter, Kem Monovithya, 36, has been one of the most active and vocal figures, meeting with US senators last month and Japanese officials last week. She declined to comment for this article.

At the same time, analysts say there is the danger that if infighting continues there will only be one winner: Hun Sen. If fissures go unresolved then it would be the “nail in the coffin of the one formula that seemed to work: the creation of a unified opposition,” says academic Sophal Ear.

Continue to read this article in Asia Times…

Posted by: | Posted on: March 24, 2018

Is this the act of victims are victimized?

Dear Respectful Members,

This thread is to express my deep sorry and frustration that because of what I mentioned about “PM Hun Sen didn’t appear in the group photo because he said he was at the toilet?” that made Louk Pu BA faced removing from the Campro group (link 1, link 2). Whatever reasons his removal is referred to, I think that, this action is just a paralleled “victims are victimized” conduction in Cambodia society.

Eisenhower word Observing from those most fundamental activities to the most essential practises on national stage, they are showing us (the underdogs) the path to its evilization that we should shoulder to deevilize them, if possible. Parents have victimized their children by just their excuse “I am your father/mother”, neighbours have victimized children through their funny bullying behaviours, and state leaders have used laws for their advantage to suppress the victims of land grabs and incompetence of the courts and dissents etc.
With the below attached threads, we might get some more info on what Pu BA is facing. He emailed me privately to anticipate my claims of PM Hun Sen was busy in toilet allowing the eminent leaders of Australia-ASEAN took group photo without him. I think Pu BA is among those Cambodian-Australians who were affected by the outrageous life threatening by PM Hun Sen’s public speech. Some sarcastic words of Pu BA towards PM Hun Sen is not been comparable to what PM Hun Sen has used state’s medium to denounce, to scold, to threat, and to anticipate grip of intimidation towards those dissents against him, at all.
I have always described the “victims are victimized” as a social failure in Cambodia. This activity has run underneath social fabric and caused our future short and FB_IMG_1521561535184unsustainable. Once, the conviction was laid that “While the Western countries believe in giving space and liberty to their citizens to bravely speak up their voice and fully engage in social development in the hope of long term survival of their motherland, Cambodia is in dichotomous effort by the government. This historical and remarkable contrast has happened since Cambodian people protest against the additional border treaty with Vietnam in 2005, many of them were arrested and jailed, once Prime Minister Hun Sen promised to make coffins for those who dare to claim back Khmer Krom lost land for Cambodia, and with many other occasions including banning Alex from his campaign to protect the Cambodia forests, is seen as an attempt to threat those bottom line people activism who are working to protect their lands and forests and to open way or encourage the wrong doers such as land grab activities, deforestation and logging, and forced eviction etc. to continue their wrong deeds without obstacles” (original link).
As some of the members said, in our discussion group, there are variety of speeches, sarcasms, threats(sic), and harsh exchanges etc. but at thHun Sen at Sydney alone alwayse end, this is how the wise have learnt to accept, to tolerate, and to exchange knowledge within a healthy multi-cultural setting. Some regulations and rules are good in producing healthy multi-cultural society, but some are just tools for the controllers to exercise their own biased territory. So let be frank in ourselves and treat things fairly and credibly.
I would like to plea Louk Sophal to explain more reasons to deleting/removing Pu BA from the group. With two warnings will become completely removing is still redundant. This practice has placed all other members at stake and reduced the quality of goals and definition and mission statement set within Campro by all members. Pou BA should be asked for his volunteering stance of view rather than being dictated towards him. And he should be reinstated.
Thank you very much for your kind consideration.
Sophoan
Posted by: | Posted on: March 22, 2018

Joint Statement on the Human Rights Situation in Cambodia

Op-Ed: Geneva Switzerland

Item 2 General Debate
37th Session of the Human Rights Council
Geneva, March 21, 2018

Mr. President,

New Zealand 1 New Zealand makes this statement on behalf of a group of 45 countries; the full version of the statement and the list of supporting delegations will be published on the extranet.

The international community has provided strong support for the development of democracy in Cambodia during the twenty-five years since the Constitution of Cambodia enshrined liberal multi-party democracy.  Over the intervening decades, we have applauded the progress Cambodia had made since the signing of the Paris Peace Agreements in 1991.  Positive indictors included a relatively successful national election in 2013, and communal elections in 2017.

As we near the elections scheduled for 29 July this year, our previous optimism has been replaced by deep concern about the recent serious decline of civil and political rights in Cambodia.  These backward steps include signs of escalating repression of the political opposition, civil society and media. We share the concerns highlighted by the High Commissioner and the Special Rapporteur about actions taken by the Cambodian government that will undermine the conduct of credible, free and fair elections in July.  For the Cambodian Government to retain its legitimacy, any elections must be free, fair and credible.

International human rights treaties ratified by Cambodia and the Constitution of Cambodia guarantee, and the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration affirms the rights of freedom of expression, freedom of association, and of citizens to participate in government through free, fair and credible elections that are periodic and transparent. However, we note with particular concern that in recent months:New Zealand 2

  • There has been a significant clampdown on the press and civil society across the country, including the closure or suspension of several NGOs and independent media companies;
  • The Cambodia National Rescue Party leader Kem Sokha was detained on 3 September 2017, and since then has been deprived of his rights including access to his lawyers, and the right to defend himself through legal assistance of his own choosing.
  • The court’s continued unwillingness to release Kem Sokha on bail during judicial proceedings is of concern especially in light of his deteriorating health.
  • The CNRP was dissolved by the Supreme Court on 16 November, 118 CNRP members were banned from political activity for five years, and the CNRP’s local and national seats were reallocated to unelected members of the ruling and other parties.

We are particularly concerned about the conditions under which opposition leader Kem Sokha is being detained following his arbitrary arrest: he is reportedly in isolation, without adequate access to health care, subjected to intrusive observation, and other conditions, such as constant light.  We call for the immediate release of all political prisoners, including Kem Sokha.

We urge Cambodia to:

  • Reinstate the CNRP and all elected members to their national and communal seats, and to
  • Repeal the amendments to the Law on Political Parties which provided for expansive grounds for the dissolution of political parties.

An electoral process from which the main democratic opposition party has been arbitrarily excluded cannot be considered genuine or legitimate.

We call on the Royal Government of Cambodia to take all measures necessary, before it is too late, to ensure that the 2018 elections are free, fair and credible.  In particular, we urge that the elections take place in a peaceful environment without threats, arbitrary arrests or acts of intimidation, and that all international human rights obligations important for successful elections, such as rights to freedom of expression, press, association and peaceful assembly, are respected, protected and fulfilled.

Further, we urge the Royal Government of Cambodia to refrain from using judicial, administrative and fiscal measures as political tools against the opposition, the media, civil society and human rights defenders and to further revise: the Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO); the Law on Trade Unions; the Cambodian Criminal Code; and recent amendments to the Constitution. The political environment must be one in which opposition parties, civil society and media can function are able to carry out their legitimate roles without fear, threats or arbitrary restrictions.

We were heartened by the UN Special Rapporteur on Cambodia’s country visit that took place from 5-14 March.  We strongly encourage the government of Cambodia to pay close attention to the Special Rapporteur’s recommendations from her recent visit. In this regard, we urge Cambodia to take all necessary measures to prevent and deter acts of intimidate and reprisals against those cooperating with the UN human rights mechanisms, including human rights defenders and other civil society actors. We stand ready to support the implementation of assistance that will strengthen Cambodia’s democratic systems.

We urge the continued attention of the international community to the current situation in Cambodia, and we will look to further consideration by the Human Rights Council if the human rights situation does not improve in the lead up to the elections in July. We encourage the High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide an update on the situation in Cambodia in an inter-sessional briefing ahead of the June session of the Human Rights Council.

As Cambodia continues along the path of development, we urge the government to fulfill human rights obligations and commitments, in furtherance of a genuine liberal multi-party democracy as envisaged in the Constitution of Cambodia for the benefit of all Cambodians.

Thank you Mr. President.

New Zealand 3 New Zealand 4 New Zealand 5

 

 

More report by Reuters

Posted by: | Posted on: March 2, 2018

Could CNRP join election in 29 July 2018?

Preamble:

SWOT-Analysis-vs-PEST-Analysis This is a tough question if we look at it from Cambodia government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, but it is an easy question if we look at democratic principles and the current pressures from the international communities. To enabling this feasible question, we need a bit digesting into scientific method of SWOT. Another analysis named PEST has been boon for Opportunity and Threat of SWOT. In case of Cambodia, Politics, Economic, Social, and Technology or the PEST has been evolved into Threat for Hun Sen government through his 33 years in tenure and his recent bogging down of democratic principles by using the court to dissolve CNRP which is the best performer in legitimizing his power.

We are also using indicators such as leadership personality, principles adherence, ethical performance, and structural institution etc. to supplement Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat on this research’s flashing question of “could CNRP join the election in 29 July 2018?”

History of the Problems:

Courtesy of Phnom Penh Post

Courtesy of Phnom Penh Post

Hun Sen is known for his political career of playing both soft and hard tactics to sustain his power and legitimacy. His recent move to amend the laws with his lawmakers solely is aimed to tame civil society, independent media, and to dissolve opposition CNRP. It is confident that this cracking down of democracy is to preempt his power threat of the Senate election in 25 February 2018 and national election in 29 July 2018. His recent action is reverse to his pride of democracy in Cambodia. His wish is likely to use public propaganda to fabricate Cambodian people and the international communities. In fact, the over domestic 4 millions of Cambodian netizens, the nearly 2 millions of Cambodian migrant workers, and the over 1 million of Cambodian diasporic members, all are resistant to this new political propaganda. For the international arena, over half the world is the democratic countries which are keen to condemn Hun Sen’s tactics and are supportive to restore the normality of democracy in Cambodia by allowing CNRP to join the election race smoothly.

China is believed to be only one state that has supported the current action of Prime Minister Hun Sen while China cannot provide political legitimacy according to current Cambodia structure of monarchy democracy, multi-parties, free and fair election, and Cambodia constitution-based governing. China was an acute patron of Pol Pot regime that is notorious in human rights violation of killing field in Cambodia. With current inclination towards China, Hun Sen administration is violating Cambodia constitution of neutrality to vanguard its interests and national sovereign integrity.

Sam Rainsy was once bullied by the Hun Sen government through the legal trial over accusation of damaging border’s wood-poles  between Cambodia and Vietnam, but as a result, there were huge boomerang towards Hun Sen’s popularity when Sam Rainsy’s return home from political exile was greeted by millions of Cambodian people. This historic greeting of his back-home is significant to Sam Rainsy’s recent resignation from his post as president of CNRP aiming to avoid legal limbo over it’s dissolution.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has historically used violent words to bully Cambodian people and his opposition. His words are not only about public scolding and irresponsible jokes but threatening towards his subjects directly and indirectly.

STRENGTH:

  • Sam Rainsy has become active in lobbying international communities again after Kem Sokha has been jailed by Hun Sen.
  • Pressure from well-informed Cambodian netizens or more mature Cambodian voters.
  • Legitimacy is the strongest wish of Prime Minister Hun Sen as he has been well aware of high risk to ride on power without balancer and the clear roadmap.
  • Economic sanctions are very effective to withhold government’s ability to govern. Economic leverage from USA, EU, Australia, Canada and Japan are vital to the survival of Cambodia government in the present and the future.
  • Legal action against the human right violation through the ICJ and other competent courts are vital. UNs can unseat Cambodia if this country failed to comply with legal binding once this country pledged to operate through a democracy leadership.
  • Pressure from internal people of interest groups (PIGs) among elites and patrons of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP).
  • Hun Sen’s bad mouths and dictatorship have resulted more pedigree to the opposition.

WEAKNESS:

  • China can push Cambodia into single party state by allowing Monarch to exist as a symbol with no real power and the current Constitution will be gradually disapproved.
  • Human resource of the CNRP is remained problematic.
  • More democratic countries have paid more attention to their own domestic issues.
  • There is no one voice and clear time-frame for the democratic activists.

OPPORTUNITY:

  • Australia and Japan can take their key role to enabling the genuine reform of the Court, the Assembly, the Administration Platform, and Arm-force, rather than focusing on the complete returning back of CNRP solely.
  • The package of negotiation must place national interest as priority, not party or individual.
  • Paris Peace Agreement is remained the locus of inspiration of the Cambodian people.
  • All democrats regardless CPP or CNRP must stand up together to protect the Cambodia democracy.

THREAT:

  • The revolt among the elites and the powerful is inevitable if the frame of democracy is continuing to be deteriorated.
  • External player like Vietnam who could undermine the China’s interests in Cambodia is inevitable.
  • The Saga of Khmer Rouge is rolling back in Cambodia under the guideline of China.
  • The force of democrats have remained hollow internally.
  • The time-frame of election for party registration is expired around April 2018.
  • If Hun Sen cannot stop CNRP from joining the election, he has strategically been able to monopolize the Senate and contaminate this party to ash.
  • In all times, Hun Sen and his team have achieved in taking away all future foundation of the opposition by agreeing things that are trivial and not harmful to the CPP.

 

Posted by: | Posted on: January 6, 2018

What is happening to the 7 January 2018?

Synopsis:

Amid political stunt of cracking down on Cambodia’s democracy to increase the authoritarian leadership, the new episode of cold war politics in Cambodia has been rewritten to centralize a personal cult of dictatorial behaviour. After exiling Sam Rainsy and jailing Kem Sokha, the dissolution of CNRP was completed; the version of colour revolution and the personal cult narrative are made. But there are something dangerous over there inevitably.

Deadly slope ahead:

Cambodia Governance Dr. Lao Different from the cold war when King Sihanouk allied with China to combat against USA as well as Vietnam allied with Russia to combat against both China and USA, Hun Sen has faced a more deadly bumpy road under current free market political economy. Pol Pot who was spearheaded by China was very disappointing when China didn’t stop Vietnam from invading Cambodia to stop their brutal rule in January 7, 1979. China didn’t care how much Vietnamese conspiracy was strongly built within the Khmer Rouge organization; China has cared only to control them both, Vietnam and Cambodia. Now, with Hun Sen’s administration cracking down a viable political party CNRP that could neutralize brutality in Cambodia, only China has come out to support with promising millions of dollar in aides including releasing a statement to guarantee free and fair election although China has no free and fair election in its country.

The tide of resistance from both domestic forces and international forces will firmly and increasingly position Hun Sen into China’s armpit. But like Pol Pot, China’s interest is first. USA and China cannot retreat themselves from the bonding of free market benefits. If the election will be conducted without the participation of CNRP, the deadly game will be inevitably exploded.

New episode is rewritten:

Cold-War-Map-coloredThis year, the narrative of January 7 is purely boosting Hun Sen as the key actor. The clip was made in English subtitling aiming to lure international forces as well as to appeal voters’ support of CPP’s salvation version while the truth of history of this day is truly spitting on the face of all CPP’s circle elites. Resulting from 2013 national election, and the absence of celebration in January 7, 2014, the effort to light it up this year is remained more deeply suspicious among Cambodia’s voters. Khmer proverb says “don’t try to force someone to believe in you if you are not honestly telling the truth to them”, and “too much lie will defeat yourself”. And it is like what the Premier affirmed himself in the clip “don’t hope that brutality and cruelty can help you keep power. This lesson must be learned deeply. The more dictatorial and the more brutal, the sooner the collapse is.”

The Future Scenarios:

Selling old product of January 7, 1979 of the CPP has been hopeless by the observers as those believers in this day are representing around 30% among all eligible voters. With too overwhelming reversal political strategy of Hun Sen such as self-proclaimed hero, whitening out democratic force, politicizing every breadth of Cambodian society, family built-up wealth, pervasive corruptions, and praising this day of foreign invasion, denying UNTAC etc. shall distance Hun Sen and his regime far away from democratic election more and more. These forces are the extreme that can bring both dead and survival. But how could he hide himself by the shield of China alone?

CNRP has come a long way by its evolutionizing through the trend of the people, but it has less experience in adapting itself to “the survival of the fittest”. The latest tactic of pushing its boat along the stream could greatly benefit its investment, but it is also yielding an unpredictable result. To void this, this party must be more pragmatic in its action plan, long term plan, conviction, and workmanship. The existing system of political structure of Cambodia couldn’t permit free will and free mind of the democrats to exercise their potential fully. The pragmatists see these loopholes as the essential factors to adapt and change from within at the maximum. Now, all existing forces are not yet used. The domestic forces are like laid eggs waiting owner to pick and cook them. The international forces are partly used.

Read more on analysis of January 7 day….

Posted by: | Posted on: December 18, 2017

Present Cambodia’s Conundrum and Its Foreseeable Future

Preamble:

This upcoming election of Senate in February 25, 2018 and national election in July 29, 2018 are very questionable on its legitimacy as the key voters of largest opposition party CNRP (tantalizing of 5007 councillors) have been redistributed to other parties especially to the government-led party CPP and the dissolution as well as the banning of 118 core members of the CNRP. The excuse of law ratifying to redistributing seats (both law-makers in the parliament and the lower governance apparatus commune-Sangkat councillors) has been outraged by both the providence of such law amending and nationwide errs. More than that, the international community has ever come to shoulder to respond to this systemic crackdown on the state of democracy and human rights brokering since the first election in 1993 sponsored by the UNTAC.

The strength on his political manoeuvring of Prime Minister Hun Sen through the backing of China and the resistance to reinstating back to the original course from both Cambodian nationals and international community are likely not in equilibrium. Thus, pragmatists see that this imbalance will lead to an uncontested solution.

The Hun Sen’s Strength:

Cambodia Conundrum 1 Cambodia Conundrum 2 Cambodia Conundrum 3 Cambodia Conundrum 6 Cambodia Conundrum 7Prime Minister Hun Sen has been known for his relentless and successful manoeuvring the tactic of “divide and conquer” on his several political contenders. With the increasing of votes towards the opposition CNRP in both national election 2013 and commune-Sangkat election in 2017, the preparedness and implementation on the dissolution of this largest opposition party has been undertaken. There were no doubts on the amendments by single party (CPP) on several laws such as NGOs laws (LANGO), law of labours unions, law of the press and media (sic), and three times adjustment of the law on political party etc.  Mixing his repeated warnings on war if he lost the election to these efforts on law amendments to sideline his opponent is a concerted effort to substantiate the facade of democracy in Cambodia.

With current state of international competitiveness, China publicly announced its support of the dissolution of the CNRP as well as other jailing and threats on the opposition members. The narrative of colour revolution has been made and publicized at large to apply the course of jailing Kem Sokha, president of the CNRP, and the judgement of the Supreme Court to dissolve the CNRP with the conviction of colour revolution to topple a legitimate government.

In hand, Hun Sen has comforted his zone through high ranking positioning of arm-force from his children, to relatives, and to closest loyalists, on key responsibility such as the bodyguard units, the intelligent police, the national police, the military police, and the army. The coffer’s pockets are full of loyal Oknha (entitlement of Lord to cementing patronage beaurocrats of oligarchy) and the key position of treasurers (money’s controllers) of his trust. The governance system of spreading his loyalists to key positions such as the Royal Palace, the Assembly, the Senate, and the Judiciary, the state’s human rights body, the state’s anti-corruption unit, etc., is tangible.

The Convincible Strength: 

The dissolution of the CNRP and the redistributing all those seats is comfortably with no distress of reprisal is known as the physical “winning” of the battle while the destruction and violation on the rule of law as well as the disrespectful to the half-nationwide-population voice of the Cambodian people is the moral “defeating” of the war. The domestic outcry of the people levelling at the state of silence is one of the testimonies of their political maturity. They are silently ready to exercise their voice through secrete ballots. The international community representing over 70% of the earth surface has come out with concrete actions and action-plans to respond to Hun Sen’s manoeuvring.

Cambodia Conundrum 4 Cambodia Conundrum 5Led by the US and EU, the sanction on individuals of the powerful elites of Hun Sen’s administration is not sufficient. The effort to call for the reconvening of the signatory countries of the Paris Peace Agreements is on pending. It is no doubt that H.E. Pan Sosak, Minister of Commerce, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen to tell him the truth on the impact of trade loss sanctioned by the US and EU.  It is no doubt that H.E. Tuy Ry, Cambodian commissioner to the United Nations, wrote letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on an invitation to join the discussion among permanent member states led by the US and EU at the United Nations this December 19, 2017. It is no doubt that Prime Minister Hun Sen has come out with different scenarios for the reviving of the opposition party by suggesting them to create a new party.

For trade alone, Cambodia can face trade loss up to 75% for its national revenue earned from trade. This huge wealth of exporting major garment and agriculture products to the market in the US and EU have fed the government, the mouth of Oknhas, as well as the hundred thousands garment workers. There are some explanations to seek substitutes to these losses, but in fact, the pain of individual’s visa ban and asset freezing widening to this trade sanctioning etc., is not yet substantial to the loss of political recognition and legitimacy at the present as well as the future.

At least, one year length that UNs postponed the seat of Cambodia during the coupe detat in 1997.  When the political normality was turned to its course, the seat was returned. This time, the crackdown on democracy is tantamount that no one can underestimate the severe reprisal if political normality is not turned to its level.

PPA campaignDomestically, Cambodian population at large has emerged the youngest bulk representing 65% with under 35 years of age. This generation is self-determination seekers, rebellious to entrenching injustice, and championing of the political maturity. Nevertheless, Cambodians overseas who have been known for their advocacy and campaign for the Paris Peace Accords in 1991, have ever come together in the largest force to pushing for democracy improvement in Cambodia. On the International Human Rights Day 10 December 2017, they have travelled from different corners of North America in unison to the White House in Washington DC. to voice their concerns. Thousands of signing of Cambodian people signed www.change.org for the reviving of the Paris Peace Agreements. Legally, political, and economical, Cambodia government is an entity of binding with international community standard, this entity is not solely under Cambodia constitution, but no one can manipulate it for the sake of personal wealth and power at all.