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Posted by: | Posted on: August 21, 2017

Letter to the Editor: Cambodians Overseas Have the Right to Vote

Letter to the Editor: Cambodians Overseas Have the Right to Vote

BY READER | AUGUST 14, 2017

Regarding your article “CNRP Will Propose Changes to Allow Voting From Abroad” (August 7), the Committee for Election Rights of Overseas Cambodians (CEROC) would like to respond.

—Letter to the Editor—
Letter to Editor Cambodia Daily Letter to Editor CDAccording to election laws and the election conduct of the U.N. Transitional Authority of Cambodia (UNTAC), Cambodians overseas were granted full rights to participate in elections during that time (February 1992 to September 1993). Key cities used as election registration offices and election booths were New York, Paris, Geneva and Canberra.

Cambodians overseas are entitled to easily access voting registration. Their political participation through elections must not be deprived. Cambodia’s Constitution guarantees their right to political participation (articles 34 and 35). Cambodians overseas must be safeguarded by the state (Article 33), and Cambodian people have full privileges and rights to settle abroad (Article 40).

According to research by the CEROC, there are more than 3 million Cambodians living overseas, including migrant workers, students, embassy staff and officials, soldiers stationed in Africa on behalf of the U.N., and more than 1 million citizens who are living abroad permanently.

Each year, Cambodians overseas send remittances back to Cambodia totaling more than $500 million to help boost the economic growth inside the country.

Every Cambodian living overseas is an ambassador of Cambodia’s culture and brand. Many Cambodians living overseas have dedicated time to community service and charitable volunteerism to build cultural centers such as Buddhist temples and train their young children in Khmer languages, performance arts and cultural identity, to carry on the Cambodian brand. They also help inspire foreigners to visit and to invest in Cambodia.

Finally, each election must ensure it is free, fair and professional. Cambodian people regardless of where they are living and working must be able to register their names to vote and to cast their ballots without obstruction.

Sophoan Seng

CEROC president

Canada

Posted by: | Posted on: February 18, 2017

Letter to the Editor of Cambodia Daily about Sam Rainsy’s Resignation

Rainsy’s Resignation Begins New Chapter

As the article “Rainsy Quits Amid Threat, But CNRP Still in Danger” (February 13) notes, Sam Rainsy resigned as president of the CNRP to save his party from dissolution at the hands of Prime Minister Hun Sen-with commune election coming in June and the national election next year.

Academics see Mr. Hun Sen’s non-stop obsession to divide and weaken the CNRP as a pre-emptive tactic before the elections, ensuring his preferred outcome. His activities have surpassed all efforts to reform and destroyed what good might have come of it.

Mr. Rainsy has laid out an inclusive policy to include Cambodians overseas, especially millions of migrant workers, to be able to vote, as opposed to Mr. Hun Sen who has advocated to exclude them.

Apart from his personal integrity and genuine patriotism, Mr. Rainsy is clear and intelligent in handling political truces with Mr. Hun Sen. With more than 23 years experience in leading opposition party, his effort paid off in 2013. Seas of people gathered in tsunamic-like crowd to welcome him back home at the airport a few days prior to the national election, which the CNRP nearly won.

From now on, Mr. Rainsy will be an icon of change and idealistic pragmatism in Cambodia. His political career is not over. As long as Cambodian people, especially younger voters, remain supportive of his decadeslong struggle, his vision for Cambodia will cease to be a dream.

Sophan Seng is executive director of the Committee for Election Rights of Overseas Cambodians.  

Letter to the Editor on Cambodia Daily

Posted by: | Posted on: January 7, 2009

Letter to Editor: The Phnom Penh Post

The January 7 celebrations in context

Written by Sophan Seng

Wednesday, 07 January 2009

Dear Editor,

It is a great privilege for me to write something about how the day of January 7 simply reflects the thought of a Cambodian. Of course, January 7 is still an ongoing controversial day. Some people see it as the day of foreign occupation over Cambodian sovereignty, but others see this day as their second life when Vietnamese troops toppled the Khmer Rouge regime.

However, to celebrate this day is not significantly representing Cambodians as the whole nation. It is only celebrated by the Cambodian People’s Party, which has been in power since the day of January 7, 1979.

In the past, the celebration of January 7 was likely to honour the victory over the Khmer Rouge regime and aimed to condemn, to ban the Khmer Rouge and make it impossible for them to control the country again, and, legally, to sentence them to death in absentia.

But in this year, the theme of the celebration after its 30 years in power, according to the news, is that the CPP will focus on increasing the awareness of sovereignty protection, economic development and leading Cambodia to enjoy a further level of advancement.
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