Has new war between US and China in Cambodia reignited again?


The United States and China — The Avoidable War: read article, watch video

ចាប់ផ្តើមដោយនិយាយការពិតពីកម្ពុជាបាត់បង់ចំណូលជាតិមហិមារពីឱនភាពពាណិជ្ជកម្មជាមួយចិន ប្រជាជនកម្ពុជាត្រូវបង្ខំចិត្តធ្វើចំណាកស្រុកនិងអត់ឃ្លាតនៅលើគំនាតខុសគ្នាឆ្ងាយណាស់រវាងអ្នកមានអំណាចនិងប្រជាពលរដ្ឋទូទៅ។ ហ៊ុន-សែន កូនចៅ និងបក្សពួករបស់គាត់មានកប់ក្តោងដោយជួនកាលអាចយកលុយផ្ទាល់ខ្លួនជួយអ្នកក្រជាជាងយកលុយជាតិជួយទៀតនោះក៏អាចធ្វើបានដែរ ហើយក្រុមពួកគាត់នេះបានកំពុងទទួលផលប្រយោជន៌ពីការបន្តកាន់អំណាចដែលខ្វះភាពស្របច្បាប់ ដោយការទទួលយកថវិកាពីចិនធ្វើផ្លូវថ្នល់ដែលជាកម្ចីអោយប្រជាជនខ្មែរជាអ្នកសងជំពាក់វិញ ឬវិនិយោគវារីអគ្គីសនីដែលប៉ះពាល់ដល់បរិដ្ឋាននិងប្រជាជនរស់នៅក្បែរៗនោះ។ សមិទ្ធិផលផ្លូវថ្នល់និងវារីអគ្គីសនីនេះត្រូវបានស្ថានទូតចិនលើកមកអួតដាក់សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក ដូចគ្នានឹងលោកហ៊ុន-សែនអួតប្រាប់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរថាជាសមិទ្ធិផលខ្លួនផងដែរ។

ប៉ុន្តែអ្វីដែលបារម្មណ៌បំផុតនោះ អំណាចហ៊ុន-សែនក្រោមការដាក់ជើងដោយចិនហាក់ដូចជាអណ្តែតនៅលើព្យុះក្រោមទឹកសព្វថ្ងៃនេះ…តើវាសនាកម្ពុជានឹងធ្លាក់ចុះដូចសម័យខ្មែរក្រហមក្រោមការគាំទ្ររបស់ចិនទៀតឬមួយយ៉ាងណា?

Beginning with truth speech about the huge trade deficit of Cambodia with China. Cambodian people must surrender to migrate to work in another countries for the survival and the huge gap of socioeconomic status of all Cambodian people particularly between general Cambodians and the family of powerful and patronage leaders. Hun Sen, his family and patrons have accumulated largess wealth and sometime they could transfer those personal wealth to support Cambodian people rather than national treasury. The powerful family and patrons have benefited from China’s support to renew their power although this power has been illegitimate. With such power aide, China boasted US about their road buildings and dams while those infrastructures are loans that shall burden all Cambodian citizens to repay, and the dams projects have devastated environment and local Cambodians exponentially. China’s boasting is at the same level of Hun Sen’s who has always manipulated his success to cheat Cambodian people.

But what has been so worried is Hun Sen’s power is just on the tray lifted up by China, in which this tray is floating on the water surface with circling storm underneath….shall destiny of Cambodia will fall into Khmer Rouge style under China’s aids again?

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[Posted on Saturday, April 19, 2019 at 3:20AM local time] *English below*
ប្រទេសចិនគឺជាដៃគូពាណិជ្ជកម្មធំជាងគេរបស់ប្រទេសកម្ពុជា តែទំនាក់ទំនងនេះចំណេញខ្លាំងទៅខាងប្រទេសចិន។ ប្រហែល ៨៧% នៃទំនិញដោះដូរគ្នាគឺជាទំនិញនាំចូលមកពីប្រទេសចិន ដែលមិនជួយដល់ការធ្វើអោយមានការងារ ឬជួយដល់ឧស្សាហកម្មដូចទំនាក់ទំនងរបស់ប្រទេសកម្ពុជាជាមួយសហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក ឬសហភាពអឺរ៉ុបនោះទេ។ នេះគ្រាន់តែជាផ្លូវមួយទៀតដែលប្រទេសកម្ពុជា បានងាកចេញពីយុទ្ធសាស្រ្តសេដ្ឋកិច្ចដែលមានតុល្យភាព និងលក្ខណៈចម្រុះច្រើន ទៅរកយុទ្ធសាស្រ្តសេដ្ឋកិច្ចដែលមានការពឹងផ្អែកច្រើនទៅលើប្រទេសចិន។ #fullpictureKH
China is Cambodia’s largest trade partner, but this relationship is heavily skewed in China’s favor. About 87% of trade are Chinese imports, which do not support jobs or industry in the same way Cambodia’s trade relationship with the United States or EU does. This is just one more way Cambodia has shifted from a more balanced and diverse economic approach to one more dependent on China. #fullpictureKH

[Posted on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 1:30am] មិត្តកម្ពុជាទាំងអស់ចូរប្រុងប្រយ័ត្ន! សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិកកំពុងតែបង្កបញ្ហាម្តងទៀតជាមួយនឹងអ្វីដែលគេហៅថា បញ្ហាឱនភាពពាណិជ្ជកម្ម (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156316819443224&substory_index=0&id=79770243223។ វាគឺជារឿងធម្មតាទេ ព្រោះនៅក្នុងពិភពនៃសកលភាវូបនីយកម្ម សកម្មភាពពាណិជ្ជកម្មតែងតែធ្វើដំណើរហួសពីកម្រិតទ្វេភាគី។ នៅក្នុងករណីកម្ពុជាវិញ ប្រទេសកម្ពុជាបាននាំចូលនូវវត្ថុធាតុដើមវាយនភ័ណ្ឌ និងគ្រឿងម៉ាស៊ីនវាយនភ័ណ្ឌយ៉ាងច្រើនពីប្រទេសចិន សម្រាប់បម្រើវិស័យកាត់ដេរខណៈដែលខ្លួនបាននាំចេញផលិតផលសម្រេចទៅកាន់គ្រប់ទីកន្លែងទូទាំងសកលលោក ក្នុងនោះរួមមានទាំងសហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក និងសហភាពអឺរ៉ុបផងដែរ។
នៅក្នុងករណីនេះ វាគឺជាភាពសកម្មបំផុតរបស់កម្មករខ្មែរ ដែលបម្រើក្នុងវិស័យឧស្សាហកម្ម។ ក្រៅពីនេះ ទំនាក់ទំនងរវាងរដ្ឋ និងរដ្ឋ គឺមិនមែនត្រឹមតែដើម្បីពាណិជ្ជកម្មនោះឡើយ។ អ្វីដែលគួរឲ្យកត់សម្គាល់ គឺប្រទេសចិនបានកសាងផ្លូវចំនួន៣១ខ្សែ និងស្ពានចំនួន ៨ សម្រាប់ប្រទេសកម្ពុជា ដែលមានប្រវែងសរុបជាង ៣,០០០គីឡូម៉ែត្រ។ចុះតើសហរដ្ឋអាមេរិកវិញធ្លាប់បានជួយធ្វើអ្វីខ្លះដល់កម្ពុជាសម្រាប់វិស័យមួយនេះ? ចិនបានជួយកសាងស្ថានីយវារីអគ្គិសនីទាំងអស់នៅកម្ពុជា (ស្មើនឹង ៨០%នៃសមត្ថភាពផលិតថាមពលអគ្គិសនី ដែលមានដំណើរការនៅកម្ពុជា)។ ចុះតើសហរដ្ឋអាមេរិកបានធ្វើអ្វីខ្លះដែរ?

Continue reading “Has new war between US and China in Cambodia reignited again?”
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Gateless: A Story of Child Sex Abuse in Cambodia’s Temples

Gateless: A Story of Child Sex Abuse in Cambodia’s Temples

Op-Ed: Aljazeera

មានករណីចាប់រំលោភក្មេងប្រុសអាយុរវាង១២-១៣ឆ្នាំដល់ទៅជាង២០០ករណី ហើយករណីនេះជនល្មើសបំពានផ្លូវភេទទៅលើអនីតិជនដល់ទៅ១៧នាក់ តែអ្វីដែលគួរអោយខ្លាចបំផុតគឺទំលាប់លែងអវៈយវៈភេទក្មេងប្រុសត្រូវបានបកប្រែថាជាការស្រឡាញ់ទៅវិញ ហើយច្បាប់ការពារអនីតិជននិងចំណេះដឹងទូទៅចំពោះបញ្ហានេះមិនមានប្រសិទ្ធិភាពសោះឡើយ។ អាជ្ញាធរ ឳពុកម្តាយ ព្រះសង្ឃ និងគ្រូបង្រៀន មិនមានចំណេះដឹងសោះឡើយចំពោះបញ្ហានេះ នេះមិននិយាយដល់វិធានការណ៌ការពារនិងដាក់ទោសទណ្ឌដល់ជនល្មើស។ លោកនេនដែលអង្គុយជក់បារីក្បែរសិស្សតូចៗបង្ហុយផ្សែងបារីធ្វើព្រងើយ និងនៅមានមនោសញ្ចេតនាស្រឡាញ់ឳពុកធម៍ដែលចាប់រំលោភខ្លួន ក៏ដូចជាមានសង្ឃដីការថាទង្វើនេះមិនមានអ្វីខុសនឹងច្បាប់ព្រះពុទ្ធសាសនានោះ គឺជាកម្មវត្ថុជាក់ស្តែងដែលព្រះពុទ្ធសាសនាខ្មែរកំពុងប្រឈមនាពេលបច្ចុប្បន្ន។

កម្ពុជាធ្វើដំណើរ៣០ឆ្នាំនេះគ្រាន់តែដើម្បីអោយអ្នកនយោបាយដឹកនាំបែបប្រជាភិថុតិបន្តភូតភរនិងឆ្លុះបញ្ចាំងពីអំពើសាហាវយង់ឃ្នងរបស់ខ្មែរក្រហមតែប៉ុណ្ណោះ ដូចដែលម្តាយរបស់ជនរងគ្រោះនិយាយថាសម័យខ្មែរក្រហមគឺបង្អត់បាយនិងកាប់សម្លាប់(killing) សម័យសព្វថ្ងៃគឺអោយយើងបិទមាត់ស្ងៀមស្ងាត់សន្សំសុខ(silence)។

A young man seeks justice after being abused in a Buddhist temple in Cambodia.

15 Apr 2019 06:20 GMT Child rightsCambodiaAbuseBuddhismHuman Rights

Two young men sit under the shade of trees in Takeo, Cambodia; Se Bros wears a button-up shirt and jeans and Monk Ry wears his deep orange garb.

“Did he ever touch you?” Bros asks over the steady drone of insects, but Ry remains silent.

Watch the entire documentary

“I believe he has done something like this to a lot of other children. It’s you, me, and other children,” Bros says.

In Cambodia, Buddhist temples are regarded as places of refuge and rehabilitation for the community, but for Bros it was the site of his sexual abuse as a child.

The perpetrator was Saravuth Tan, a Cambodian-American who investigators would later find had abused at least 17 young boys sometime during his 14 years’ living at the temple.

In Cambodia, Buddhist temples are regarded as places of refuge and rehabilitation for the community [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

Soon Bros will be testifying against Tan, who he says raped him dozens of times.

“I used to feel ashamed, lost all confidence, I lost focus in my studies, and lost time,” says Bros. “Sometimes I felt physically sick because he used to do something bad to me.”

But for Monk Ry, Tan was his beloved godfather, someone who cared for him after he escaped his abusive family and became homeless. Tan provided him with food, a home and anything else he needed.

“He loved me as if I am his own child,” Ry says. “I don’t know where I’d be right now if he hadn’t adopted me, maybe not where I am right now.”

More than 200 cases of sexual abuse in Buddhist temples have been reported worldwide in the last decade. An increasing number of temple abuse incidents have been reported in Southeast Asia but experts believe most cases remain hidden.

According to Socheat Nong, a child social worker, the problem of sexual abuse in Cambodia is a silent one.

“In general, people in Cambodia don’t believe or accept the fact that sexual abuse happens to boys,” he says. “Even those who work with children, including counsellors and social workers, know very little about how to help boys who have been abused.”


Young monks perform their daily prayers and chants in the temple [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

As the Tan investigation unfolds, a more unsettling truth comes out: a chief monk says that the monks at the temple knew about the problem all along.

Gateless follows two young survivors reckoning with their pasts, and what happens when child abuse is treated with a blind eye.

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FILMMAKER’S VIEW

By Lorraine Ma

I first went to Cambodia in 2013 with a filmmaker and personal mentor to shoot a documentary on child sex trafficking. After the trip, the filmmaker discovered she had cancer, and her health deteriorated rapidly over the next three years. In 2016, before she passed away, she reached out to ask if I would pick up her unfinished project. I agreed to do so, but I did not have a plan as to how it would happen.

Continue reading “Gateless: A Story of Child Sex Abuse in Cambodia’s Temples”
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Chinese tourists win, poor Cambodians lose with US$4 billion Hong Kong-backed casino in Phnom Penh

Chinese tourists win, poor Cambodians lose with US$4 billion Hong Kong-backed casino in Phnom Penh

  • Tenants turfed out of Phnom Penh’s iconic low-income housing block, the White Building, were told it would be redeveloped to house Cambodians
  • Instead, NagaCorp is planning a development the size of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore that it hopes will attract high-rolling Chinese gamblers
Clothes hang out to dry at the residential complex known as the White Building in Phnom Penh before its demolition. Photo: AFP

Andrew Nachemson  Kong Meta  , Published: 9:00am, 10 Apr, 2019

Op-Ed: This Week in Asia of SCM

Phnom Penh’s White Building, designed by Cambodian architect Vann Volyvann, before its destruction. File photo
Documentary of White Building before Demolition

Phnom Penh’s White Building, designed by Cambodian architect Vann Volyvann, before its destruction. File photoAn iconic Phnom Penh housing site known as the White Building is being turned into a multibillion-dollar casino development, as Cambodia woos Chinese tourists by catering to their penchant for gambling.Hong Kong-listed developer NagaCorp, controlled by Malaysian billionaire Chen Lip Keong, estimates it will spend US$3.8-US$4 billion on the Naga3 project, its third casino in the country, which will have hotels, condominium facilities and a 12-floor entertainment centre and outlet mall.NagaCorp’s deputy chairman Philip Lee told local media on Tuesday: “Naga3 is the single biggest private sector investment so far in the country and may be for years to come. It is about the same size as Marina Bay Sands in Singapore … which is the most expensive entertainment complex in the world.”

A Cambodian worker (R) looks through a window during demolition work at the White Building residential complex in Phnom Penh. Photo: AFP

A Cambodian worker (R) looks through a window during demolition work at the White Building residential complex in Phnom Penh. Photo: AFPS

But the news has surprised and upset former residents of the low-income housing block and conservation activists, who had been under the impression the site was being redeveloped to house Cambodians.

Is Cambodia’s Koh Kong project for Chinese tourists – or China’s military?

Among them is Nhek Chantha, 67, who was turfed out of the White Building in 2017 and moved in with her children as she could not afford a new place.

“[The government] told such a big lie to us. It’s a very central place, they should renovate it and allow us to keep living there so it becomes a cultural site for people to see, but they think only about profit,” she said.

A Cambodian man prays to Buddhist monks at the residential complex known as the White Building before its demolition in Phnom Penh. Photo: AFP

A Cambodian man prays to Buddhist monks at the residential complex known as the White Building before its demolition in Phnom Penh. Photo: AFPS

A Japanese company, Arakawa Co Ltd, was supposed to rebuild the landmark site and turn it into a 21-storey condominium block. Five of the floors were to be reserved for low-income housing that would go to the previous residents of the White Building and 12 floors would be used for private flats. Land Management Minister Chea Sophara in 2016 had asked Cambodians to “be patient while waiting for the new White Building to be finished in four years”.

‘They only go to Chinese shops’: why Cambodia’s influx of mainland tourists is causing tensions

Arakawa did not respond to requests for comment on Monday and Land Ministry spokesman Seng Lot said he did not know how or why the land was transferred to NagaCorp.

Constructed in 1963 as part of the Bassac River Front cultural complex and overseen by legendary architect Vann Molyvann, the White Building was, along with the rest of the city, evacuated in 1975 by the ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge occupation which targeted artists and intellectuals.

A Cambodian boy walks past spirit houses at the residential complex known as the White Building in Phnom Penh before its demolition. Photo: AFP

A Cambodian boy walks past spirit houses at the residential complex known as the White Building in Phnom Penh before its demolition. Photo: AFPS

After the regime fell in 1979, a mixed crowd including artists and musicians moved in, turning it into a colourful and close-knit, if sometimes seedy, community until the government demolished it two years ago, saying it was not structurally sound.

Continue to read more: SCM

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Democratic Hopes in ASEAN Hinge on Thailand, Analysts Say

Democratic Hopes in ASEAN Hinge on Thailand, Analysts Say

25 March 2019


A child plays a toy guitar during a rally ahead of a general election in Bangkok, March 22, 2019. The nation's first general election since the military seized power in a 2014 coup is scheduled to be held March 24.
A child plays a toy guitar during a rally ahead of a general election in Bangkok, March 22, 2019. The nation’s first general election since the military seized power in a 2014 coup is scheduled to be held March 24.

BANGKOK

Thai voters head to the polls Sunday for the first time in nearly five years, and analysts say the results could have an impact on democracy throughout Southeast Asia.

Thailand’s military junta took power in May 2014, when then-army chief Prayut Chan-ocha led a coup that toppled the government. Observers see the coming elections as a struggle between democracy and military rule.

ការបោះឆ្នោត​ក្នុង​ប្រទេសថៃ​នៅ​ថ្ងៃអាទិត្យ​ខាងមុខ​ ត្រូវ​គេរំពឹងថា​នឹង​មាន​ចំនួន​មនុស្ស​ចេញ​ទៅ​បោះឆ្នោត​ច្រើន​នៅភាគខាងត្បូងប្រទេស ដែលទីនោះគឺជាកន្លែង​ប្រឆាំង​នឹង​យោធា​នៅក្នុងតំបន់។ ប៉ុន្តែក្រុមអ្នកបោះឆ្នោត​និង​ក្រុមប្រឆាំង​ព្រួយបារម្ភ​ថា ​ការបង្រ្កាប​ដោយ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល​ទៅលើសំឡេងប្រឆាំងនឹងធ្វើឲ្យពួកយោធាគ្រប់គ្រង​ ប្រទេសមួយអាណត្តិទៀត។

Prayut, now seeking the premiership, has said that if he wins, voters would be returning his junta-led country to a “democracy.”

Prayut Chan-ocha of the Palang Pracharat Party receives flowers from supporters during an election campaign rally in Bangkok, Thailand, March 22, 2019.
Prayut Chan-ocha of the Palang Pracharat Party receives flowers from supporters during an election campaign rally in Bangkok, Thailand, March 22, 2019.

Thailand is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and pro-democracy advocates within the trading bloc are paying close attention to the vote, despite its policy of noninterference in members’ internal affairs.

The ASEAN Post, an independent regional digital media company in Kuala Lumpur, recently noted that freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and press freedom had deteriorated since the junta seized power, initiating the longest period of army rule in modern Thai history.

“Several hundred activists and dissidents have since been called national security threats and faced serious criminal charges such as sedition, computer-related crimes and lese majeste [insulting the monarchy] for peaceful expression of their views,” it noted in a recent opinion piece.

The coup — Thailand’s 13th since 1932 — ousted then-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and caused international outrage. The pending elections, the military hopes, will fix that.

Myanmar’s experience

The election framework echoes the 2015 ballot in neighboring Myanmar, where hopes of democratic freedom were dashed by a military that has maintained an overarching influence on a civilian administration, through its allotted seats in parliament.

A more drastic story has unfolded along Thailand’s eastern border.

Cambodia was returned to a one-party state last year after the main opposition party was banned from competing at elections, media outlets were closed and political dissidents were jailed, raising the prospect of U.S.- and European-imposed sanctions.

Elections will also be held in Indonesia in April, and midterm polls are to be held a month later in the Philippines, where the separation of powers — a cornerstone in any democracy — has foundered amid the government’s war on drugs.

Sudarat Keyuraphan, leader of the Pheu Thai Party and a candidate for prime minister, second right, and contestants wave during a rally ahead of general elections in Bangkok, Thailand, March 22, 2019.
Sudarat Keyuraphan, leader of the Pheu Thai Party and a candidate for prime minister, second right, and contestants wave during a rally ahead of general elections in Bangkok, Thailand, March 22, 2019.

Singapore has been ruled by the same party since independence in 1965. Of the remaining non-democratic countries, communist Vietnam and Laos have initiated crackdowns on dissent, while Islamic Brunei has instituted sharia.

David Welsh, country director in Southeast Asia for the Solidarity Center, a nonprofit that seeks to help build a global labor movement, said human rights were a major concern ahead of looming elections, and that the strong-arm from governments favoring big business were affecting workers and trade union issues.

“The prospects for business and trade are probably pretty good. The prospects for labor laws and worker protection aren’t, although I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what’s happened in Malaysia, so let’s see,” Welsh said.

Bright spot

Malaysia emerged as one the few democratic bright spots among the 10 members of ASEAN after the electorate, which tired of allegations of gross corruption, stunned pollsters and ousted Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is now facing trial.

Continue reading “Democratic Hopes in ASEAN Hinge on Thailand, Analysts Say”
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