Cambodia clampdown was long in the planning

“When ‘color revolution’ requires 132 pages to explain and defend as the basis of anything, someone’s working overtime to turn it into an excuse or ploy to crack down on the opposition, NGOs, the media and government critics,” said Sophal Ear, an associate professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College in Los Angeles. “The metaphorical hammer is being used on their heads.”

Hun Manith, the second Hun Sen's Son and Military Intelligence Head is believed the instigator of creating "colour revolution" narrative to dissolve opposition aiming to win election that has no legitimacy. The colour revolution narrative is an excuse to maintain Hun Sen power in one-party state which is contradictory to the national Constitution.
Hun Manith, the second Hun Sen’s Son and Military Intelligence Head is believed the instigator of creating “colour revolution” narrative to dissolve opposition aiming to win election that has no legitimacy. The colour revolution narrative is an excuse to maintain Hun Sen power in one-party state which is contradictory to the national Constitution.

There was also the matter of a June 2017 local level commune elections that had the potential to build electoral momentum for the CNRP ahead of the national polls. The CNRP gained a strong foothold in the countryside, winning 5,000 seats. However, those and national level seats won in 2013 were given to smaller parties after the CNRP’s dissolution.

Hun Manith saw the commune elections as a potential springboard for an opposition uprising. “As you might be aware, this kind of regime change took place near and after an election, and Cambodia will have a commune election in 2017. Is it a coincidence?” he said in the 2016 interview.

“In order to succeed in mobilizing the people for regime change, they need to create a negative perception about the government, for locals and also in the international arena. Once the perspective succeeds, all the means and tactics for regime change will be justified.”

The CPP’s propaganda apparatus, including most notably the pro-government Fresh News outlet, was later mobilized to convince a skeptical public and an even more skeptical international audience that its moves against the opposition were warranted.

The Phnom Penh Post reported in March that Fresh News released a 700-page collection of open letters, commentary and political analysis spinning Cambodia’s recent political crackdown into a successful prevention of a color revolution.


Former Phnom Penh Post News Editor Sebastian Strangio, also the author of Hun Sen’s Cambodia, said Fresh News’ role was perhaps more important in shaping the news than it was in delivering it, saying “They don’t really do journalism.”

However, while the average Cambodian struggled to understand exactly what a color revolution was, Los Angeles-based academic and political analyst Sophal was under no illusions.

“The Cambodian people understand the term ‘color revolution’ insofar as it’s being used as a hammer swung on their friends’ heads, which is a whack-a-mole exercise that is more likely to result in their own heads being hit,” he told Asia Times.

“Some people are of course absorbing this and drinking the Kool Aid, but there’s also a sense that anything Fresh News and Khmer Times (newspaper) says is bad is actually good, and anything they say is good is actually bad.

“I never cease to be amazed at how smart Cambodians are at seeing through the fog. In a place where the Orwellian modus operandi that white is black and black is white prevails, Cambodians aren’t fooled for a second.”

While attempts to justify attacks on the CNRP continued and senior party members fled the country fearing arrest, the prime minister’s second son was promoted inside the military from Major General to Lieutenant General, recognition for his “good achievements”, including possibly his role in the successful suppression operation against the CNRP.

Continue to read by Asia Times….

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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 wordObserving 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
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Explaining the crackdown in Cambodia

Explaining the crackdown in Cambodia

Op-Ed: New Mandala

Kongkea ChhoeunIt might be easy to forget given the events of recent weeks, but Cambodian democracy had until a few years ago been making progress. Many key indicators of democratic quality had continued their improvement since the 1998 national elections, which followed the near collapse of the system in the aftermath of the July 1997 internal fighting between armed forces loyal to Prime Minister Hun Sen and Prince Norodom Rannariddh.

Competition among political parties increased, thanks to the unification of the opposition parties in 2012 ahead of the 2013 national election. The economy has grown extraordinarily well over the past decades, averaging 7% per year since 1993 and helping poverty to fall more than one percentage point per year on average since 2003. Inequality has also declined. Vertical political accountability has been strengthened markedly, thanks to the decentralisation and de-concentration reform program the government has implemented over the past two decades. Cambodians are increasingly able to hold local leaders to account for their actions through local democratic processes.

The 2013 polls were a turning point. The ruling CPP (Cambodian People’s Party) lost the popular vote for the first time since 1998. (It did not win the popular vote during the UNTAC period.) The CPP saw its popular vote plummet by more than 20 percentage points in that election. To its credit, the CPP-led government subsequently implemented various reforms aimed at winning the hearts and the minds of Cambodian voters, including public servants. The CPP has permitted moderate reforms, particularly in the ministries of Education, Youth and Sports, Commerce, Environment, Economy and Finance, and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The National Electoral Committee has also been restructured and made somewhat more independent. The government has increased public servants’ official pay dramatically since 2013. In August 2017, Hun Sen also promised a slew of new benefits for garment workers, including a big increase in their monthly minimum wage—from US$153 to at least $168, plus pensions.

But with the carrots have come sticks.

Indicators of horizontal accountability have either stalled or are in decline. Local and international NGOs and media had been able to operate with comparatively little constraint and control from the state before the pre-2013 national election period. Since then, the government has made disturbing moves that wipe out progress made in terms of political openness prior to 2013. Among a range of actions is the passage of legislation governing NGOs. Despite a boycott by the opposition, the parliament passed a Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations (LANGO), which requires the nearly 5,000 domestic and international NGOs that work in the country to register with the government and report their activities and finances or risk fines, criminal prosecution, and being shut down.

Last month, the government used this law to order the National Democratic Institute (NDI) to shut down its operations and repatriate its foreign staff within one week, prompting the US embassy in Phnom Penh to question the Cambodian government’s commitment to democracy. The government accused the NDI of illegally operating in the country. (The embassy claimed that the NDI has worked to promote democracy in Cambodia since the early 1990s.)

The Cambodian government has also targeted foreign and foreign-linked media. In August this year, the government accused The Cambodia Daily of failing to pay more than US$6 million in taxes, giving the paper one month to resolve the issue or risk being shut down. The Daily is an American-owned outlet credited for its reports critical of the government. In addition, the government instructed more than a dozen radio stations across the country to cease operations, accusing them of failing to report how much and to whom they sell their airtime. Some of these radio stations were reportedly selling their airtime to Radio Free Asia (RFA) and the Voice of America (VOA). The Cambodia Daily, RFA, and VOA are critical of the Cambodian government and are thus seen as promoting the interests of the opposition parties.

The question is: why is this happening now?

Two major factors, one internal and one external, may explain the government’s recent measures against international NGOs and media. Internally, these measures were escalated as a result of the June 2017 local government elections, the result of which represented a big boost for the opposition CNRP (Cambodian National Rescue Party) and a serious blow to the CPP. After the June 2017 local government elections, the CPP still controlled the majority of local governments—1,156 or 70% of communes. Nevertheless, the CNRP took over almost all of the rest. The opposition party’s share of local governments has increased about 12 fold in comparison with the last local elections, held in 2012.

Continue reading “Explaining the crackdown in Cambodia”

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Why CNRP is pushing hard from bottom-up TV investment?

Why CNRP is pushing hard from bottom-up TV investment?

1 TV watchers in CambodiaTV station is one of the results from the political deal in July 22, 2014. One year anniversary of this political settlement between CPP and CNRP has resulted in both progress and regress outcomes. But the grand policies CNRP are aiming to achieve have not been changed. Those grand policies are following:

  1. 7 points policy to bringing about change for Cambodia remains the same. These policies shook the base of CPP in 2013 and they should be more effective in 2017 and 2018 of upcoming elections when these grand 7 points policies have been paid a price through more in-dept and comprehensive galvanization.
  2. The culture of dialogue to paving way for comprehensive and skillful interaction between top leaders of CPP and CNRP to maximize the interests of the nation is still intact and stronger. The dialogue is a good political mean for both parties to prepare the homestretch in 2018. Those who are regarded as disrespectful to this dialogue shall face with stronger condemnation by the Cambodian people.
  3. Sun TV Channel to adding on to those existing 18 TV channels in Cambodia is a powerful ongoing project. Sun TV Station has appeared as a pro-poor, neutral, professional and pre-owned channel by the Cambodian people.

According to the survey by Asia Foundation, there is above 50% of population are watching TV in daily basis. So this highest proportional market share of Cambodia media, CNRP is not going to waste its energy and investment in capitalizing to create the TV channel. The investment’s business plan is different from others as this channel is not owned by tycoons or powerful politicians, but owned by the Cambodian people who donated money in kind to supplement with the shares invested by many individuals.

This donation and share’s participation rights shall help to enable the Sun TV Channel become true governing by the Cambodian people, for the Cambodian people, and serve the Cambodian people.

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