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Posted by: | Posted on: January 11, 2020

Cambodian Protester Dies in Custody, Police Deny Abuse

Cambodian Protester Dies in Custody, Police Deny Abuse

2020-01-10

Comment: នេះគឺជាការសំលាប់មានទំងន់ទោសធ្ងន់ធ្ងរដោយរដ្ឋាភិបាលប្រសិនបើអ្នកប្រព្រឹត្តនោះមិនត្រូវបានទទួលខុសត្រូវ ទោះចេតនាក្តីមិនចេតនាក្តី ត្រូវតែយកអ្នកប្រព្រឹត្តទៅកាត់ទោសតាមច្បាប់។ រដ្ឋមន្ត្រីក្រសួងមហាផ្ទៃមិនអាចគ្រាន់តែប្រើវោហាសាស្ត្រនយោបាយទៅកាន់សាធារណៈរឿងការបែកបាក់ផ្ទៃក្នុងជាតិជាក់ស្តែងបង្ករដោយប្រព័ន្ធអយុត្តិធម៍និងអំពើហឹង្សាមានរដ្ឋអំណាចនៅពីក្រោយខ្នងចំពោះប្រជាពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរស្លូតត្រង់នោះទេ។

This is a capital killing on behalf of the State if those perpetrators, either intentional or unintentional, must be accountable and bringing to justice. Minister of Interior could not employ only rhetoric to the public regarding visible current national division caused by injustice system and state-sponsored violence over innocent Cambodian people.

Cambodian protester Tuy Sros lies dead in a Jan. 8, 2020 photo.

Cambodian protester Tuy Sros lies dead in a Jan. 8, 2020 photo.Photo provided by villager

A Cambodian rights group is calling for an investigation into the death of a jailed land-rights protester, saying that witness accounts of events leading to the man’s death contradict official denials of abuse by police.

Tuy Sros, a resident of the Ou Chrov district of Banteay Meanchey province, died in police custody on Jan. 1 after being held from Dec. 28 to Dec. 31 following a land-rights protest in which five other villagers were also detained.

Statements by provincial authorities and Cambodia’s National Military Police said that the protester, described in an official statement as “an alcoholic,” had died of an unspecified illness.

Speaking to RFA’s Khmer Service, Seoung Sen Karona—a spokesman for the Cambodian rights group Adhoc—said however that Tuy Sros’ body bore multiple bruises when it was released for burial.

“Witnesses said that military police had assaulted Tuy Sros again and again until he died,” Seoung Sen Karona said. “We will continue to monitor this case, and we call on the authorities to investigate it thoroughly.”

Released on Jan. 3, detained protester An Ruon said that he too had been beaten by police while in custody and was a witness to the repeated assaults on Tuy Sros, who had been handcuffed and kicked in the ribs “until he screamed for mercy.”

“He was also choked, and they covered his mouth to stop his screams,” he said.

“He screamed all through the night, and they finally took him to another place, but they kept beating him until he lost his memory,” he said.

Angered by screams

Also speaking to RFA, Him Kiri—another detainee who was later released—said that police had been angered by Tuy Sros’ continued screams, which they said were disturbing other detainees in the jail.

Finally, police ordered drug addicts held in the cells to beat Tuy Sros themselves, he said.

“I saw a military policeman order the assault,” he said, adding, “He told them to beat him to death.”

“I begged them not to hurt him, but no one listened. It was very brutal. They treated us as if we were thieves or rapists or other [common] criminals.”

Reached for comment, provincial Penal Department Deputy Director Men Phyrum refused to discuss the incident, referring questions to the National Military Police.

Police deny reports

Military Police spokesperson Eng Hy meanwhile denied reports that police had abused Tuy Sros.

“If there are any witnesses to abuse, have them file a complaint with the court, and we will work on this according to the law,” he said.

In a statement, Banteay Meanchey Provincial Headquarters said that Tuy Sros was an alcoholic and was sick, and that police had sent him to the provincial hospital, where doctors could not revive him.

Provincial Prison Director Ung Siphan meanwhile said that Tuy Sros “had died of an illness.”

Speaking to RFA, Tuy Sros’ wife Buy Kimlak said that provincial authorities have given her family 10 million riel (U.S. $2,455) for funeral expenses and have promised to support her children through school.

“I am very sad at losing my husband, but I cannot accuse [the police] because I wasn’t with him, and I didn’t see what happened,” she said.

Youth throws rocks

In a separate case, police in the Daun Penh district of Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh took Rum Piseth, a young man described as mentally ill, into custody this week after he threw rocks at the residence of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

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Posted by: | Posted on: January 4, 2020

បណ្តាំពីស្ថាបនិកមជ្ឈមណ្ឌលព្រះពុទ្ធសាសនាអប់រំយុវជនពីប្រទេសកាណាដា

បណ្តាំពីស្ថាបនិកមជ្ឈមណ្ឌលព្រះពុទ្ធសាសនាអប់រំយុវជនពីប្រទេសកាណាដា

ខ្ញុំបាទសេង សុភ័ណធ្លាប់ជាអតីតសិស្សសាលា១០មករានិងជាស្ថាបនិកនៃមជ្ឈមណ្ឌលព្រះពុទ្ធសាសនាអប់រំយុវជនមានសោមនស្សរីករាយជាពន់ពេកដល់ប្អូនៗសិស្សានុសិស្សទាំងអស់ដែលបានចូលរួមគម្រោងការធម្មចារិកលើកទី៧៧ថ្ងៃនេះ។ ខ្ញុំមានសុបិន្នជានិច្ចថាសេរីភាពជាយាន នាំទៅរកការច្នៃប្រឌិត ហើយការច្នៃប្រឌិតនេះហើយដែលនាំអោយយើងរំដោះខ្លួនចេញផុតពីទាសករនៃជីវិតគឺមានន័យថាយើងប្រើប្រាស់ជីវិតនេះប្រកបដោយអត្ថន័យនិងអត្ថរសច្រើនបំផុត។


ព្រះសម្មាសម្ពុទ្ធទ្រង់បង្រៀនយើងថាការបានកើតជាមនុស្សគឺសត្វទាំងឡាយបានដោយកម្រ។ ខ្ញុំប្រកាន់ខ្ជាប់ពុទ្ធភាសិតថា រូបំ ជីរតិ មច្ចានំ នាមគោត្តំ ន ជីរតិ ប្រែថា រូបកាយរលត់រលាយទៅ កេរ្តិ៍ឈ្មោះនៅមិនរសាយ ល្អអាក្រក់លឺវែងឆ្ងាយ គួរស្តាយខំសាកអំពើល្អ។ ប្អូនៗអាចដឹងហើយថាអ្វីគឺជាអំពើល្អ? សេចក្តីល្អក្នុងខ្លួន សេចក្តីល្អក្នុងសង្គមគ្រួសារ សេចក្តីល្អក្នុងសហគមឬភូមិក្រុងខ្លួន សេចក្តីល្អក្នុងប្រទេសជាតិ រហូតដល់សេចក្តីល្អសម្រាប់ពិភពលោកទាំងមូលជាដើម ទាំងអស់នេះចាប់ផ្តើមពីធម៌មានគុណូបការៈគុណពីរយ៉ាងគឺហិរិឬសេចក្តីខ្មាសបាប និងឧត្តប្បៈឬសេចក្តីខ្លាចបាប។ កាយវាចាចិត្តជាប្រភពនៃសុចរិតនិងទុចរិតដែលបំលៃងជាបុណ្យនិងបាបសម្រាប់មនុស្សយើយម្នាក់ៗ។ ប៉ុន្តែសំខាន់ជាងនេះនោះព្រះពុទ្ធអង្គចារិកគោលការណ៍ឬច្បាប់ទំលាប់ទុកជាក្រិតក្រមសម្រាប់មនុស្សទំាងអស់បដិបត្តិតាម។ ព្រះធម៌គឺជាច្បាប់ក្នុងព្រះពុទ្ធសាសនា នៅពេលដែលច្បាប់រដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញជាច្បាប់សំខាន់សម្រាប់ជាតិមួយ។ ហើយសេចក្តីល្អនិងអំពើល្អមិនមែនសង្កត់ធ្ងន់តែទៅលើប្រជាពលរដ្ឋទូទៅទេ តែថ្នាក់គ្រប់គ្រងរាប់តាំងពីថ្នាក់កំពូលរាប់តាំងពីព្រះមហាក្សត្រនាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រីរដ្ឋមន្ត្រីនានាគ្រប់ជាន់ថ្នាក់ជាដើមត្រូវមានក្រមសីលធម៍ខ្ពស់ទាំងក្នុងធម៌និងក្នុងការគោរពតាមច្បាប់រដ្ឋមានរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញជាដើម។ នៅពេលដែលធម៌ព្រះពុទ្ធសង្កត់ធ្ងន់ទៅលើការមើលឃើញកំហុសខ្លួនឯងរួចកែប្រែ ច្បាប់រដ្ឋសង្កត់ធ្ងន់ទៅលើនីតិយុត្តិធម៌គឺតុលាការមួយដែលមានវិជ្ជាជីវៈ មានចៅក្រម ព្រះរាជអាជ្ញា និងក្រុមអ្នកច្បាប់ដែលមានសមត្ថភាពនិងវិជ្ជាជីវៈជាក់ស្តែងក្នុងចំណែកអប់រំមនុស្សក្នុងសង្គមអោយក្លាយជាមនុស្សល្អ។ ប្អូនៗត្រូវគិតបែបបដិច្ចសមុប្បបាទៈដូចនេះទើបខ្លួនយើងអាចក្លាយជាមនុស្សល្អបានពិតប្រាកដ។ ខ្លួនខ្ញុំផ្ទាល់បានទុនជាបន្តបន្ទាប់ទៅសិក្សានៅបរទេសដោយបាលីសាមញ្ញគឺ សុ ចិ បុ លិ និង ឆ វិ ចិ វិមំ។ សុគឺស្តាប់អោយបានច្រើន។ ចិ គឺគិតពិចារណាអោយបានម៉ត់ចត់។ បុគឺបើមានមន្ទិលត្រូវសួរនាំ។ លិគឺកត់ត្រាជាប្រចាំ។ ឆគឺឆន្ទៈឬការស្រលាញ់និងការតាំងចិត្តខ្ពស់។ វិឬវិរយៈគឺការព្យាយាមមិនដាក់ធុរៈ។ ចិឬចិត្តៈគឺការគិតប្រកបដោយគុណភាព។ វិមំឬវិមំសារគឺការត្រិៈរិៈពិចារណាថ្លឹងថ្លែងអោយបានគ្រប់ជ្រុងជ្រោយ។ ទាំងអស់នេះបើធ្វើបានអាចចាត់ទុកថាជាជោគជ័យខ្លួនយើងម្នាក់ៗហើយទន្ទឹមជាមួយគ្នាត្រូវឈឺឆ្លាលនិងចូលរួមជាមួយសង្គមដើម្បីអោយសមាជិកទាំងអស់ក្នុងសង្គមទទួលបានយុត្តិធម៍ សិទ្ធិសេរីភាពនិងសមភាពរួម។ ជាចុងក្រោយសូមអោយប្អូនៗទទួលបានសុខភាពល្អទាំងកាយចិត្តនិងជោគជ័យទាំងជីវិតផ្ទាល់ខ្លួន ក្រុមគ្រួសារ និងសង្គមប្រទេសជាតិ។

ដោយសេចក្តីស្រលាញ់ដ៏ស្មោះស្ម័គ្រពីខ្ញុំបាទសេង សុភ័ណ

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Posted by: | Posted on: December 24, 2019

A Jungle Airstrip Stirs Suspicions About China’s Plans for Cambodia

A Jungle Airstrip Stirs Suspicions About China’s Plans for Cambodia

Source: the New York Time

Down the coast from Dara Sakor, American military officials say, China has reached a deal for exclusive rights to expand an existing Cambodian naval base, even as Beijing denies military intentions in the country.

“We are concerned that the runway and port facilities at Dara Sakor are being constructed on a scale that would be useful for military purposes and which greatly exceed current and projected infrastructure needs for commercial activity,” Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, said by email.

“Any steps by the Cambodian government to invite a foreign military presence,” Colonel Eastburn added, “would disturb peace and stability in Southeast Asia.”

The Chinese military’s “string of pearls” strategy depends on far-flung regional outposts. Some think Cambodia is becoming one.

The runway at Dara Sakor International Airport, which a Chinese company is constructing, will be the longest in Cambodia.
The runway at Dara Sakor International Airport, which a Chinese company is constructing, will be the longest in Cambodia.

By Hannah Beech

Photographs by Adam Dean

  • Published Dec. 22, 2019 Updated Dec. 23, 2019, 8:21 a.m. ET

DARA SAKOR, Cambodia — The airstrip stretches like a scar through what was once unspoiled Cambodian jungle.

When completed next year on a remote stretch of shoreline, Dara Sakor International Airport will boast the longest runway in Cambodia, complete with the kind of tight turning bay favored by fighter jet pilots. Nearby, workers are clearing trees from a national park to make way for a port deep enough to host naval ships.

By The New York Times

The politically connected Chinese company building the airstrip and port says the facilities are for civilian use. But the scale of the land deal at Dara Sakor — which secures 20 percent of Cambodia’s coastline for 99 years — has raised eyebrows, especially since the portion of the project built so far is already moldering in malarial jungle.

The activity at Dara Sakor and other nearby Chinese projects is stirring fears that Beijing plans to turn this small Southeast Asian nation into a de facto military outpost.

Already, a far-flung Chinese construction boom — on disputed islands in the South China Sea, across the Indian Ocean and onward to Beijing’s first military base overseas, in the African Horn nation of Djibouti — has raised alarms about China’s military ambitions at a time when the United States’ presence in the region has waned. Known as the “string of pearls,” Beijing’s defense strategy would benefit from a jewel in Cambodia.

“Why would the Chinese show up in the middle of a jungle to build a runway?” said Sophal Ear, a political scientist at Occidental College in Los Angeles. “This will allow China to project its air power through the region, and it changes the whole game.”

A Chinese construction project in the Dara Sakor investment zone. China is Cambodia’s biggest investor.
A Chinese construction project in the Dara Sakor investment zone. China is Cambodia’s biggest investor.

As China extends its might overseas, it is bumping up against a regional security umbrella shaped by the United States decades ago. Cambodia, a recipient of Western largess after American bombs devastated its countryside during the Vietnam War, was supposed to be firmly ensconced in the democratic political orbit.

But to win his place as Asia’s longest-serving leader, Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia has turned his back on free elections and rule of law. He excoriates the United States while warmly embracing China, which is now Cambodia’s largest investor and trading partner.

Down the coast from Dara Sakor, American military officials say, China has reached a deal for exclusive rights to expand an existing Cambodian naval base, even as Beijing denies military intentions in the country.

“We are concerned that the runway and port facilities at Dara Sakor are being constructed on a scale that would be useful for military purposes and which greatly exceed current and projected infrastructure needs for commercial activity,” Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, said by email.

“Any steps by the Cambodian government to invite a foreign military presence,” Colonel Eastburn added, “would disturb peace and stability in Southeast Asia.”

Raising a billboard for a Dara Sakor construction project. The Cambodian government says the area of southwestern Cambodia will be a global logistics hub.
Raising a billboard for a Dara Sakor construction project. The Cambodian government says the area of southwestern Cambodia will be a global logistics hub.

An American intelligence report published this year raised the possibility that “Cambodia’s slide toward autocracy,” as Mr. Hun Sen tightens his 34-year grip on power, “could lead to a Chinese military presence in the country.”

This month, the United States Treasury Department accused a senior general linked to Dara Sakor of corruption and imposed sanctions on him.

Mr. Hun Sen denies that he is letting China’s military set up in Cambodia. Instead, his government claims that Dara Sakor’s runway and port will transform this remote rainforest into a global logistics hub that will “make miracles possible,” as Dara Sakor’s promotional literature puts it.

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Posted by: | Posted on: December 21, 2019

Cambodia’s economy in the post-EBA era

Cambodia’s economy in the post-EBA era

Op-Ed: East Asia Forum, 16 December 2019

Author: Pheakdey Heng, Enrich Institute

It has been yet another impressive year for Cambodia’s economy. Thanks to continued strength in traditional sectors such as garments, tourism, trade and construction, Cambodia’s GDP grew 7 per cent in 2019 — the highest growth in the ASEAN region according to the IMF.

Garment workers gather at the Tonle Sap bank during a celebration for Labour Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia 1 May 2019 (Photo: Reuters/Samrang Pring).

While this impressive growth is a reason to celebrate, the possible withdrawal of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) initiative may affect Cambodia’s growth prospects for 2020 and beyond. Established in 2001, the EBA gives Cambodia and 48 of the world’s poorest countries access to zero tariffs on all exports except arms and ammunition to the European Union on the condition that they comply with the principles of 15 United Nations and International Labour Organization conventions on core human and labour rights.

The European Union launched an EBA withdrawal procedure on 12 February 2019 after citing ‘a deterioration of democracy and respect for human rights’ in Cambodia. After a six-month monitoring and evaluation period, the EU Commission issued a report on the situation in November and gave the government a month to respond. Depending on developments in the country, the Commission will decide by February 2020 whether or not to suspend Cambodia’s EBA privileges fully or in part. A suspension would come into effect by August 2020.

EBA termination will be a big economic loss for Cambodia, currently the second-largest beneficiary of this trade privilege. Cambodia’s exports to the European Union last year totalled around US$5.8 billion — 95 per cent of which entered the European Union duty-free.

The textile industry will be hit the hardest. The EBA has fuelled an export boom that has kept the economy growing at a steady 7 per cent a year and helped to lift millions of people out of poverty. Suspending the EBA makes exports less competitive, putting workers at risk of losing jobs and dragging down economic growth overall. Around 2 million Cambodians depend on the textile industry, including 750,000 employees.

To help cushion the negative impact of the EBA withdrawal, the government is introducing measures to facilitate trade by lowering logistical costs, cutting red tape and supporting businesses with a six-day reduction in the number of public holidays to increase productivity.

Around US$3 billion is reserved for fiscal stimulus to cope with the potential slowdown. The government also plans to increase revenue raised from taxation, customs and excise by more than 20 per cent next year. The government collected some US$4.57 billion in revenue from customs and taxation in the first nine months of 2019.

While Cambodia is almost certain to miss out on growth potential, the EBA withdrawal is also an opportunity to implement deep reform to ensure sustainable growth over the long term.

Currently Cambodia’s main exports are garments and footwear, mostly to the European Union and the United States. But this industry is labour-intensive, has low levels of technology application and low value addition. Cambodia needs to transform its industrial structure from a labour-intensive sector to a technology-driven, knowledge-based modern industry if it wants to generate lasting growth.

The strategic approach is to promote the development of the manufacturing and agro-processing industries. Investment in these sectors is more sustainable than the low-wage garment industry. It can enable Cambodian workers to acquire higher skills, paving the way for higher value products and services and better integration into regional and global production chains.

To build economic resilience, Cambodia also needs to diversify its economic partners. Trade with China, Japan and South Korea has been on the rise and there is still room to grow. Cambodia and China are now discussing a free trade agreement. If successful, it sets a good precedent for bilateral FTAs with other countries.

Economic diversification and modernisation can only be achieved with the support of hard and soft infrastructure, a constructive policy and political environment and strong human capital. Investment is needed to improve the availability, reliability and affordability of energy, to develop a multimodal transport and logistics system and to strengthen the labour market through skill development. Political stability, good governance and sound regulation are also essential to attract foreign investment and technology transfer.

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