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Posted by: | Posted on: September 12, 2018

European Parliament resolution on Cambodia, notably the case of Kem Sokha, EBA and UNs

Official reference source: European Parliament

European Parliament resolution on Cambodia, notably the case of Kem Sokha (2018/2842(RSP))
The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Cambodia, in particular those of 14 September 2017(1) and 14 December 2017(2),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on Cambodia of 26 February 2018,

–  having regard to the statement by the spokesperson of the European External Action Service (EEAS) of 30 July 2018 on the general elections in Cambodia,

–  having regard to the evaluation mission of the Commission and the EEAS to Cambodia of 5 to 11 July 2018,

–  having regard to the 2008 EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders,

–  having regard to the statement by the spokesperson of the EEAS of 16 November 2017 on the dissolution of the Cambodian National Rescue Party,

–  having regard to the 1997 Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Cambodia,

–  having regard to the local EU statement of 22 February 2017 on the political situation in Cambodia, and the statements by the spokesperson of the EU Delegation of 25 August 2017 and 3 September 2017 on restrictions of political space in Cambodia,

–  having regard to UN Human Rights Council Resolution 36/32 of 29 September 2017 and the Report of the Secretary-General of 2 February 2018,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians and the decisions of the Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union of March 2018,

–  having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/53/144 of 8 March 1999 on the right and responsibility of individuals, groups and organs of society to promote and protect universally recognised human rights and fundamental freedoms,

–  having regard to the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, in which a commitment to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cambodia, including on the part of international signatories, is enshrined in Article 15,

–  having regard to the International Labour Organisation Convention on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise,

–  having regard to the Cambodian Constitution, in particular Article 41 thereof, in which the rights and freedoms of expression and assembly are enshrined, Article 35 on the right to political participation and Article 80 on parliamentary immunity,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

–  having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas on 3 September 2017, Kem Sokha, the President of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), was arrested, and whereas on 16 November 2017, the Supreme Court announced the dissolution of the CNRP, at the end of a one-day hearing; whereas the Supreme Court has also banned 118 CNRP politicians from being politically active for five years;

B.  whereas the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) obtained 100 % of the contested seats in the National Assembly election held on 29 July 2018 and in the Senate election held on 25 February 2018;

C.  whereas the right to political participation is enshrined in Article 35 of the Cambodian Constitution; whereas the amended 2017 Law on Political Parties includes numerous restrictions on the participation of opposition parties, including the dissolution of parties if its leaders have a criminal record;

D.  whereas the 2018 elections in Cambodia were de facto non-competitive and failed to meet minimum international standards for democratic elections; whereas the European Union and the United States of America suspended their financial assistance to the Cambodian National Election Committee and declined to observe the elections;

E.  whereas the decision to dissolve the CNRP was a significant step towards the creation of an authoritarian state; whereas the political structure of Cambodia can no longer be considered a democracy;

F.  whereas the Cambodian Government took wide-ranging measures to ensure that the ruling CPP would run virtually unopposed in the elections for both the Senate and the National Assembly;

G.  whereas, following his arrest on 3 September 2017, Kem Sokha was charged with treason under Article 443 of the Cambodian Criminal Code, despite his parliamentary immunity; whereas statements by the Cambodian Government jeopardised his right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence; whereas he faces up to 30 years in prison if found guilty; whereas the President of the Court, Dith Munty, is a member of the standing committee of the ruling party;

H.  whereas on 28 August 2018, the Cambodian authorities released 14 members of the CNRP after they had received a royal pardon; whereas this pardon is linked to the releases granted to half a dozen activists and journalists;

I.  whereas Kem Sokha was detained without trial for more than one year; whereas the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared Mr Sokha’s pre-trial detention to be ‘arbitrary’ and ‘politically motivated’; whereas he was released on bail on 10 September 2018; whereas he is unable to leave the vicinity of his house and is not allowed to communicate with other members of the opposition or the media;

J.  whereas the arrest and detention of Kem Sokha occurred amid widespread and systematic repression of political and electoral rights in Cambodia; whereas there has been a steady increase in the number of cases of arrest and detention of members of the political opposition and political commentators; whereas the previous President of the CNRP, Sam Rainsy, was convicted of criminal defamation and now lives in exile;

K.  whereas the Cambodian authorities have also cracked down on journalists and reporters covering the attacks on the opposition parties; whereas 69‑year‑old award-winning filmmaker James Ricketson is one of the victims of these attacks on the media; whereas Mr Ricketson was arrested for flying a drone over an opposition party rally in June 2017; whereas Mr Ricketson has been sentenced to six years in prison in the capital, Phnom Penh, on charges of espionage;

L.  whereas there has been a severe crackdown on the independent media; whereas social media networks have also come under attack; whereas in May, the Government issued a regulation restricting the rights to freedom of expression, press and publication and empowering the Government to police social media networks to uncover and silence online dissent in Cambodia;

M.  whereas trade unionists, human rights activists and civil society organisations are operating in an increasingly restricted space in Cambodia and face harassment, acts of intimidation and arbitrary arrest; whereas the 2015 amended Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organisations (LANGO) severely restricts freedom of association and expression, including by establishing government control and censorship over the work of NGOs; whereas the Trade Union Law restricts freedom of association and creates unnecessary obstacles and burdens in relation to registration procedures and the operations of trade unions;

N.  whereas five human rights defenders affiliated with the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Nay Vanda, Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan, Lim Mony, and Ny Chakrya, face charges of bribing a witness and being an accomplice to bribery of a witness; whereas the five human rights defenders spent 14 months in pre-trial detention before their release on bail;

O.  whereas Cambodia benefits from the most favourable regime available under the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), namely the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme; whereas the EU has allocated up to EUR 410 million to Cambodia for development cooperation for the financial period 2014-2020, of which EUR 10 million is for supporting the electoral reform process in Cambodia and is currently suspended;

P.  whereas the UN Secretary‑General recalled in his July statement that an inclusive and pluralistic political process remains essential for safeguarding the progress made by Cambodia in consolidating peace;

Q.  whereas conflicts over sugar plantations have not yet been resolved; whereas there is continuing concern about evictions from land, persistent impunity for such acts and the dire situation of the affected communities; whereas the Government of Cambodia has not signed up to the EU Terms of Reference for the Sugar Cane Audit Process;

1.  Notes that Kem Sokha was released from prison on bail under strict conditions; denounces the fact that Kem Sokha has been placed under house arrest; calls for all charges against Kem Sokha to be dropped and for his immediate and full release; calls, furthermore, for other politically motivated charges and rulings against opposition politicians, including Sam Rainsy, to be dropped immediately;

2.  Is worried about the condition of Kem Sokha’s health, and calls on the Cambodian authorities to allow him to receive appropriate medical treatment; asks the Government to allow Kem Sokha to meet foreign diplomats, UN officials and human rights observers;

3.  Expresses its conviction that the elections in Cambodia cannot be considered to be free and fair; expresses serious concerns at the conduct and results of the 2018 elections in Cambodia, which failed to produce a credible process and were widely condemned by the international community;

4.  Calls on the Cambodian Government to work towards strengthening democracy and the rule of law and to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, which includes fully complying with the constitutional provisions on pluralism and freedom of association and expression; calls, furthermore, on the Cambodian Government to repeal all recent amendments to the Constitution, the Penal Code, the Law on Political Parties, the Trade Union Law, the Law on NGOs and all other pieces of legislation limiting freedom of speech and political freedoms that are not fully in line with Cambodia’s obligations and international standards;

5.  Stresses that a credible democratic process requires an environment in which political parties, civil society and the media are able to carry out their legitimate roles without fear, threats or arbitrary restrictions; calls on the Government to take the necessary measures to ensure that the dissolution of CNRP is swiftly reversed;

6.  Reiterates its call on the Cambodian Government to put an end to all forms of harassment, abuse and politically motivated criminal charges against members of the political opposition, human rights defenders, trade unionists and labour rights advocates, land rights and other civil society activists, and journalists, among others; calls on the Government of Cambodia to release, without delay, all citizens who have been detained for exercising their human rights, including James Ricketson, and to drop all charges against them;

7.  Supports the decision to suspend EU electoral support to Cambodia; recalls the national and international obligations in relation to democratic principles and fundamental human rights to which Cambodia has committed itself; urges the Cambodian Government to engage in reforms in order to advance democracy and apply internationally recognised minimum standards for future electoral processes, including the organisation of multiparty, free and fair elections, the establishment of a genuinely independent National Election Committee and the involvement of NGOs and the independent media in election monitoring and reporting;

8.  Reminds the Cambodian Government that it must fulfil its obligations and commitments in relation to the democratic principles and fundamental human rights, which are an essential component of the EU-Cambodia Cooperation Agreement and the conditions under EBA;

9.  Welcomes the recent EU EBA fact‑finding mission to Cambodia and invites the Commission to report the conclusions to Parliament as soon as possible; calls on the Commission to consider possible consequences in the context of the trade preferences Cambodia enjoys, including launching an investigation under the mechanisms provided for in the framework of EBA;

10.  Calls on the EEAS and the Commission to compile a list of individuals responsible for the dissolution of the opposition and other serious human rights violations in Cambodia with a view to imposing possible visa restrictions and asset freezes on them;

11.  Calls on the Vice‑President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to closely monitor the situation in Cambodia; calls on the EEAS and the Member States to take action and lead the efforts at the forthcoming 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council towards the adoption of a strong resolution addressing the human rights situation in Cambodia;

12.  Calls on the Cambodian Government to renew the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Cambodia upon its expiry on 31 December 2018;

13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European External Action Service, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Government and National Assembly of Cambodia.

EU on Kem Sokha 1 EU on Kem Sokha 2 EU on Kem Sokha 3Photos

Posted by: | Posted on: August 30, 2018

Are China’s gifts a blessing or a curse for Cambodia?

Are China’s gifts a blessing or a curse for Cambodia?

Author: Pheakdey Heng, Enrich Institute


The entrance to Kratie University flanked with Chinese and Cambodian flags in a photo posted on Facebook last week.

The entrance to Kratie University flanked with Chinese and Cambodian flags in a photo posted on Facebook last week.

China’s growing dominance is met with equally growing concern in Cambodia. Despite the economic gains, too much dependence on China comes with significant commitment and risk. Reliance on China’s aid may induce Cambodia to fall into a debt trap, resulting in a loss of autonomy as a sovereign state and the deterioration of its relations with other ASEAN member states.

The lack of transparency and accountability of China’s projects is also causing social and environmental challenges in Cambodia. Criticism that Chinese companies are racing to exploit Cambodia’s resources while paying little regard to international best development practices are common among civil society actors.

The Kamchay dam, the first large-scale Chinese investment project in Cambodia, is a telling example. The dam destroyed 2000 hectares of productive forest, threatened animal species, lowered water quality and negatively affected the livelihood of local communities.

Chinese firm Union Development was awarded a concession of nearly 40,000 hectares — almost four times the amount allowed under Cambodian law — to develop a multi-billion dollar tourism hub in Cambodia’s Koh Kong province. Human rights groups allege that fishermen who had lived in the area for generations were summarily evicted, taken inland and told that they were now farmers.

Chinese investment in Cambodia’s real estate market is almost exclusively aimed at the Cambodian upper class, as well as Chinese tourists and businessmen. This is driving market prices up, making housing unaffordable for most Cambodians.

Chinese investment is also transforming Sihanoukville, once Cambodia’s premier seaside resort, into a bustling casino town. The unprecedented surge in Chinese tourists and casino development in Sihanoukville is benefitting a small group Cambodia’s rich elite, but many other Cambodians are being driven out of the area by the skyrocketing cost of living.

Even though Chinese investment is bringing wealth to Cambodia, this wealth is mainly kept within Cambodia’s Chinese community. Chinese residents and visitors in Cambodia buy from Chinese businesses, eat in Chinese restaurants and stay in Chinese hotels. The trickle-down effect to local businesses is minimal.

China’s economic power and influence can be a source for sustainable development in Cambodia, but for this to happen requires strong leadership from both countries. Both sides must make concerted efforts to promote transparency, accountability and inclusiveness in development projects.

Shared responsibility and multi-stakeholder partnership should be the guiding principles of foreign investment in Cambodia to ensure that Chinese investment and aid contributes to Cambodia’s economic, social and environmental progress in the long run.

Read the entire article at AsiaForum

Posted by: | Posted on: August 5, 2018


Op-Ed: The CEROC


Mr. Kemsrean Kheng, The CEROC's Representative for State of Minnesota, USA

Mr. Kemsrean Kheng, The CEROC’s Representative for State of Minnesota, USA

ខ្ញុំបាទខេង គិមស្រ៊ាន ថ្ងៃនេះមានកិត្តិយសតាងនាមអោយគណៈកម្មការដើម្បីសិទ្ធិបោះឆ្នោតរបស់ពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនៅក្រៅប្រទេសឬដែលហៅកាត់ថាដឺស៊ីរ៉ក់ក៏ដូចជាលោកសេង សុភ័ណដែលជាប្រធាន មកជាវាគ្មិនក្នុងមហាសន្និបាតខ្មែរពិភពលោកលើកទីពីរនៅរដ្ឋមិននីសូតានេះ។

បងប្អូនជនរួមជាតិជាទីគោរពរាប់អាន ពិភពលោកបានចេញចាកផុតពីយុគសង្រ្គាមត្រជាក់ឈានចូលយុគបច្ចុប្បន្ន ហើយកម្ពុជាដ៏អភ័ព មួយនេះបានស្គាល់ពន្លឺប្រជាធិបតេយ្យខ្លះក្រោមការជ្រោមជ្រែងរបស់អង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិអោយមានការបោះឆ្នោតនៅឆ្នាំ១៩៩៣ទៅតាមកិច្ចសន្យា នៃកិច្ចព្រមព្រៀងសន្តិភាពទីក្រុងប៉ារីស២៣ តុលា ១៩៩១។ កាលនោះ ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនៅក្រៅប្រទេសបានមានសិទ្ធិចូលរួមបោះឆ្នោតយ៉ាងពេញ លេញ តែក្រោយៗមកក្រោមការដឹកនាំនៃគណៈកម្មការជាតិរៀបចំការបោះឆ្នោតឬគជប ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនៅក្រៅប្រទេសមិនត្រូវបានគេផ្តល់សិទ្ធិ អោយចូលរួមបោះឆ្នោតឡើយ។ ចាប់កំណើតកាលពីឆ្នាំ២០១៤ ស៊ីរ៉ក់បានធ្វើកិច្ចការជាច្រើនក្នុងការធ្វើយុទ្ធនាការប្រមូលញត្តិពីបងប្អូនយើងនៅក្រៅ ប្រទេសទាំងអស់ ក្នុងនោះក៏មានបងប្អូនយើងជាច្រើននៅរដ្ឋមីននីសូតាបានចូលរួមចុះហត្ថលេខា ហើយយើងខ្ញុំសូមថ្លែងអំណរគុណយ៉ាងជ្រាល ជ្រៅនៅទីនេះ, យើងបានជួបពិភាក្សាជាមួយគជបថ្មីមានលោកគួយ ប៊ុនរឿន លោករ៉ុង ឈុនជាដើម ហើយយើងបានសរសេរលិខិតទៅកាន់ប្រធានក្រុម តំណាងរាស្ត្រគណបក្សសំលេងភាគតិចគឺលោកស៊ុន-ឆ័យនៃគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិ។ ពង្រាងច្បាប់មួយបានកើតឡើងដាក់ចូលសភាដើម្បីធ្វើវិសោធ នកម្មតូចមួយដែលអាចអោយពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនៅក្រៅប្រទេសអាចមានសិទ្ធិបោះឆ្នោតបាន។ តែជាអកុសល ក្រោមការដឹកនាំរបស់លោកហ៊ុន-សែន មិនមែនតែពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនៅក្រៅប្រទេសទេដែលត្រូវបានគេផាត់ចោលនិងព្រងើយកន្តើយ ពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនៅក្នុងប្រទេសក៏ត្រូវបានគេលាបព៌ណនិងធ្វើទុក្ខបុកម្នេញគ្រប់បែបយ៉ាងដោយគ្រាន់តែពួកគេមាននិន្នការគាំទ្រគណបក្សជំទាស់ឬនិន្នាការកណ្តាលដូចជាក្រុមសង្គមស៊ីវិល។

មកដល់ថ្ងៃនេះគឺ២៧ឆ្នាំហើយក្រោយកិច្ចព្រមព្រៀងសន្តិភាពទីក្រុងប៉ារីស ដែលប្រទេសកម្ពុជាក្រោមការដឹកនាំរបស់លោកហ៊ុន-សែន បានបំផ្លាញចោលលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យសេរីពហុបក្សចោលដោយសារតែមើលឃើញថាគណបក្សជំទាស់គឺគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិអាចមានប្រជាពល- រដ្ឋគាំទ្រច្រើនជាងខ្លួនបើទុកអោយមានការប្រកួតប្រជែងការបោះឆ្នោតមួយដោយសុក្រឹតត្រឹមត្រូវនិងយុត្តិធម៌។ ការបោះឆ្នោតថ្ងៃ២៩ កក្កដា ២០១៨ គឺជាឆាកល្ងោនប្រជាភិថុតបោកប្រាស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរថាមានពហុបក្សតែប៉ុណ្ណោះ។ តែតាមការពិតប្រជាពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនិងសហគមន៍អន្តរជាតិមិនអាច ទទួលយកបាននូវរបបដឹកនាំបែបឯកបក្សនិងផ្តាច់ការនេះបានទេ។ ក្រោមការជួយជ្រោមជ្រែងពីសហគមន៍អន្តរជាតិជាពិសេសប្រទេសហត្ថលេខីនៃ កិច្ចព្រមព្រៀងសន្តិភាពទីក្រុងប៉ារីស ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរទាំងក្នុងប្រទេសនិងក្រៅប្រទេសប្តេជ្ញាប្តូរប្តាច់អោយមានការបោះឆ្នោតឡើងវិញ មានការចូល រួមពីគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិ មានការដោះលែងលោកកឹម-សុខានិងអ្នកទោសនយោបាយទាំងអស់ ទុកជាមោឃៈនូវច្បាប់ទាំងឡាយណាដែលផ្ទុយ ពីរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញ និងអនុវត្តន៍ជាក់ស្តែងតាមរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញដើម្បីអោយតុលាការឯករាជ្យ ពង្រឹងសមត្ថភាពស្ថាប័នព្រះមហាក្សត្រ មន្ត្រីរាជការទាំង ស៊ីវិលនិងកងប្រដាប់អាវុធត្រូវតែអព្យាក្រិត-ឯករាជ្យជាដើម។ សូមអរគុណជាអនេកកប្បការ!           ថ្ងៃទី៤ ខែសីហា ២០១៨

View the speech through Youtube Channel of Cambodians Overseas

Read the speech in PDF file

Posted by: | Posted on: July 25, 2018

Hun Sen has become staunch puppet of both China and Vietnam

This analysis, Mr. Sophan emphasized on drifting authoritarian of staunch puppet to both China and Vietnam of Prime Minister Hun Sen in which has possessed deadly side-effect like what was happening during the leadership of Pol Pot (1975-1979). Watching the full analysis in youtube.


Nobody’s Puppet

The entrance to Kratie University flanked with Chinese and Cambodian flags in a photo posted on Facebook last week.

The entrance to Kratie University flanked with Chinese and Cambodian flags in a photo posted on Facebook last week.

 Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen addresses the politically divisive issue of his historic links with the Communist Party of Vietnam by saying he has never been a “puppet” of Hanoi but is a patriot who always resisted foreign influence on Cambodia.

“A number of people claim I am a person who was installed by Vietnam; they also said I am a puppet of Vietnam,” Hun Sen said in unreleased video footage of an interview with American filmmaker Robert Lieberman for his documentary “Angkor Awakens.”

Hun Sen denied the allegations in the interview.

About this series

This is the first of a multi-part series, based on a rare video interview with Hun Sen by American filmmaker Robert Lieberman for his 2016 documentary “Angkor Awakens.”

“The reality is that Hun Sen belongs to Cambodia [and] Cambodia needs independence,” the prime minister said. “I also hate those who want to have political influence on Cambodia – we don’t accept it.”

Lieberman conducted the September 24, 2015 interview in a New York hotel. VOA recently obtained the interview from the filmmaker.

For decades, the opposition – the once-formidable royalist party FUNCINPEC, former opposition leader Sam Rainsy, and the now-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) – have clung to this and other claims in order to undermine Hun Sen’s image and to tap into lingering anti-Vietnamese nationalism in Cambodia.

Many older opposition members come from an alliance of political groups led by then-Prince Norodom Sihanouk that was based on the Thai-Cambodian border. The alliance battled Vietnam during its occupation of Cambodia from 1978, the final days of the Khmer Rougeregime, to 1989.

Campaigning for Cambodia’s July 29 elections started July 7, but with the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) government’s decision to ban its only challenger, the CNRP, last year, the role of anti-Vietnamese politics has become somewhat of a moot point.

Hun Sen has mostly ignored the opposition’s accusations that he is a stooge of Hanoi while never hiding his good relations with Vietnam. These go back to 1977 when he and other Khmer Rouge defectors crossed into Vietnam. They were welcomed and trained to form a new Cambodian government that was installed by Vietnam after it ousted the Khmer Rouge regime in January 1979.

Hun Sen became foreign minister and then prime minister in 1985. He has held onto power since with political maneuvering that has won him democratic elections and by crushing opponents with brazen armed force.

FILE – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, center right, and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, review an honor guard in Hanoi, on Dec. 20, 2016. (Tran Van Minh | AP)

Vietnam backs, not controls, Hun Sen rule

According to a recent publication by Stephen Heder, a respected Cambodia scholar, Hun Sen’s CPP and the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) have long had a “comprehensive relationship” in which they strongly support each other and defend their respective roles from any political challenges.

Hun Sen’s recent banning of the opposition and ongoing crackdown on independent media and civil society would thus have Hanoi’s support, he argues, though that doesn’t mean that Vietnam dominates in Cambodia.

“[K]eeping the CNRP out of power, if necessary by eliminating it from the contest for power, is a strongly shared CPP-CPV common interest that lies at the core of their comprehensive relationship and is most concretely manifest in the relationship between their security forces,” wrote Heder, a research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. “However, this and other CPP-CPV common interests do not add up to Vietnamese domination of Cambodia, as is shown, inter alia, by Cambodia’s refusal to toe Vietnam’s line on the South China Sea,” according to Heder.

In recent years, Hun Sen’s ever tightening embrace with China has been a point of growing media and diplomatic attention. Beijing has provided support and massive loans for his government as it abandoned Western-backed multiparty democracy, while Hun Sen in turn gives diplomatic support for China’s quest for dominance in the South China Sea region.

Demonstrators set fire to a monument marking Cambodian-Vietnamese friendship in Phnom Penh August 30, 1998. (Reuters)

Cambodia’s relations with Western countries have suffered since 2017, with cuts in donor support and the U.S. recently slapping sanctions on some Cambodian officials. In 2017 alone, China accounted for 30 percent of all investment in China, according to The Asean Post.

Ear Sophal, an associate professor at Los Angeles’ Occidental College who has researched Cambodia’s aid dependency and China’s global resource demand, said Hun Sen’s claim of resisting foreign influence was dispelled by the fact that Vietnam and, more recently, China gained control of large swathes of Cambodia’s natural resources, infrastructure and economy at the expense of ordinary Cambodians.

“Cambodia is now seen as having been for rent for a long time,” he said. “The renter is currently China. Perhaps we can say Vietnam owns Cambodia, while China rents Cambodia from Vietnam.”

Sophal added, “But [Hun Sen] does need more friends than only Vietnam and China – he needs to have Western friends too.”


Cambodian people benefit from CPP’s policies

Op-Ed: Vietnam Plus | 20 July 2018
Hanoi (VNA) – Over the past five-tear term of the National Assembly, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has done a lot for the Cambodian people, helping raise public confidence in the upcoming general election.
The maintenance of  peace, political stability and security has created favourable conditions for Cambodia to continue recording new and greater achievements in socio-economic development and in the improvement of the people’s living standards.
Cambodia has emerged from a low-income country into a low-middle income nation, and is on the path towards the high-middle income status by 2030.

Read More …

Posted by: | Posted on: June 11, 2018

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«នៅពេលមនុស្សល្អនៅស្ងាត់ស្ងៀម» ទី ២Gaffar Peang-Meth A. 02
និពន្ធដោយលោកបណ្ឌិត ហ្គាហ្វារ ពាងម៉េត

ថ្ងៃទី១០ ខែមិថុនា ឆ្នាំ២០១៨

freedom is not free 1លទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យលើកតម្កើងប្រជាពលរដ្ឋជា «អធិបតី» ពោលគឺជាធំ ។ នៅក្នុងការគ្រប់ គ្រងនគរ លទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យប្រកាន់យកឆន្ទះប្រជាពលរដ្ឋជាកំពូលនៅក្នុងសេចក្តីសំរេច នយោបាយ ឬមាគ៌ានយោបាយរបស់ប្រទេស ។

ខ្ញុំបានរំឮកនៅក្នុងអត្ថបទខ្ញុំកាលពីមុននេះថា អង្គភាពភូមិសាស្ត្រក្រិកបុរាណឈ្មោះ Athens ជាប្រទេសទីមួយក្នុងលោកដែលបានឱបក្រសោបលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យតាំងតែពីក្នុងសតវត្សទី ៥ មុនគ្រឹស្ទសករាជមកម្លេះ ។ ពោលគឺពលរដ្ឋក្រិកបុរាណដែលបានប្រសូតទស្សនៈ «សេរីភាពរបស់បុគ្គលមនុស្ស» ដែលបានក្លាយទៅជាមូលដ្ឋានគ្រឹះនៃអរិយធម៌ពិភពលោកខាង លិចហើយពាក្យក្រិកមានន័យថា «ប៉ូលីទីកូស» politikos ដែលខ្មែរយើងនិយមហៅថា ប៉ូលីទីក គឺសំដៅទៅលើការទំនាក់ទំនងរវាងពលរដ្ឋក្រិកនិងអង្គភាពភូមិសាស្ត្ររបស់គេ ។ រដ្ឋ Athens ឈរនៅលើមូលដ្ឋាននៃពលរដ្ឋដែលមានសេរីភាពនិងមានការយល់ដឹងសមល្មម ហើយដែលមើលឃើញថា ការចូលរួមនៅក្នុងកិច្ចការរដ្ឋគឺជាកិត្តិយសនិងជាភារៈកិច្ចរបស់ ពលរដ្ឋ ។

នៅក្នុងគំនិតបណ្តុះបណ្តាលលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យឱ្យបាននៅគង់វង្ស នៅទ្វីបអឺរ៉ុប លោក ហ្ចន ឡក់ John Locke (១៦៣២-១៧០៤) ទស្សនវិទូជាតិអង់គ្លេស និងលោក ហ្សារ៍លស៍ ដឺ ម៉ុងតេសគីយើ Charles de Montesquieu (១៦៨៩-១៧៥៥ ) យុត្តិវិទូបារាំង បានផ្តោតទៅលើគំនិតបែងចែកអំណាច ឬ separation of powers; ការត្រួតពិនិត្យនិង តុល្យភាពនៃអំណាច ឬ checks and balances; និងការគ្រប់គ្រងរដ្ឋាភិបាលដោយ ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ ឬ popular control of government ។ រីឯនៅទ្វីបអាមេរិកវិញ បិតាស្ថាបនាសហរដ្ឋអាមេរិកដែលបានសិក្សាយល់ដឹងអំពីគំនិតរបស់ទស្សវិទូអង់គ្លេសនិង យុត្តិវិទូបារាំង ក៏បានខិតខំប្រឹងប្រែងដោយឥតសំចៃកម្លាំងកាយនិងកម្លាំងប្រាជ្ញាក្នុងការបង្កើតរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញមួយដើម្បីគ្រប់គ្រងប្រទេស ហើយបានដាក់ចេញនូវប្រព័ន្ធនយោបាយមួយក្នុងឆ្នាំ ១៧៨៧នៅទីក្រុងហ្វីឡាដែលហ្វីយ៉ា ដែលនៅគង់វង្សជាប់លាប់រហូតមកដល់បច្ចុប្បន្នកាលនេះ ដោយបានបញ្ចូលទៅក្នុងរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញអាមេរិកាំងឆ្នាំ ១៧៨៩ នូវមូលដ្ឋានគោលការណ៍ គ្រឹះមាន ៖ «រដ្ឋាភិបាលមានកម្រិត» ឬ limited government; «ការបែងចែកអំណាច» ឬ separation of powers; «ការត្រួតពិនិត្យនិងតុល្យភាពនៃអំណាច» ឬ checks and balances; និង «ប្រព័ន្ធសហព័ន្ធ» ឬ្ federalism បែងចែកអំណាចសហពន្ធពី អំណាចខេត្ត ។ អ្វីដែល បិតាស្ថាបនាសហរដ្ឋអាមេរិកខ្លាចហើយចង់ជៀសវាងណាស់គឺរបបជិះជាន់និងឃោរឃៅ ដែលគេឱ្យឈ្មោះថា tyranny ហើយនិងអ្វីដែលគេបានឱ្យឈ្មោះថាជា «elective despotism» ឬ របបជិះជាន់តាមរយះបោះឆ្នោតជ្រើសរើស ។ លោក ហ្ចេមស៍ ម៉ាឌីសុន James Madison (១៧៥១-១៨៣៦) ដែលបានជាប់ឆ្នោតជាប្រធានាធិបតីអាមេរិកាំងទី ៤ ក្នុងឆ្នាំ ១៧៨៩ លោក អាឡិចហ្សាន់ឌ័រ ហាម៉ិលតុន Alexander Hamilton (១៧៥៧-១៨០៤) ដែលបានធ្វើ ជារដ្ឋមន្ត្រីក្រសួងហិរញ្ញវត្ថុក្នុងឆ្នាំ ១៧៨៩ ហើយនិង លោក ហ្ចន ហ្ចេយ៍ John Jay (១៧៤៥-១៨២៩) ដែលបានធ្វើជាមន្ត្រីយុត្តិធម៌ទីមួយនៃតុលាការកំពូលអាមេរិកាំងនៅឆ្នាំ ១៧៨៩ ជាបិតារដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញសហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក ។ លោក James Madison បានផ្តល់អត្ថន័យ ដល់ពាក្យ tyranny ដូចតទៅនេះ ៖ tyranny គឺ «ការប្រមូលផ្តុំអំណាច (គ្រប់គ្រង)ទាំងអស់ ទាំងអំណាចនីតិបញ្ញត្តិ អំណាចប្រតិបត្តិ និងអំណាចតុលាការឱ្យនៅក្នុងកណ្តាប់ដៃបុគ្គល មនុស្ស ទោះបីតែមួយនាក់ ឬបី-បួន-ប្រាំនាក់ ឬច្រើននាក់ ហើយទោះបីជាក្នុងបុព្វហេតុ តំណពូជ hereditary – តែងតាំងខ្លួនឯង self-appointed – ឬដោយវិធីជ្រើសរើស  elective» ។

បិតាស្ថាបនាសហរដ្ឋអាមេរិកភ័យខ្លាចថាការផ្តុំអំណាចនឹងអាចជាន់ឈ្លីសិទ្ធិមនុស្សនិងកម្មសិទ្ធទ្រព្យសម្បតិ្តរបស់ពលរដ្ឋ ។ គេជឿថា បុគ្គលណាដែលកាន់ក្តោបអំណាចតែងតែ លំអៀងយកអំណាចនោះទៅប្រើនៅគ្រប់ទីកន្លែងផ្សេងៗតាមតែខ្លួនអាចធ្វើទៅបាន ។ ជំនឿនេះបានជម្រុញគេឱ្យបង្កើតជា «រដ្ឋាភិបាលមានកម្រិត» ឬ limited government ដោយគេបែងចែកអំណាចជាបី ៖ គឺនីតិបញ្ញត្តិ ប្រតិបត្តិ និង តុលាការ ហើយគេបង្កើត ប្រព័ន្ធ «បែងចែកអំណាច» មិនឱ្យអំណាចណាមួយអាចវាតទីឈ្លានពានទៅលើអំណាច ឯណាទៀតដែរ ពោលយ៉ាងខ្លី គឺការចែកតួនាទីនិងភារៈកិច្ចផ្សេងៗដោយសភាបង្កើតច្បាប់ រដ្ឋាភិបាលអនុវត្តច្បាប់ តុលាការធ្វើ សេចក្តីសំរេចអំពីច្បាប់ ឬកាត់សេចក្តីការរំលោភលើច្បាប់ ។ តែនេះមិនមែនបានសេចក្តីថា មានឪខ្លាត្រីកាន់អំណាចមួយៗនោះទេ ។ គេបានបង្កើតប្រព័ន្ធ checks and balances ឬ «ការត្រួតពិនិត្យនិងតុល្យភាពនៃអំណាច» មិនឱ្យមានឪខ្លាត្រីជិះសេះលែងដៃឡើយ ពោលគឺអំណាចនិមួយៗមានភារៈត្រួតពិនិត្យអំណាចផ្សេងទៀត គឺថា សភាបង្កើតច្បាប់ ក៏ប៉ុន្តែអំណាចប្រតិបត្តិអាចជំទាស់ ហើយសភាអាចប្រមូលសម្លេងពីរភាគបីទាត់ចោល ទំនាស់របស់អំណាចប្រតិបត្តិ ។ ម៉្យាងវិញទៀត អំណាចប្រតិបត្តិអាចតែងតាំងមន្ត្រីតូច ធំហើយអាចស៊ីញ៉េសន្ធិសញ្ញាក៏ប៉ុន្តែព្រឹទ្ធសភាត្រូវឱ្យឬមិនឱ្យសច្ចានុមតិ ។ អំណាច តុលាការត្រូវពិនិត្យមើលថា តើសេចក្តីសំរេចរបស់សភានិងកិច្ចអនុវត្តរបស់អំណាចប្រតិបត្តិ វាត្រឹមត្រូវស្របតាមច្បាប់រដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញដែលជាច្បាប់កំពូលរបស់ប្រទេសជាតិដែរឬទេ ។ ម៉្យាងវិញទៀត ចៅក្រមសហព័ន្ធសហរដ្ឋអាមេរិកត្រូវបានតែងតាំងដោយអំណាចប្រតិបត្តិ និងទទួលការយល់ព្រមពីសភាជាតិដែលមានអំណាចលើកម្លាំងធុងប្រាក់ ។ សមាជិកនៃ សភាជាអ្នកតំណាងនិងជាអ្នកទទួលឆ្នោតជ្រើសរើសដោយប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ ។ នៅទីបញ្ចប់ គឺរូបអ្នកនិងរូបខ្ញុំដែលជាប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ ។

នៅក្នុង Federalist Paper ឬ «សន្លឹកឯកសារសហព័ន្ធ» លេខ ៥១ លោក James Madison បានសរសេរថា៖ «ការការពារមួយយ៉ាងធំបំផុតកុំឱ្យមានការប្រមូលផ្តុំអំណាចបន្តិចម្តងៗ គឺត្រូវផ្តល់មធ្យោបាយដែលចាំបាច់តាមរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញ . . . ដើម្បីទប់ទល់នឹងការឈ្លានពាន អំណាច . . . មហិច្ឆិតាមួយត្រូវទប់ទល់នឹងមហិច្ឆិតាមួយទៀត . . . បើមនុស្សលោកជាទេវតា មិនចាំបាច់មានរដ្ឋាភិបាលគ្រប់គ្រងទេ ហើយបើទេវតាជាអ្នកគ្រប់គ្រងមនុស្ស ក៏មិនចាំបាច់ មានការត្រួតពិនិត្យរដ្ឋាភិបាលពីក្នុងឬពីក្រៅដែរ ។ ដោយហេតុថា យើងត្រូវបង្កើតរដ្ឋាភិបាល មួយដែលមានបុគ្គលមនុស្សគ្រប់គ្រងលើបុគ្គលមនុស្ស . . . ការពឹងផ្អែងទៅលើប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ ជាការត្រួតពិនិត្យលេខមួយដោយឥតសង្ស័យទៅលើរដ្ឋាភិបាល ហើយការពិសោធន៍ក៏បាន បង្រៀនមនុស្សលោកដែរអំពីការចាំបាច់ឱ្យមានជំនួយដ៏ប្រយត្ន័ប្រយែងផងទាំងឡាយ»

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Posted by: | Posted on: June 10, 2018

Malaysia’s Election and Impacts on Democracy and Geopolitics in Southeast Asia

Op-Ed: The CEROC

Two things to be considerate on the recent election in Malaysia: the overseas Malaysians voters and the national institution.

Malaysian Election Commission is appointed by the King of Malaysia to conduct nationwide election. This election of May 9, 2018, 14 millions were registered to vote and 82% voter turnout. There are 7,979 Malaysian voters overseas according to the EC. Malaysia has allowed overseas citizens to vote since 2012 except in Singapore, southern Thailand, Kalimantan and Brunei. In Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, and Singapore, have allowed overseas citizens to democratically vote during national elections.

Malaysia is Constitutional Monarchy like Cambodia. The King is the Head of State who exercises power through the provision of constitution to ensure rights and freedoms, commander-in-chief of the national arm-force, and chief of magistracy to ensure judiciary system is capable and competent.

លទ្ធផលនៃការបោះឆ្នោតនៅប្រទេសម៉ាឡេស៊ីកាលពីថ្ងៃទី៩ ខែឧសភាកន្លងទៅនេះ បានធ្វើឲ្យមានការភ្ញាក់ផ្អើលច្រើន ដោយសម្ព័ន្ធភាពនៃគណបក្សប្រឆាំងបានយកឈ្នះគណបក្សកាន់អំណាចជាលើកដំបូងក្នុងរយៈពេលជាង៦០ឆ្នាំ។ ការណ៍នេះមានឡើងស្របពេលដែលនិន្នាការនៃលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យបានថយចុះនៅបណ្តាប្រទេសផ្សេងទៀតនៅក្នុងតំបន់អាស៊ីអាគ្នេយ៍។ អ្នកតាមដានការបោះឆ្នោតពីររូបគឺលោក យឿង សុធារ៉ា អ្នកជំនាញខាងកិច្ចការបោះឆ្នោត និងលោក សេង សុភ័ណ នាយកប្រតិបត្តិនៃប្រធានគណៈកម្មាធិការដើម្បីសិទ្ធិបោះឆ្នោតរបស់ពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនៅក្រៅប្រទេស (CEROC) ថ្លែងថា ប្រទេសកម្ពុជានិងប្រទេសអាស៊ីអាគ្នេយ៍ផ្សេងៗអាចរៀនសូត្របានច្រើនអំពីដំណើរការបោះឆ្នោតឯករាជ្យនៅប្រទេសម៉ាឡេស៊ី សិទ្ធិបោះឆ្នោតនៅក្រៅប្រទេសរបស់ពលរដ្ឋម៉ាឡេស៊ី ការផ្ទេរអំណាចដោយសន្តិភាពទៅកាន់រដ្ឋាភិបាលថ្មី និងការធ្វើតុល្យភាពនយោបាយការបរទេសក្នុងទំនាក់ទំនងជាមួយប្រទេសចិន។ (សឹង សុផាត, Hello VOA, វ៉ាស៊ីនតោន, ៧ មិថុនា ២០១៨)

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