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Chabot Lowenthal គណៈកម្មាធិការអនុម័តច្បាប់លទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យកម្ពុជា វ៉ាស៊ីនតោនឌីស៊ី៖ នៅថ្ងៃនេះគណៈកម្មាធិការកិច្ចការបរទេសនៃសភាបានអនុម័តជាឯកច្ឆន្ទនូវច្បាប់លទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យនៅកម្ពុជា ច្បាប់ស្នើដោយបក្សទាំងពីរដឹកនាំដោយអ្នកតំណាង Steve Chabot (R-OH) និង Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) ដែលជាសហប្រធានកិច្ចប្រជុំសភាជាន់ខ្ពស់សម្រាប់កម្ពុជា ដើម្បីដាក់ទណ្ឌកម្មលើមន្រ្តីកម្ពុជាដែលទទួលខុសត្រូវចំពោះការបំផ្លាញលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យនៅក្នុងប្រទេសនេះ។ លោកនាយករដ្ឋមន្រ្តីហ៊ុនសែននិងបក្ខពួករបស់គាត់ត្រូវប្រឈមមុខនឹងផលវិបាកយ៉ាងធ្ងន់ធ្ងរពីសហរដ្ឋអាមេរិកក្នុងការឆ្លើយតបទៅនឹងការចាប់ខ្លួនលោកកឹមសុខានិងការរំលាយគណបក្សប្រឆាំងនៅឆ្នាំ ២០១៧ ដែលជាការបង្ក្រាបដែលបានបន្តរហូតមកដល់សព្វថ្ងៃនេះ។ លោកហ៊ុនសែនបានគ្រប់គ្រងប្រទេសដោយមិនប្រកាន់យកលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យចាប់តាំងពីឆ្នាំ ១៩៨៥ ។ ច្បាប់លទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យនៅកម្ពុជានឹងធ្វើឱ្យគាត់ទទួលខុសត្រូវនិងគាំទ្រសេចក្តីប្រាថ្នាប្រជាធិបតេយ្យស្របច្បាប់របស់ប្រជាជនកម្ពុជា” ។ “ សមាជិកសភា Lowenthal បាននិយាយថា៖ ពីការបិទឬគាបសង្កត់នូវសារព័ត៌មានសេរី ការបង្រ្កាបគូប្រជែងនយោបាយរហូតដល់ការបោះឆ្នោតក្លែងក្លាយដែលប្រកាសថាគាត់ជាជម្រើសរបស់ប្រជាជនរបបរបស់លោកនាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រីហ៊ុនសែន បានធ្វើអ្វីគ្រប់យ៉ាងដើម្បីបំផ្លាញក្តីសង្ឃឹមនៃលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យនៅកម្ពុជា”។ លោកបន្តថា“ របបផ្តាច់ការកាន់កាប់បន្តរបស់លោកហ៊ុនសែនប្រឆាំងនឹងការសន្យាដែលបានធ្វើចំពោះមុខប្រជាជនកម្ពុជាក្នុងកិច្ចព្រមព្រៀងសន្តិភាពទីក្រុងប៉ារីសឆ្នាំ ១៩៩១ ។ ទណ្ឌកម្មនៃច្បាប់លទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យនៅកម្ពុជាគឺជាតម្លៃដែលលោកហ៊ុនសែននិងរបបរបស់លោកត្រូវសងចំពោះការរំលោភបំពានឥតឈប់ឈររបស់ពួកគេចំពោះសេរីភាពរបស់ប្រជាជនកម្ពុជា»។
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed the Cambodia Democracy Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Cambodia, to impose sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for uprooting democracy in the country.
“Prime Minister Hun Sen and his cronies must face significant consequences from the United States in response to their arrest of Kem Sokha and the dissolution of the opposition party in 2017 – a crackdown that has continued until today,” Chabot said. “Hun Sen has undemocratically dominated the country since 1985. We must stand with the Cambodian people as he continues to stifle their rights and preclude a free and fair election. The Cambodia Democracy Act will hold him accountable and support Cambodians’ legitimate democratic aspirations.”
“From shuttering or co-opting the free press, to banishing political opponents, to holding a sham election declaring him the people’s choice, the regime of Prime Minister Hun Sen has done everything in its power to destroy any hope of democracy in Cambodia,” Congressman Lowenthal said. “Hun Sen’s continued authoritarianism runs counter to the promises made to the Cambodia people in the 1991 Paris Peace Accords. The Cambodia Democracy Act’s sanctions are the price Hun Sen and his regime must pay for their relentless assault on the freedom of the Cambodian people.”
- Prime Minister Hun Sen arrested the opposition leader, Kem Sokha, President of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) and dissolved the CNRP in the lead up to the 2018 Cambodian elections.
- The Cambodia Democracy Act directs the President to impose sanctions on Cambodian officials who are responsible for acts that undermine democracy in Cambodia.
- The President may suspend the sanctions if Cambodia makes significant progress towards ending government efforts to undermine democracy and commit human rights violations.
- House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) offered an amendment during markup to include updated findings which demonstrate that Hun Sen’s crackdown continues until today.
- This legislation passed the House of Representatives in the 115th and 116th Congress.
A copy of the legislation can be found here.
Chairman Meeks’ Amendment can be found here.
DON’T ARGUE WITH DONKEYS (Fable)
The donkey said to the tiger:
– “The grass is blue”.
The tiger replied:
– “No, the grass is green.”
The discussion heated up, and the two decided to submit him to arbitration, and for this they went before the lion, the King of the Jungle.
Already before reaching the forest clearing, where the lion was sitting on his throne, the donkey began to shout:
– “His Highness, is it true that the grass is blue?”.
The lion replied:
– “True, the grass is blue.”
The donkey hurried and continued:
– “The tiger disagrees with me and contradicts and annoys me, please punish him.”
The king then declared:
– “The tiger will be punished with 5 years of silence.”
The donkey jumped cheerfully and went on his way, content and repeating:
– “The Grass Is Blue”…
The tiger accepted his punishment, but before he asked the lion:
– “Your Majesty, why have you punished me?, after all, the grass is green.”
The lion replied:
– “In fact, the grass is green.”
The tiger asked:
– “So why are you punishing me?”.
The lion replied:
– “That has nothing to do with the question of whether the grass is blue or green. The punishment is because it is not possible for a brave and intelligent creature like you to waste time arguing with a donkey, and on top of that come and bother me with that question.”
The worst waste of time is arguing with the fool and fanatic who does not care about truth or reality, but only the victory of his beliefs and illusions. Never waste time on arguments that don’t make sense… There are people who, no matter how much evidence and evidence we present to them, are not in the capacity to understand, and others are blinded by ego, hatred and resentment, and all they want is to be right even if they are not.
When ignorance screams, intelligence is silent. Your peace and quiet are worth more.
Op-Ed & Original Reference: INSEAD
Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries, INSEAD Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development & Organisational Change | January 18, 2018
Dictatorial types gain and maintain power through a number of social processes and psychological dynamics.
From our Palaeolithic roots onwards, dictators – whether they led tribes, fiefdoms, countries, religions or organisations – have always been with us. We have always been attracted to individuals who appear strong. Some people are easily persuaded to give up their freedoms for an imaginary sense of stability and protection, not to mention an illusion of restored greatness.
Generally speaking, times of social unrest have always been the feeding ground for dictators. Periods of economic depression, political or social chaos give dictators the opportunity to appear as saviour and, when conditions allow it, seize power by coup d’état or other means. Their populist demagoguery can seduce broad swathes of the population. However, most of their inflated promises turn out to be no more than hot air. So how is it that they’re able to gain and maintain power? They succeed by taking full advantage of known social processes and dynamics.
Riding the confirmation bias: First, they are extremely talented at inflaming the “wish to believe”. Their cries of patriotism and righteousness are just what the populace wants to hear. The unquestioning acceptance of a dictator’s rhetoric is rooted in humankind’s most pervasive bias – the confirmation bias. This compels us to look for evidence to support our ideas and desires, while discounting contradictory information. Such a bias simplifies the complexity of our world, but can also be seen as a form of “neurological laziness”. As expert manipulators, dictators take advantage of this universal cognitive shortcut.
Identification with the aggressor: Dictators are also especially good at targeting socially and economically vulnerable people – those who are not always very well educated or informed and, as such, often feel confused and insecure. Dictators exploit the rage and frustration of this population through the psychological process of “identification with the aggressor”. Many of the disempowered see in the “strong” man or woman both a reflection of themselves and the promise of a victory over their downtrodden state. They are caught in the allure of illusions and magical thinking. They become brainwashed.
The blame game: Whatever the societal wrong, dictators are adept at inciting blame and scapegoating. They play off the primitive defence mechanism of “splitting”, positioning issues in terms of in- and out-groups, magnifying external threats and fanning a collective paranoia. At the same time, dictators offer themselves as steadfast saviours. Buying into the simplistic, binary propositions, their followers align themselves with the “good fight” against evil and become intolerant of those they perceive as different.
Propaganda lords: Dictators quickly learn the value of indoctrination. To maintain their hold on power, they seek to control information, ideally by centralising all mainstream media. Positive news is attributed to them and negative news is ascribed to enemies of the state. With the help of the propaganda machine, dictators become an integral part of everyone’s life. During elections, they manipulate the final outcome by curtailing press freedom, limiting the opposition’s ability to campaign and spreading misinformation – “fake news”. Dictators also try to prevent or destroy social frameworks and institutions serving as countervailing forces.
Who’s responsible for dictators?
There will always be people whose personality makeup predisposes them to dictatorship. Many past and contemporary dictators suffer from extraordinarily high levels of narcissism, psychopathy and paranoia. They have an inflated sense of self-importance and feel entitled to the admiration of others. An inherent lack of empathy, guilt or remorse allows the most malignant to commit unspeakable atrocities.
But while it is easy to vilify dictators, we should also realise that, in many ways, we (the people) are the ones enabling them. After all, a dictator cannot function without followers. Although we may not admit it out loud, it’s attractive to have others tell us what’s right and what’s wrong. But abdicating personal responsibility cripples freedom of expression and derails democratic processes. The good news is, however, that although we enable dictators, we can also disable them.
Creating a responsible electorate
In many established democracies, the descent towards dictatorship is becoming a real threat. In this light, we need to consider two urgent questions: Can dictators in the making be “cured”? And can we prevent dictators from assuming power?
I’m afraid that the response to the first question is: “not likely”. Historical experience has proven otherwise. From a clinical perspective, most psychotherapists believe that dictators (with their psychopathic traits) tend to be untreatable. Thus, many opposing powers are needed to address the second question on how to prevent their ascension.
Prevention is better than cure, so we need to recognise potential dictators before they stealthily compromise and destroy our lives. Once they are in power, it is often too late.
A healthy democracy finds footing in a populace able to listen to different points of view and manage ambiguities. It also implies a voting population that’s knowledgeable, mobilised and engaged – not the kind to believe that voting is somebody else’s business. To prevent dictators from coming to the fore requires a population that cares for liberty and takes responsibility for it. Furthermore, the government, the head of State, the legislature, the courts, the press and the electorate should all be independent to provide countervailing oversight.
Striving for a better world
In the 1940 film The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin satirises Nazism and Adolf Hitler while playing the role of a Jewish barber who, in a case of mistaken identity, is forced to impersonate the absolute ruler of fictional Tomainia. At the end of the film, Chaplin delivers an impassionate speech asking the populace to unite and fight against dictatorship:
“You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure… In the name of democracy let us use that power; let us all unite…
Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people… Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance.”
Unfortunately, we are still far from the kind of world that Chaplin described. Many of our present world leaders are making a great effort to endanger the democratic processes. Narrow-minded nationalism, xenophobia, greed and unimaginable violence is present everywhere. It makes it even timelier to strive for the kind of world envisioned by Chaplin.
Manfred Kets de Vries is the Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development & Organisational Change at INSEAD and the Raoul de Vitry d’Avaucourt Chaired Professor of Leadership Development, Emeritus. He is the Founder of INSEAD’s Global Leadership Centre and the Programme Director of The Challenge of Leadership, one of INSEAD’s top Executive Development Programmes.
Professor Kets de Vries is also the Scientific Director of the Executive Master in Coaching and Consulting for Change (EMCCC). His most recent books are: You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger: Executive Coaching Challenges; Telling Fairy Tales in the Boardroom: How to Make Sure Your Organisation Lives Happily Ever After; and Riding the Leadership Rollercoaster: An Observer’s Guide.
UN Calls for End to ‘Punitive Measures’ Used Against Cambodian Environmental Activists
‘Human rights and environmental work are not criminal offenses,’ the UN says in a June 30 statement. 2021-06-30
United Nations human rights and environmental officials called on Wednesday for an end to Cambodian authorities’ use of “punitive measures” against protectors of the country’s environment, following the arrests this month of four young environmental activists.
The four activists, members of the Cambodian environmental protection group Mother Nature, were arrested on June 16 after three of the group—Sun Ratha, Ly Chandaravuth, and Sith Chhivmeng—were arrested while filming the drainage of sewage into the Tonle Sap River in front of Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace.
Separately, authorities in Kandal province arrested Mother Nature activist Yim Leang Hy at his hometown in the province’s Koh Thom district. Sith Chhivmeng was later released after 24 hours of questioning by police in Phnom Penh.
Sun Ratha, 26, and Yim Leang Hy, 32—have now been charged with conspiracy and with lèse-majesté, or insulting the king, and are being held in Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar Prison awaiting trial.
The fourth youth activist arrested and now also held at Prey Sar—Ly Chandaravuth, 22—has been charged with plotting to topple Cambodia’s government.
The group could face between five to 10 years in prison on conviction. Mother Nature founder Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson, now living outside Cambodia, also faces charges of conspiracy.
In a June 30 statement, Cynthia Veliko—Southeast Asia Representative for the UN Human Rights Office in Bangkok—called on Cambodian authorities to end the use of the “punitive measures routinely leveled against human rights and environmental rights workers in Cambodia.”
“Human rights and environmental work are not criminal offenses,” Veliko said.
“We urge the authorities to ensure that human rights and civil society organizations in Cambodia can operate without fear or intimidation and that their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association are protected and respected.”
The world is now living in the midst of an environmental crisis, added Dechen Tsering, the UN Environment Programme’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, also writing in the June 30 statement.
“Civil society which peacefully advocates for the environment is a fundamental partner in addressing the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution,” Tsering said.
Cambodia rejects criticisms
Responding to the UN statement, Kata On—spokesperson for Cambodia’s official Human Rights Committee—rejected the statement’s concerns as the thoughts of individuals “whose opinions are not in the best interests of Cambodia.”
“But if these concerns are raised one day at the UN General Assembly or in meetings of the UN Human Rights Council, Cambodia will use the mechanisms [available to it] to defend its record on human rights,” Kata On said.
The concerns expressed in the UN statement are not subjective opinion, however, but the views of skilled UN staff working to fulfill their responsibilities, said Soeung Senkaruna, spokesperson for the Cambodian rights group ADHOC.
“These explanations by the Cambodian government have not won credibility with the international community in the past,” Soeung Senkaruna said.
“If Cambodia is concerned about losing its image on the world stage, or about getting respect on the world stage, it should accept findings like these and work to improve its record,” he said.