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Posted by: | Posted on: June 28, 2022

Recipes towards democratic unification

Recipes towards democratic unification

Seeing the election results declared by NEC triggered our assumption since the beginning that from preliminary result to final one shall not produce any differences especially for the opposition parties. There are allocating seats to parties but complaint resolution, its processes and acceptable investigated results are transparently resolved. The results are likely a filter from NEC’s poor performance on neutrality professionalism, systemic threats from national and local authorities, voters list manipulations, and ballot casting-counting disenfranchisement intent etc. 

Moving forward, democratic forces are actually co-existing in every spectrum of Cambodian society, and they are eager to join with a reliable and confident force.

The pragmatists: Cambodia has encountered youth-bulk force as over 65% of the total population are young tech-savvy driving-force accumulating critical thinking, principle-oriented citizens, free of PTSD and past trauma syndrome, and democratic mindset; they are not supportive to political rhetoric of “thank you peace”, “physical infrastructure without having proper soft skills development”, “personality-centric leadership”, and “regarding Cambodian political dissents as treasons, revolutionary or colouring their own race to different society classes”.

The distractors: they are both planned and unplanned distractors among democratic movements. The severe planned distractors are a divide and conquer tactic maneuvered by the ruling party chief who has used all types of resources regardless of private or national wealth to infuse chronic division among people in the society especially among the opposition parties. The unplanned distractors are those gullible people and the corrupt-mindset citizens.

The democratic alliance sympathizers: Cambodia has accumulated democratic mindset and democratic dynamics since the liberation from France protectorate and this force was solidly empowered by the United Nations in 1993. This upcoming national election 2023 is an interesting election after the dissolution of CNRP in 2017 and the continuing cracking down of political dissents. The divide and conquer tactic could be applied only to old head citizens, but with current modern tech-savvy and cross-border young populations, the worst ramifications shall be boomeranged to the tactic user.

Thank you to those unrelentless standing-up individuals towards democratic values and social injustice, those democratic patrons behind the scene, those vigilant and resilient in the front-line, and those who are jailed unjustly while their spirits are high up above jailers’ machine and perpetrators mindset.  


Sophoan Seng      

Posted by: | Posted on: June 24, 2022

Letter: Candlelight Arrest Is a ‘Joke’

Letter: Candlelight Arrest Is a ‘Joke’

Nhim Sarom (Candlelight Party’s Facebook page)

Nhim Sarom (Candlelight Party’s Facebook page)🔊 Listen to this

Regarding “Candlelight Commune Chief-Elect Arrested for 2002 Robbery Case,” it is a joke for the Kampong Thom Provincial Court to have handcuffed Nhim Sarom, Candlelight Party commune chief-elect of Chamna Loeu commune. The use of a court warrant dated 10 years ago is the mark of a Kangaroo Court that ignores due process and pursues a predetermined conclusion, or of double standards where rules and laws are unfairly applied in different ways to different people. Legally speaking, the court in Cambodia has been notoriously accumulating distrust among Cambodian citizens. Politically speaking, the election is just a theater as the voice of the voters has never been respected.

This arrest is another testament to the incapability of the court and law enforcement in Cambodia. With prejudice and political partisanship, opposition dissidents are victimized, and they are found to be the wrongdoers in most legal and political cases. Can you imagine a society where good people are forced to be bad, and bad people are transformed to be good?

Sophoan Seng

President, Committee for Election Right of Overseas Cambodians

អានអត្ថបទ​រឿង «មេឃុំ​ភ្លើង​ទៀន ត្រូវ​បាន​ចាប់​ខ្លួន​ពី​ករណី​ប្លន់​ឆ្នាំ ២០០២» ជា​រឿង​កំប្លែង​សម្រាប់​សាលា​ដំបូង​ខេត្ត​កំពង់ធំ ដែល​បាន​ដាក់​ខ្នោះ​ដៃ​លោក ញឹម សារ៉ុម មេ​ឃុំ​គណបក្សភ្លើងទៀននៃ​ឃុំ​ចំណារលើ។ ការប្រើប្រាស់ដីការបស់តុលាការចុះកាលបរិច្ឆេទកាលពី 10 ឆ្នាំមុន គឺជាសញ្ញាសម្គាល់របស់តុលាការសត្វកាំងហ្គារូ (Kangaroo Court)ដែលមានន័យថាមិនអើពើនឹងដំណើរការត្រឹមត្រូវ និងធ្វើការសំរេចសេចក្តីកាត់ទោសនរណាម្នាក់ទៅតាមអ្វីដែលបានកំណត់ទុកជាមុន ឬតុលាការស្តង់ដារពីរ(double standard)ដែលមានន័យថាច្បាប់ និងនីតិក្រមត្រូវបានអនុវត្តដោយអយុត្តិធម៌ក្នុងវិធីផ្សេងគ្នាចំពោះមនុស្សផ្សេងគ្នា។ និយាយ​តាម​ផ្លូវ​ច្បាប់ តុលាការ​នៅ​កម្ពុជា​បាន​នឹង​កំពុង​ប្រមូល​ផ្ដុំ​ការ​មិន​ទុក​ចិត្ត​ពីប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ​កម្ពុជា​យ៉ាង​អសោច។ និយាយ​តាម​បែប​នយោបាយ ការបោះឆ្នោត​គ្រាន់តែ​ជា​ល្ខោននយោបាយ​ប៉ុណ្ណោះ​ព្រោះ​សំឡេង​អ្នក​បោះឆ្នោត​មិន​ដែល​ត្រូវ​បាន​គេ​គោរពទេ។

ការចាប់ខ្លួននេះ គឺជាសក្ខីកម្មមួយទៀត បង្ហាញពីអសមត្ថភាពរបស់តុលាការ និងការអនុវត្តច្បាប់នៅកម្ពុជា។ ជាមួយនឹងការរើសអើង និងការប្រកាន់បក្សពួកផ្នែកនយោបាយ អ្នកប្រឆាំងត្រូវបានរងគ្រោះ ហើយពួកគេត្រូវបានគេរកឃើញថាជាអ្នកប្រព្រឹត្តខុសនៅក្នុងសំណុំរឿងផ្លូវច្បាប់ និងនយោបាយ ភាគច្រើន។ តើ​អ្នក​អាច​ស្រមើស្រមៃ៉​ឃើញសង្គម​មួយនេះនឹងទៅជាយ៉ាងណានៅពេល​ដែល​មនុស្ស​ល្អ​ត្រូវ​បាន​បង្ខំ​ឱ្យ​ហៅថាជាមនុស្សអាក្រក់ ហើយ​មនុស្ស​អាក្រក់​ត្រូវ​បាន​បំលែងអោយ​ទៅ​ជាមនុស្ស​ល្អ​?

លោកសេង សុភ័ណ

ប្រធាន គណៈកម្មាធិការដើម្បីសិទ្ធិបោះឆ្នោតរបស់ពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនៅក្រៅប្រទេស

Posted by: | Posted on: June 15, 2022

Letter: A Neutral Election Body Would Accept Chao Ratanak Complaint

Letter: A Neutral Election Body Would Accept Chao Ratanak Complaint

Op-Ed: Khmer Oversea,  VOD English

Chao Ratanak, Candlelight Party’s commune chief candidate in Poipet commune, stands next to her father, Chao Veasna, a former opposition councilor in the commune, outside her house on May 14, 2022. (Matt Surrusco/VOD)

Chao Ratanak, Candlelight Party’s commune chief candidate in Poipet commune, stands next to her father, Chao Veasna, a former opposition councilor in the commune, outside her house on May 14, 2022. (Matt Surrusco/VOD)🔊 Listen to this

Reading the article “Election Committee Rejects Candlelight Complaint Due to Lack of Specifics” recalls to mind how for Cambodian voters back in the 1998 national election — after the coup d’etat in 1997 — the legacy of the professional election institution built by the UNTAC was demolished and a new National Election Committee rebuilt. And in 2017, when the Cambodia National Rescue Party was dissolved, the legacy of an NEC created by the spirit of “culture of dialogue” was also demolished.

The response of the local election committee in the latest case is not a surprise, as the professionalism of neutrality has not been embedded in their workmanship at all. If this local election committee was well-trained, comprehensive, professional, and fearless to perform their duty without reprisal, they would try to accommodate complaints filed by Chao Ratanak without creating any further obstruction. But their performance shows not only an incapability for professional conduct but also bias toward the ruling party without doubt.

Observing the leadership structure of the current NEC, regardless of the instalment of party activists, the bureaucratic hierarchy from the national level to provincial level and to local agents is not necessary at all, and this structure creates more avenues to favor the ruling party than to serve the interests of voters. The judicial system being used as a political tool for the ruling party also disincentivizes professional conduct for the NEC and its staff.

Since Cambodia has conducted elections according to the spirit of Paris Peace Agreements, only two elections have been regarded as credible and professional, i.e. 1993 and 2017. Hence, the political maturity of the Cambodian people and their dynamic activism have paved concrete hope for the betterment in the near future. 

Sophoan Seng
President, Committee for Election Right of Overseas Cambodians

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លិខិត៖ បើស្ថាប័នរៀបចំការបោះឆ្នោតអព្យាក្រឹត គេនឹងទទួលយកពាក្យបណ្តឹង ចៅ រតនៈ

សេង សោភ័ណ្ឌ
| ថ្ងៃចន្ទ ទី១៣ ខែមិថុនា ឆ្នាំ២០២២ ម៉ោង ១០:០៣ ព្រឹក


ការអានអត្ថបទ “គណៈកម្មាធិការរៀបចំការបោះឆ្នោតបដិសេធការតវ៉ាដោយភ្លើងទៀនដោយចោទថាខ្វះភាពច្បាស់លាស់” រំលឹកឡើងវិញពីរបៀបដែលអ្នកបោះឆ្នោតកម្ពុជាត្រលប់ទៅការបោះឆ្នោតជាតិឆ្នាំ 1998 បន្ទាប់ពីរដ្ឋប្រហារឆ្នាំ 1997 កេរដំណែលនៃស្ថាប័នបោះឆ្នោតមានវិជ្ជាជីវៈដែលបង្កើតឡើងដោយអ៊ុនតាក់គឺរុះរើចោល ហើយ​គណៈកម្មាធិការ​ជាតិ​រៀបចំ​ការ​បោះឆ្នោត​ថ្មី​មួយ​ទៀត​ត្រូវ​បាន​គេ​កសាងសង់​ថ្មីឡើង​វិញ។ ហើយនៅឆ្នាំ ២០១៧ នៅពេលដែលគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិត្រូវបានរំលាយ កេរដំណែលរបស់ គ.ជ.ប ដែលបង្កើតឡើងដោយស្មារតី “វប្បធម៌សន្ទនា” ក៏ត្រូវបានបំផ្លាញចោលផងដែរ។

ការឆ្លើយតបរបស់គណៈកម្មាធិការជាតិរៀបចំការបោះឆ្នោតមូលដ្ឋាននៅក្នុងករណីចុងក្រោយនេះមិនមែនជាការភ្ញាក់ផ្អើលនោះទេ ព្រោះវិជ្ជាជីវៈនៃអព្យាក្រឹតភាពមិនត្រូវបានបង្កប់នៅក្នុងផ្នត់គំនិតរបស់ពួកគេទាល់តែសោះ។ ប្រសិនបើគណៈកម្មការជាតិរៀបចំការបោះឆ្នោតមូលដ្ឋាននេះ មានការបណ្តុះបណ្តាលត្រឹមត្រូវ ចំណេះដឹងទូលំទូលាយ មានវិជ្ជាជីវៈ និងគ្មានការភ័យខ្លាចក្នុងការបំពេញកាតព្វកិច្ចដោយមិនមានការសងសឹកណាមួយទេនោះ ពួកគេនឹងព្យាយាមដោះស្រាយបណ្តឹងដែលប្តឹងដោយ ចៅ រតនៈ ដោយមិនមានការបង្កជាឧបសគ្គអ្វីតទៅទៀត។ ប៉ុន្តែ​ការ​អនុវត្ត​របស់​ពួកគេ​មិន​ត្រឹម​តែ​បង្ហាញ​ពី​ភាព​អសមត្ថភាព​សម្រាប់​ការ​ប្រព្រឹត្តមុខ​វិជ្ជាជីវៈ​ប៉ុណ្ណោះ​ទេ ប៉ុន្តែ​ថែម​ទាំង​លម្អៀង​ទៅ​កាន់​គណបក្ស​កាន់​អំណាច​ដោយ​គ្មាន​ការ​សង្ស័យ​។

ការសង្កេតលើរចនាសម្ព័ន្ធដឹកនាំរបស់ គ.ជ.ប បច្ចុប្បន្ន ដោយមិនគិតពីការដំឡើងសកម្មជនបក្សនោះទេ ឋានានុក្រមការិយាធិបតេយ្យពីថ្នាក់ជាតិដល់ថ្នាក់ខេត្ត និងភ្នាក់ងារមូលដ្ឋានគឺមិនចាំបាច់ទាល់តែសោះ ហើយរចនាសម្ព័ន្ធនេះវារឹតតែបង្កើតនូវមធ្យោបាយជាច្រើនទៀតដើម្បីអនុគ្រោះនិងលំអៀងទៅរកគណបក្សកាន់អំណាច ជាជាងបម្រើផលប្រយោជន៍អ្នកបោះឆ្នោត។ ប្រព័ន្ធ​តុលាការ​ដែល​ត្រូវ​បាន​គេ​ប្រើ​ជា​ឧបករណ៍​នយោបាយ​សម្រាប់​គណបក្ស​កាន់​អំណាច​ក៏​បាន​បង្អាក់​បន្ទុចការ​ប្រព្រឹត្តមុខ​វិជ្ជាជីវៈ​ដល់ គ.ជ.ប និង​បុគ្គលិក​របស់​ខ្លួន។

ចាប់តាំងពីប្រទេសកម្ពុជាបានរៀបចំការបោះឆ្នោតស្របតាមស្មារតីនៃកិច្ចព្រមព្រៀងទីក្រុងប៉ារីស មានតែការបោះឆ្នោតពីរប៉ុណ្ណោះដែលត្រូវបានចាត់ទុកថាគួរឱ្យទុកចិត្ត និងប្រកបដោយវិជ្ជាជីវៈ ពោលគឺឆ្នាំ ១៩៩៣ និងឆ្នាំ ២០១៧។ ទោះយ៉ាងណាក៏ដោយ ភាពចាស់ទុំខាងនយោបាយរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរ និងសកម្មភាពសង្គមដ៏ស្វាហាប់របស់ពួកគេ បានក្រាលគ្រឹៈប៉េតុងនូវក្តីសង្ឃឹមជាក់ស្តែងសម្រាប់ភាពល្អប្រសើរ នាពេលខាងមុខ។

សេង សោភ័ណ្ឌ
ប្រធានគណៈកម្មាធិការដើម្បីសិទ្ធិបោះឆ្នោតរបស់ពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនៅក្រៅប្រទេស

Posted by: | Posted on: June 12, 2022

Election disenfranchisement machine of Cambodia

Scene of Campaign Rally of CLP in Final Day in Phnom Penh under the Heavy Rain on June 3, 3022

Observing the commune election of Cambodia this June 5, 2022, triggered many aspects of political pragmatism I have been advocating for. I wrote before on Sam Rainsy’s Exit and 3 Democratic Factoring to gauge sustainable democratization of Cambodia.

Now, through this several attractive speeches, Mr. Son Chhay articulates clearly on building political pragmatism to push against the odds of three poor targets by the dictatorship leaders in any society: 1. Making people hunger, 2. Making people fearful, and 3. Making people uncritical education. The debate and implementation success of the dictator originating in the embeddedness of people mindset of these 3 fallacies, and the ongoing divide and conquer chessboard through variety of tactics such as: spread rumours, dominating rumours media, threatening, and giving money as well as titles etc.

From this commune election, the maturity and well-informed citizens of Cambodia are visibly mushrooming and viable for closer engagement: reforming the National Election Committee and Judiciary System. The mature citizens are not sufficient without having strong teams of leadership, human resources, and fluid channelling funds.

When the NEC is central on people’s staring, the scenarios to push for actualization must be clear, strong, and achieveable:

  1. NEC structure and bureaucrats: current structure and bureaucrats are clearly unacceptable because it has showed the same pattern: after coup d’état in 1997, the existing NEC built by UNs demolished, and the dissolution of CNRP in 2017, the new NEC established.
  2. Justice system is known for its bias, partisan, corruption, and unprofessional. NEC personnel could not be neutral and professional whenever the current justice system is remained the same.

Proposal:

  1. Upcoming national election 2023 is reflecting November 16, 2017 when CNRP was illegally dissolved and 118 key politicians of CNRP was banned from politics for 5 years by the Supreme Court, or a de fact to close aligned entity who is one of the Board of Director Members of CPP ruling party, Dith Munty. The next cycle of voters registration is planned for October 2022 to be ready for 2023 National Election, should those politicians join the vote?
  2. CLP has become legit grassroots force of democracy, the plan for unity of all forces must be considerate by a comprehensive task-force.
  3. New credible NEC must be chosen from capable individuals with independent teams to plan, organize, budget and implement.