Published Monday, November 30, 2020 8:14AM EST Last Updated Monday, November 30, 2020 8:35AM EST
Cher was at Siem Reap airport and waved excitedly at the plane after it landed. (AFP)
SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA — An elephant dubbed the “world’s loneliest” landed in Cambodia Monday from Pakistan, receiving a warm welcome from American superstar Cher who will accompany him to a sanctuary housing potential mates.
The case of Kaavan — an overweight, 36-year-old bull elephant — sparked global uproar from animal rights groups, who petitioned for his move from an Islamabad zoo accused of substandard care and conditions.
His cause was boosted by a spirited social media campaign by Cher, who travelled to Pakistan to see him off.
Wearing a black face mask, the singer was on hand at Siem Reap airport and waved excitedly at the plane after it landed around 2:30 pm (0730 GMT).
“I am so proud he is here,” she told AFP, after greeting Kaavan through an opening at the base of the crate.
“He’s going to be really happy here,” said Cher, adding that she is hopeful his ordeal is now over.
Kaavan’s much-anticipated journey was “uneventful”, said Amir Khalil, a veterinarian from animal welfare group Four Paws, adding he behaved “like a frequent flyer”.
“Kaavan was eating, was not stressed — he was even a little bit sleeping, standing, leaning at the crate wall,” he said.
Once the sole Asian elephant in Pakistan, Kaavan will be transported from Siem Reap to neighbouring province Oddar Meanchey where a wildlife sanctuary with about 600 other elephants will be his new home.
“Cambodia is pleased to welcome Kaavan. No longer will he be ‘the world’s loneliest elephant,'” deputy environment minister Neth Pheaktra said.
“We expect to breed Kaavan with local elephants — this is an effort to conserve the genetic fold,” the minister told AFP.
Before he was transported to the sanctuary, monks offered him bananas and watermelon, chanting prayers and sprinkling holy water on his crate to bless him.
YEARS OF CAMPAIGNING
Kaavan’s journey is the culmination of years of campaigning from animal rights groups, who say the animal’s behaviour in captivity demonstrated “a kind of mental illness” likely due to the zoo’s woeful conditions.
ចុងក្រោយនេះមានមនុស្សចេតនាអាក្រក់បានសម្រុកជួយគ្នារាយការណ៍ទៅក្រុមហ៊ុនហ្វេសប៊ុកថាវិបសាយនេះជាស្បែម spam រហូតធ្វើអោយយើងមិនអាចផុសឬស៊ៀតាមហ្វេសប៊ុកបាន។ សូមបញ្ជាក់ថាវិបសាយនេះមានអត្ថបទវិភាគស៊ីជម្រៅល្អៗជាច្រើនដែលធ្វើអោយមនុស្សអាក្រក់ មេដឹកនាំផ្តាច់ការ និងក្រុមពុករលួយ មិនសប្បាយចិត្ត។
- ចុចផុស រួចចុចបន្ទាប់ next
- រួច ចុចពាក្យថាខ្ញុំមិនយល់ស្របចំពោះការសម្រេចចិត្តនេះ I disagree with decision
- ចុងក្រោយ ចុចបន្ទាប់ ជាការស្រេច!
Reading this latest article by Elizabeth Becker, a well-known journalist and author on Cambodia, Mu Sochua is considered the most outspoken woman for Cambodian women. With her decades of social activism and politician professional, Madame Sochua has sharply faced off with patriarchal society of Cambodia under dictatorship leadership so-called “strongman Hun Sen”. The plight of Cambodia has been known to the outside world by the Angkor the Great and the Pol Pot the Genocidal, while the in-between this two dichotomy is the flip-flip, deceitful, tactical, corrupt, dictatorial, and irrational leadership of Hun Sen.
Madame Sochua is among those survivals from the killing field of Pol Pot who have been embedded by the strongest mindset and determination to bring about hopes and smiles to Cambodians and their children through the pathway of democracy and human rights. She is determined to follow struggling model of Burmeses civic rights Aung San Suu Kyi. Once, she was proposed for Nobel Peace Prize nomination. Cambodian people and many journalists had keenly named her “Cambodian Aung San Suu Kyi”.
Aung San Suu Kyi accepted to stay in house arrest by rejecting Burmese junta suppressed her to living in self-exile. Her optimism and pragmatism have resulted in power sharing with the Junta through a model the Western world called “gradual but pragmatic democratization of Myanmar”. First, she was a Nobel Peace Prize candidate, but it has been discarded later when she is blamed for joining hand with the Junta to discriminate against Rohingya muslim minority; and she has been named “from peace icon to pariah”. Thus, her recent victory over the Junta under her leadership of National League for Democracy (NLD) party, is a testimony of her “optimism and pragmatism” yielding through her decades of judicial struggle against the Junta. During her time under house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi devoted herself to Buddhist meditation practices and to studying Buddhist thought. This deeper interest in Buddhism is reflected in her writings as more emphasis is put on love and compassion.
According to Elizabeth Becker “Sochua is a reminder of the unbearable personal sacrifices required to protect and promote democracy in this age of brutal tyrants, especially for women” and her devotion to return back to Cambodia in November 9, 2019 of Cambodia Independence Day, was a reality. She has never given up to return back to Cambodia. Her age is rolling up with her strength in determination, devotion, and dedication. Her bogus charges by the Deputy Persecutor Seng Heang of “inciting to commit a felony and plotting” was set to trial this November 26, 2020 but adjourned to January and March, 2021, among those 150 people as en mass trial by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Mu Sochua has determined to go back on time but due to entering ban by Hun Sen government, she missed this first trial while a lawyer worked on her behalf. But the next hearing, she is certainly present at the Court.
She is loyal to Sam Rainsy and all CNRP leaders who have fresh and collective mindset to “make Cambodia better” through pathway of genuine democracy, the rule of laws, social justice, and human rights. She and her colleagues shall be in Cambodia this January the latest the world must keep eyes on!
សង្ខេប៖ អត្ថបទនេះរៀបរាប់ស៊ីជម្រៅពីនយោបាយបរាជ័យរបស់លោកហ៊ុន-សែន ម្តងហើយម្តងទៀតក្រោយឆ្នាំ២០១៣។ សមាជិកបក្សភាគច្រើនមិនសប្បាយចិត្តចំពោះលោកហ៊ុន-សែន ដែលពួកគេធ្លាប់តែសរសើរថាសម្រេចចិត្តត្រូវធ្វើត្រូវ តែពេលនេះបានធ្វើកិច្ចការមួយចំនួនធំដែលសមាជិកភាគច្រើនមិនគាំទ្រដូចជារំលាយគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិ ធ្វើជាបច្ចាមិត្រជាមួយអឺរ៉ុបនិងអាមេរិក បង្កើនបណ្តាញក្រុមខ្លួនលើកតំឡើងឋានន្តរស័ក្តិឆ័ត្រយោងព្រមទាំងគ្មានសមត្ថភាព និងហ៊ុមព័ទ្ធកេងចំណេញទ្រព្យធនសម្រាប់តែខ្លួននិងក្រុមខ្លួន។ ក្រុមដែលចេញមុខចំហរទប់ទល់នយោបាយខុសរបស់លោកហ៊ុន-សែនគឺស-ខេង។ យុទ្ធសាស្ត្រលោកហ៊ុន-សែនបំបែកកឹម-សុខាពីសម-រង្ស៊ី បានក្លាយជាការអោបយកកឹម-សុខា រួមរុញច្រានលោកសម-រង្ស៊ីអោយចូលជាធ្លុងមួយជាលោកស-ខេង។ គំរោងលោកហ៊ុន-សែនចង់ប្រកាសបន្តុបកូនខ្លួន បានបរាជ័យម្តងជាពីរដងទាំងផ្ទៃក្នុងបក្សទាំងឆាកអន្តរជាតិ។ ពត៌មានចចាមអារាមចុងក្រោយពីផ្ទៃក្នុងគឺការទាញយកលោកអូន-ពន្ធមុនីរ័តជាតំណាងនៅពេលលោកហ៊ុន-សែនមិនអាចបំពេញការងារបាន ដោយផាត់លោកស-ខេងចេញក្នុងហេតុផលថាទុកចាស់ៗមួយឡែកសិន ដោយអោយក្មេងៗគេធ្វើការម្តង។ អណត្តិលោកចូ-បៃដិន នឹងមានវិធានការជាក់ស្តែងដូចមានសំបុត្រពីសមាជិកព្រឹទ្ធសភាទាំង៨នាក់ស្រាប់ ដែលបណ្តាលអោយលោកហ៊ុន-សែនអង្គុយមិនជាប់ក្តិត បែរប្រើតុលាការកាត់ទោសមនុស្សម្តង១៥០នាក់ ហើយបានចាប់មនុស្សដាក់ពន្ធនាគារប្រមាណ៨០នាក់រួមទាំងព្រះសង្ឃ យុវជន យុវតី តារាចំរៀងរ៉ាប់ ក្មេងៗជាច្រើន។ ស្ថានការណ៍ដើមឆ្នាំក្រោយនឹងកាន់តែតឹងតែងខ្លាំងឡើយសម្រាប់លោកហ៊ុន-សែន ដែលការលេបត្របាក់ប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ ធ្វើអោយគាត់ឈឺជំងឺរលួយពោះវៀនយ៉ាងដំណំ បើមិនខ្ជាក់ចេញទេ គាត់នឹងស្លាប់។
Rumors have long swirled of an alliance between opposition leader Sam Rainsy and Interior Minister Sar Kheng.
By David Hutt November 27, 2020
Sam Rainsy has taken exception to journalists who write that he “fled” Cambodia in late 2015. Instead, he says, what actually happened was that Interior Minister Sar Kheng contacted him privately via then-U.S. Ambassador William Heidt to warn him not to return from a visit to South Korea. Rainsy has stated that Sar Kheng “begged me not to come back” and advised him to wait abroad as the Interior Minister tried to talk(calm?) Prime Minister Hun Sen down from his threat to issue an arrest warrant for the opposition leader.
The day Sam Rainsy was supposed to return from a visit to Seoul – November 16, 2015 – the National Assembly voted to remove his parliamentary immunity. At the time, he was president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), the country’s only true opposition party. Banned in November 2017 on the spurious grounds that it was plotting a U.S.-backed coup, hundreds of the party’s elected officials and activists joined Sam Rainsy in exile, while the party’s president Kem Sokha, who took over the post in early 2017, was arrested for treason – a charge that still hangs over him.
Sam Rainsy’s telling of the events of November 2015 has been on the public record for almost two years, since he first made these claims back in January 2019. I cannot confirm all the details, but I hear they’re accurate. Speaking via email this week, Sam Rainsy elaborated. “I have spoken in private with [Sar Kheng]. I know his feelings and understand his fear of Hun Sen,” he told me, as I reported here. “Dissolving the CNRP might [have been] a pre-emptive move by Hun Sen to prevent an ‘alliance’ between Sar Kheng and Sam Rainsy,” he added. “Sar Kheng’s real but untold interest is to prevent Hun Sen from eliminating Sam Rainsy.”
Before the events of November 2017, Sam Rainsy told me, at least seven of the CPP’s 68 members of parliament “were pro-Sar Kheng” and, if instructed, could have joined with the CNRP’s 55 parliamentarians to create a majority in the National Assembly. “This helps explain Hun Sen’s fear and his determination to eliminate the CNRP under any ludicrous pretext such as ‘treason,’” he claimed.
Naturally, this raised more questions than it answered. Why, for instance, once it became apparent that Sar Kheng wasn’t able to tame Hun Sen, did Sam Rainsy not return, such as after attempts were made to arrest Kem Sokha in July 2016? (He was only formally exiled in October 2016.) One must also consider the political intention of his claims. For years, Sam Rainsy has tried to sow divisions between Hun Sen and Sar Kheng, who are thought to lead the two main factions within the long-ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), in much the same way as the prime minister has tried to widen splits within the CNRP.
Perhaps that was how Sar Kheng thought back in 2015 or even up until late 2017, but what about today? When asked about his current relationship with the interior minister, Sam Rainsy replied: “There are things on which we cannot elaborate at this point. Let’s avoid too much speculation. We will see.”
Since the 1990s, foreign diplomats and some of us hacks have portrayed Sar Kheng as the more amendable alternative to Hun Sen, as the Southeast Asia Globe documented in detail back in 2018. Indeed, the Phnom Penh grapevine echoed with claims that Sar Kheng was the only one capable of a “palace coup,” likely the only way of removing Hun Sen from office. But this always seemed to be one of those cases of actions being judged by reputation, not the other way around. And trying to identify divisions within the CPP has long been a unrewarding folly of Cambodia-watchers, a labor of judging whether jigsaw pieces of rumor and off-hand remarks fit neatly together.Read More …