A Change of Guard

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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Cambodian Community Seeks Help from Canada [The Paris Peace Accords reached the Canadian parliament]

Protesters from Canada's Cambodian communities in Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto gathered on Parliament Hill Monday asking the Canadian government to intervene in what they describe as Cambodia's deteriorating human rights situation. (Matthew Little/The Epoch Times)

By Matthew Little
Epoch Times Staff
Created: Oct 24, 2011

PARLIAMENT HILL—Waving banners warning of an end to democracy in Cambodia, a group of protesters marched on Parliament Hill on Monday asking the Canadian government to step in.

Sunday marked the 20-year anniversary of the Paris Conference where Canada, along with 17 other countries, the UN, and Cambodia’s main political parties, signed an agreement that was to chart a path forward.

But according to the crowd of approx 100 that gathered, that hasn’t come to fruition.

“They signed that agreement to help Cambodia but nothing can help Cambodia,” said Sarom Om, a Cambodian woman who came to Canada with her family when she was 5.

She wants to know what signatories can do to help Cambodia avoid a return to the strife of previous years.

According to Ma Pretty, one of the protest organizers, the situation in Cambodia is dire. While international support was supposed to transition the country toward democracy and rule of law, it has not.

“On the contrary, forced land evictions have forced hundreds and thousands of families from their homes,” said Pretty.

“We wish the Canadian government could take a more proactive role.”

Amnesty International notes widespread forced evictions in the country, describing them as “one of the most widespread and systematic human rights violations affecting Cambodians,” in a report.

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