A Change of Guard

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Thursday, 31 May 2012

Hun Sen was a poor farmer, but he forgot his roots

By Kmenh Watt

Re: Open letter to Hun Sen on convictions against 13 Cambodian human rights defenders

These corrupted human-beings do not hear the outcries of the world asking them to release these innocent Khmer people that they put in jail without justification.These heartless human-beings do what they wanted. First they stole their land, sold it to their cronies behind closed door, then they threw these people in jail and accused them of disobedience to the authorities.

These heartless beings will one day meet their marching order like the Arab Spring uprising, then all of these beings will have no place to hide. Revenge and bloodshed will be unavoidable if they continue these savage acts against their own citizens.

These beings are themselves do not own any land in Cambodia that they are living on now. The land that they live on now were stolen from the innocent Khmers whom they've killed during the Khmer Rouge regime. The real land owners in Phnom Penh were killed or have fled the country by force so that these heartless beings can steal their land and their homes.

Hun Sen himself was a poor farmer,very poor that he barely got his little education from Wat Lork (Buddhist temple). Otherwise, he will be as dumb as a pig. Now he forgot his roots, very sad to see all of these injustices spreading like wildfires in Cambodia in the name of "GREEDS". These heartless beings don't know what enough is....They are all rich, but never feel that enough is enough...!!!!! The CPP means the Corrupt People's Party, not the Cambodian People's Party.

A 13-year-old Khmerican has two fathers and an Olympics dream [He makes all Khmers proud!]

My dad holding me at the orphanage. The picture of him around my neck was brought by another family 3 months before my dad came. It was so I would know him when we met! (All Photos: http://www.jordanwindle.com)
My family picture! Dad, me, and Papi.
Diving synchro 3 meter springboard at the 2011 USA Diving Winter National Championships.
May. 31, 2012 
See more pictures here.

Indianapolis 13-year-old has two fathers and an Olympics dream 

13-year-old diver has two fathers and an Olympics dream 

Jordan Pisey Windle is used to being the center of attention.
He has been the focus of his father's life since the day in 2000 when Jerry Windle retrieved him from a Cambodian orphanage.
He has been turning heads for the past five years as a diving phenom, the youngest ever to qualify for the U.S. Olympic diving trials.
PHOTO GALLERY: 13-year-old Olympics hopeful Jordan Pisey Windle.
MORE COVERAGE: Not all flamboyant: Gay-pride festival expands kids events.
And all eyes will be on him June 9 when he serves as grand marshal for the Circle City IN Pride Parade, an annual celebration of Central Indiana's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
The young athlete's decision to accept the parade invitation -- and the fact that he has two fathers -- is sure to raise eyebrows. But what other people think isn't of concern to the 13-year-old. He views the world so unself-consciously that when asked if he ever gets tired of people questioning him about his origins and his family, he simply shrugged. "I've never actually thought about it."

Campaign marks milestone in Cambodia's political maturity

PHNOM PENH, 31 May 2012 (Cambodia Herald) - The two-week campaign for this Sunday's commune elections shows that politics in Cambodia has become more mature with no violence against political activists or party members.

Tum Sambor, spokesman for Funcinpec, said no serious trouble affected the royalist party apart from a little disorder that could be sorted out on the ground. People now have a better understanding of rights and laws in elections, he added.

Sam Rainsy Party spokesman Yim Sovann said the opposition party's activists faced no violence but still encountered threats."The party filed 68 complaints to the National Election Committee to take legal proceedings relating to the commune election campaign," he said.

Human Rights Party senior officer Yem Panharith said his opposition party also faced threats and was obstructed by authorities. "Party logos were sprayed with paint and posters were destroyed in some areas," he said. "Local authorities in Kandal province hampered the party and took leaflets from people.”

The campaign ends on Friday and provisional results are expected to be released late Sunday.

Khmer People Power Movement files a lawsuit against Hun Sen at the International Criminal Court

Dear All,

Mr. SOURN, SEREY RATHA, President of Khmer People power Movement (KPPM) will lead delegation to ICC (International Criminal Court) for filing of law suit against Hun Sen and his regime on July 22, 2012 at 15:00 PM.

Please see the press release in attachment.

Khmer People Power Movement (KPPM)

This [Hun Sen] regime is the worst and greedy regime

By Kmenh Watt

Justice is will prevail if many of us keep on fighting for justice. Justice for all, opportunity for all will never happen if many of us closed our eyes, ignored or refused to join the fight. Fighting for justice for the evictees is fighting for all innocent Khmers who got evicted unjustly.

These injustices can only happen to you when you are not the CPP clans or when you are poor, living from hands to mouth. It's hell to be poor in Cambodia these days because they (CPP) can walk all over you, they can destroy your homes, put your families in jail, they grabbed your land and sold it to their associates and cronies (henchmen), using their jungle laws to force you out without any regards of your human rights.

This regime is the worst and greedy regime ever recorded in Khmer history. Historians, please record all these evil acts by this cruel regime so that the next generations will know.

Maid forced to drink urine, eat faeces: NGO [Only animals can do this to a human-being]]

Thursday, 31 May 2012 
By Cassandra Yeap and Phak Seangly
Phnom Penh Post

Chea Phalla, 28, was tortured by her employers. Photograph: Photo Supplied

A Malaysian couple has been charged with causing grievous harm to a Cambodian maid, a rights worker said yesterday, in the latest of a recent string of such prosecutions.

Hairdresser Tan Mong Huwai and his wife Eng Lay Sang, both 36, were charged this week with abusing Chea Phalla, 28, between August 2011 to May in Kuala Lumpur, according to Liva Sreedharan, anti-trafficking program officer at Malaysian NGO Tenaganita.

Chea Phalla had testified in a written statement that her employers had used an iron rod to beat her and forced her to drink her own urine and eat her faeces, Sreedharan said.

Borei Keila evictees will be given a lift back to vote [Despite being evicted, they still vote for the CPP, It's unbelievable!]

Thursday, 31 May 2012 
By May Titthara 
Phnom Penh Post

A cart passes yesterday through a relocation site established in January for people evicted from the Borei Keila community. The relocation site is in Kandal province, about 40 kilometres outside Phnom Penh. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

Borei Keila evictees will have a chance to revisit the area they were forcibly evicted from this Sunday when authorities truck them back from the makeshift tents of their relocation site for a special purpose – to vote.

Touch Khorn, a representative of the Borei Keila community villagers who were evicted from their homes in Phnom Penh in January, said yesterday that their one-time Veal Vong commune chief, ruling party member Keo Sakal, had agreed to provide two trucks for the ballot. 

“On June 3 at 6:00am, the trucks will go to take us to Phnom Penh,” he said.

The 133 families that were evicted by private security forces hired by development firm Phan Imex will have to travel some 50 kilometres from their Srah Po village relocation site in Kandal province’s Punhea Ley district.

Most are reluctant to divulge their political preferences, but despite the experience of seeing their homes bulldozed, some maintain they will stick with the Cambodian People’s Party.

Seven days in the life of a bear keeper

Thursday, 31 May 2012 
By Post Staff  
Phnom Penh Post

Than has been a keeper at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre for more than a decade. He has been working for Free the Bears since the end of 2008, where he runs the nursery that cares for 22 cubs, including a new one.

Newly rescued Sun Bear 159 /Phnom Penh Post
It is 7am, time to get on my moto and drive 30 minutes to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre. As I ride on the bumpy dirt track I feel eager to see the bears and my colleagues. I go straight to my bear house where I am greeted by the 21 rescued bears under my care.
I first check the white board for any news and updates left by Jamran who worked the day before. “Buddy” has a small wound that requires spraying with an antiseptic. Next, I go straight to the nursery and see my two cubs. They are both asleep; I leave quietly so I don’t wake them. I take my push trolley to the bear kitchen where all the other bear keepers are. I wait and talk with my friends while the kitchen keeper divides the bear porridge into containers to feed all 118 bears at the centre.

Canadia Bank backs a rice mill in Takeo

Thursday, 31 May 2012 
By Rann Reuy
Phnom Penh Post

Workers at milled rice warehouse in Kandal Province are carrying rice into stok pile for milling. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post
Canadia Bank will launch a rice mill in Cambodia’s Takeo province in October, a move that insiders said could help curb the flow of unmilled rice to neighbouring Vietnam.

Bank officials yesterday said they will buy US$3 million in milling equipment, and the total cost of the facility was expected to be $10 million.

Equipment would be imported from several countries including Japan, Taiwan and China, and the mill would look to export to the European Union, China and the Philippines.

Prince makes case in capital [from Hun Sen's master to becoming Hun Sen's puppet]

Thursday, 31 May 2012 
By Meas Sokchea
Phnom Penh Post

Prince Norodom Rannaridh (left) hands out 5,000 riel notes (about US$1.25) to party supporters at Wat Phnom in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post
In a flashy first appearance on the campaign trail yesterday in Phnom Penh, Prince Norodom Ranariddh peeled off cash to supporters, defended the upcoming merger with Funcinpec and said that voting for certain opposition parties was the same as throwing ballots into the river.

Representatives from the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party, whom Prince Ranariddh targeted for criticism, responded by calling him a puppet of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who had encouraged the merger. And an election monitor said that doling out cash to supporters was common, but it could give observers the wrong idea.

“All the parties, they give money to the activists, because they pay them to organise activities. They post leaflets, they carry loudspeakers,” said Koul Panha with the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia.

Military integrates with Microsoft Lync

Thursday, 31 May 2012 
By Stuart Alan Becker
Phnom Penh Post

General Manager Sampath Perera of Techenture Consulting speaks to the Post about Microsoft Lync software yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

The Cambodian Ministry of Defence has begun using Microsoft Lync, an instant messaging client that uses IP protocols, like those used by the internet, to integrate communications from radios to smart phones, enabling secure communications between commanders and troops via many different kinds of mobile devices.

General Manager Sampath Perera of Techenture Consulting, said his firm is proud to be helping the Ministry of Defence integrate their communications with security and speed.

“Basically if you take traditional military communication, you have radio, which is limited to a certain area.  The general can be in another country, but with Microsoft Lync he can use his smart phone to talk with radio channels even on the battlefield,” Perera said.

The system runs with Microsoft Lync Server software on computer hardware owned by the client and has built-in high-level encryption, Perera said.

Angkor Gold identifies northeast prospects

Thursday, 31 May 2012 
By Don Weinland 
Phnom Penh Post

Angkor Gold Corp, a Toronto Stock Exchange-listed company, has announced the identification of five new prospects in Ratanakiri province, according to a company statement.

The announcement comes less than a month after the mining firm said it planned to consolidate its gold prospects in the northeastern corner of the country.

The prospects, located in Dokyong prospect, O’yadao south tenement, were reinforced with gold anomolies, and one of the prospects was described in the statement as being “a very strong gold anomoly”.

Defence Minister backs Cambodia's conflict-free ASEAN initiative

Updated May, 31 2012  
Vietnam News

PHNOM PENH — Viet Nam supports Cambodia's initiative to build a conflict-free ASEAN region and a statement on plans to integrate ASEAN's security.
Viet Nam's Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh made the comment while addressing the sixth ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM-6) in Phnom Penh on Tuesday.
Thanh called on all ASEAN countries to maintain an atmosphere of peace, stability, co-operation and development to establish the Political-Security Community by 2015.

E-paper / Prime Liang stresses respect at ASEAN talks

Updated: 31 May, 2012
By Zhang Yunbi 
China Daily

China expressed an unwavering resolve to protect its national sovereignty and to deal with disputes peacefully, Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said on Tuesday.
Liang made those remarks at a short consultative meeting with defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, following talks on Monday with his Philippine counterpart, Voltaire Gazmin.
The two meetings came amid an impasse over Huangyan Island in the South China Sea. The dispute was prompted by a Philippine warship's harassment of Chinese fishermen in waters off the island on April 10.
Liang called for cooperation, mutual benefit, equality and mutual respect at the meeting, which mainly concerned regional security and strengthening mutual trust and cooperation.

China vows to ensure national sovereignty

China vowed its unwavering determination to ensure national sovereignty and its persistence in peaceful resolution to disputes, Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said on May 29.
Liang made the remarks at a short consultative meeting with ASEAN defense ministers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Liang called for cooperation, mutual benefits, equality and mutual respect, and he hailed the communication and pragmatic cooperation between China and ASEAN.
"In the new context, China will never slough off its responsibility to ensure regional peace and stability, never change its decision to pursue peace and development, never slacken its effort to promote regional cooperation, never give up its sincerity of a peaceful resolution to disputes and never waver over its determination to guard the security of national sovereignty," Liang said.

Electronics factory to open [computer hard disc drives made in Cambodia?]

Thursday, 31 May 2012 
By May Kunmakara 
Phnom Penh Post

A US$37.9 million base plate factory will launch in June in the northwestern province of Banteay Meanchey, Japanese electronics manufacturer SC WADO Component Co said yesterday in a statement.

The entry of SC WADO, a subsidiary of Nidec Electronics, was another step in Cambodia’s march away from garment exports, which have been the country’s primary ware to overseas markets.

The company will start on an initial investment of about $12.6 million, and is expected to employ 350 Cambodian workers during its first year of operations, according to the company statement.

By 2014, the manufacturer could have 5,000 workers making base plates, a component of computer hard disc drives.

Last year, Japanese ball bearings maker Minebea became one of first international companies to try Cambodian hands at higher-level production. The company invested $60 million in its plant in the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone and is said to be looking for 3,000 local workers this year.

Ford and Hyundai assemble vehicles in the Kingdom.

CAMBODIA: The culture of impunity and violence must stop

Cambodian and International civil society organizations 

A Joint Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

Phnom Penh, 30th May 2012- We, Cambodian and International civil society organizations represented in this statement, condemn the use of armed force and escalating violence against citizens peacefully defending their land, labor and natural resources rights. We are referring to not only the events earlier last week on 22nd May, when dozens of peaceful Boeung Kak Lake (BKL) protesters were violently dispersed and two days later when fifteen (fourteen women and one male) BKL residents were sent to Prey Sar prison and charged and convicted of unfounded criminal offenses,1 but also the recent shooting incidents—the killings of environmental activist Chut Wutty2 in Koh Kong province and 14-year old girl Heng Chantha3 in Kratie province, and the shooting of three young women protesting for better working conditions in Svay Rieng province. These incidents are particularly disturbing because they indicate an increasing readiness on the part of security and military forces to use lethal force against civilians.

The year 2012 has already witnessed at least five such instances, not including numerous other human rights abuses. We are deeply concerned, shocked and saddened about this escalation of violence, particularly in disputes related to Economic Land Concessions (ELCs). Pursuant to Article 41 of the Cambodian Constitution and international conventions to which Cambodia is a party, all citizens enjoy a fundamental right to free expression, which includes the right to protect against decisions of public authorities that infringe on their rights and livelihood . In practice, the exercise of this right is all too often denied or met with violent repression.

Buddhist Temple celebrating 27th anniversary

 Ven. Rath Sam, head Buddhist monk at the Cambodian Buddhist Temple on Hazeldean Road in Stittsville, stands beside one of the golden lions which stand at the laneway entrance to the Temple with the Temple, which is marking its 27th anniversary, in the background. Ven. Rath Sam, head Buddhist monk at the Cambodian Buddhist Temple on Hazeldean Road in Stittsville, stands beside one of the golden lions which stand at the laneway entrance to the Temple with the Temple, which is marking its 27th anniversary, in the background.
Posted May 31, 2012  

EMC news - The Cambodian Buddhist Temple in Stittsville is celebrating its 27th anniversary this coming Saturday, June 2.

While the Temple has only been at its current Hazeldean Road location since 2004, the Temple's history goes back to 1985 when the Cambodian community in Ottawa created the Ottawa-Hull Cambodian Buddhist Association Inc., with the Temple originally located on Arlington Avenue in Ottawa.

In 1987, the Temple relocated to Morisset Avenue in Ottawa where it remained until 2004 when it moved to 5883 Hazeldean Road in Stittsville which it has set down roots.

Cambodian prime minister meets with Liang Guanglie

People's Daily Online
May 31, 2012 

Hun Sen, prime minister of Cambodia, met with Liang Guanglie, state councilor and minister of national defense of the People's Republic of China, on May 28, 2012 in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia. The two sides exchanged views on issues of common concern such as relations between the two countries and the two militaries in a cordial and friendly atmosphere.

Liang Guanglie said that China-Cambodia relations have withstood the test of international vicissitudes since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries 54 years ago. China-Cambodia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership is currently well developing as evidenced by high political mutual trust, mutually beneficial economic cooperation and cultural exchanges and mutual learning, showing bright prospects for development.

Chinese actress Ziyi denies interactions with Bo Xilai [$1.58 million: She must be the most expensive girl to sleep with]


Taipei (ANN) 30 May 2012-Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi yesterday denied media reports that she had allegedly “interacted” with Bo Xilai, the former Communist Party boss of China's Chongqing City in exchange for “huge” monetary gifts.

Zhang, who is currently shooting a new film in southern China, said on her personal microblog that many people “can take wind as rain” using their imaginations.

Her statement was taken as a denial of the media allegations about the sex scandal.

US-based Chinese-language news website Boxun, the Apple Daily published in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and other Chinese-language media reported that the 32-year-old actress slept with Bo at least 10 times between 2007 and 2011.

Rights Worker Released After Two Years in Prison

                                       Leang Sok Choeung being handcuffed by a policeman.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 
By Kong Sothanarith, 
VOA Khmer | Phnom Penh 

An activist for the prominent rights group Licadho was released from Kandal provincial prison Wednesday, having served two years of detention on charges of defamation and incitement.
Leang Sok Choeun was sentenced alongside two other men for reportedly distributing anti-government leaflets in the province outside Phnom Penh in 2009.
The leaflets decried the Vietnamese occupation after January 1979 and were critical of ruling party leaders Hun Sen, Heng Samrin and Chea Sim.
“I am very happy today,” Leang Sok Choeun, 30, told reporters and supporters gathered outside the prison. “But I regret that I did nothing wrong and still the court unjustly condemned me.”

A California Accountant’s Bid to Overturn Cambodia’s Government

By Joyce Hackel ⋅ May 30, 2012
Yasith Chhun, who launched a failed coup in Cambodia in 2000 is serving a life sentence in prison in Pennsylvania. (Photo: Courtesy of Yasith Chhun)
Yasith Chhun, who launched a failed coup in Cambodia in 2000 is serving a life sentence in prison in Pennsylvania. (Photo: Courtesy of Yasith Chhun) Cambodian-American Yasith Chhun was living the American dream in California until the Long Beach accountant hatched a plot to try to overthrow Cambodia’s government. The coup plot flopped, and Chhun landed in jail. We talk to Chhun from a Pennsylvania penitentiary, and to a journalist who has chronicled the tale – Adam Piore.
Listen to the interview at The World Radio.

Prince Ranariddh Thanks Hun Sen For Bringing Royalists Together [Then you will bang your head against the wall when Hun Sen trashes you, again]

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 Heng Reaksmey, VOA Khmer | Phnom Penh

Photo: Heng Reaksmey, VOA Khmer, Prince Norodom Ranarridh (middle).
“I think voters will consider the prince and vote for the opposition party.”

Appearing publicly for the first time since the two royalist parties merged, Prince Norodom Ranarridh told reporters “only” Prime Minister Hun Sen had the ability to bring the parties back together.
Funcinpec and the Norodom Ranariddh Party announced they were joining together last week, after a six-year split, as Cambodians prepare for local polls on Sunday.
The prince, the son of former king Norodom Sihanouk, was forced from Funcinpec, once the main rival to Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party, in a graft scandal in 2006. He remained in exile abroad until his return for national elections in 2008, when he led his own party in the polls, winning two seats in the National Assembly. Funcinpec also won two seats in 2008; the ruling Cambodian People’s Party won 90.

Little Access to Media Ahead of Sunday’s Vote: Experts [Almost all the media are under the control of the ruling CPP]

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 By Men Kimseng, VOA Khmer | Washington, D.C

Photo: Heng Reaksmey, VOA Khmer
Pa Nguonteang, Executive Director, Cambodian Center for Independent Media.
“Media, especially radio and television, are very influential on voters in Cambodia, but almost all of them are under the influence of the ruling party.”
Political parties vying for seats in the local commune councils have access to media, but it is still unequal, making it hard for voters to make informed decisions, a media specialist says.
“Media, especially radio and television, are very influential on voters in Cambodia, but almost all of them are under the influence of the ruling party,” Pa Nguon Teang, executive director of the Cambodian Center for Independent Media, told “Hello VOA” Monday.
Cambodia has 99 radio and 17 TV stations registered at Ministry of Information as of early 2012. Out of these there are only a few radio stations operated by NGOs or by opposition parties.

[Canada's] Surrey students collect pennies for Cambodia

By Matt Law, Now contributor May 30, 2012
Read more: http://www.thenownewspaper.com
Students at Woodward Hill Elementary in Surrey spent the month of May turning over couch cushions and emptying their parents' pockets to raise approximately $1,000 in pennies to help fund a school in Cambodia. The school, called Krang Thmey, was started in 2005 with the help of Woodward Hill's principal Anne Mackie, who is shown above on the far right.
Students at Woodward Hill Elementary in Surrey spent the month of May turning over couch cushions and emptying their parents' pockets to raise approximately $1,000 in pennies to help fund a school in Cambodia. The school, called Krang Thmey, was started in 2005 with the help of Woodward Hill's principal Anne Mackie, who is shown above on the far right. Photograph by: MATT LAW , Surrey NOW 

The last penny may have been minted on May 4 but the little copper coin is still making a big impact.
Students at Woodward Hill Elementary in Surrey spent the month of May turning over couch cushions and emptying their parents' pockets to raise approximately $1,000 in pennies to help children in Cambodia.
Over the past three years, students at Woodward Hill have raised close to $4,000 to help fund a free school 30 kilometres outside of Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital.
The school, called Krang Thmey, was started in 2005 with the help of Woodward Hill's principal Anne Mackie.
While teaching in Cambodia, Mackie was struck by the severe poverty and the impact of sex slavery on Cambodian children.
"I'd never seen such abject poverty in my life. People who have absolutely nothing live on maybe $40 a month," Mackie said.

Brushing the first step for Cambodian kids [From Australia to Cambodia with a mission]

31 May 2012
The Northern District Times
By Scott Howlett
Dentists making a difference, Cecilia So and Cheng-Yee Rossiter in Marsfield. PHIL ROGERS
Dentists making a difference, Cecilia So and Cheng-Yee Rossiter in Marsfield. PHIL ROGERS
MARSFIELD dentist Cecilia So, 31, has inspired thousands of Cambodian orphans and children to pick up a toothbrush.
She has also encouraged other dentists, like Beecroft’s Cheng-Yee Rossiter, 46, to join her on her quest.
The idea sprung from Dr So’s Buddhist faith and a meeting with 85-year-old Paget Sayers, who owns the Buddhist Library in Camperdown.
The Hong Kong-born dentist, who has lived in Ryde and Marsfield since she was five, first visited Cambodia in 2008.
“When I came back to Australia I met Paget,” Dr So said.

Coming out in Cambodia: Women in same-sex relationships stand up for human rights

Wednesday 30 May 2012

In a Cambodian case that has attracted UN attention, Phlong Srey Rann is currently serving a five- year prison sentence for having sex with her girlfriend. She has been charged with human trafficking and illegal detention despite insisting that their relationship was consensual.
The case is surrounded by controversy and police are suspected of fabricating charges that the defendants' girlfriend was underage. Srey Rann's litigator told the Phnom Penh Post that her "girlfriend's family bribed local authorities to change her real age" in order to take legal action against Srey Rann.
A 2010 report from the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights highlights that although same-sex relationships are legal there are many examples of lesbians being persecuted by the law. The report suggests that those in authority who discriminate and persecute LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] individuals may "conceive of such treatment as 'punishment' for not adhering to accepted social norms."
Srun Srorn, a key player in the struggle for LGBT rights in Cambodia, has met lesbians from all over The Kingdom with similar experiences of heartache, discrimination and forced marriages.
He explains: "There are some [lesbian] couples that have died because their parents, family and local authorities have got involved with their cases. In Banteay Meanchay, one lesbian's family forced her to marry a man and gave her some traditional medicine which resulted in her dying. When she died, her partner killed herself too."

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Ranariddh denounces two main opposition parties [A leopard never changes its spots]

Give our kids a better deal
Prince Norodom Ranariddh as compared to "a leopard who never changes its spots", or as we say in Khmer "chkae kontuy kvean"- a dog with a coiled tail will never uncoil his tail.

PHNOM PENH (Cambodia Herald) - Prince Norodom Ranariddh denounced the two main opposition parties Wednesday during an election rally at Wat Phnom.

"People should not vote for the opposition party or the delusional party," he told about 50 supporters, referring to the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party.

Noting that neither party had done anything to solve people's problems, the prince urged voters to avoid "throwing into the river" their votes in this Sunday's commune election.

He also said that his Norodom Ranariddh Party had won over activists from the two opposition parties since announcing plans last week to merge with Funcinpec, the royalist party he led until it split in 2006.

ASEAN Defence Ministers Adopt Two Important Documents

ASEAN Defence Ministers pose for a Photo Session prior to the 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh this morning. Photo: Hun Yuth Kun 

AKP Phnom Penh, May 29, 2012 –The ASEAN defence ministers adopted two key documents at the 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (6th ADMM) held here this morning at the Peace Palace, a press release said.
The first document is the Concept Paper on the Review of the Frequency of the ADMM-Plus Meetings, while the second is the Joint Declaration on Enhancing ASEAN Unity for a Harmonized and Secure Community, it said.
For the first document, it pointed out, the ASEAN defence ministers agreed to reduce the interval year period of the ADMM-Plus meeting from once in three years to once in two years in order to allow the defence ministers of the ADMM-Plus countries to have more frequent exchanges of views and perspectives on geo-strategic, regional security and defense issues as well as security challenges.

‘Restraint’ watchword at ASEAN meet

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 
By Joseph Freeman and Vong Sokheng 
Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen shakes hands with Brunei’s Minister of Energy Mohammad Yasmin Umar and Thailand’s Minister of Defence Sukumpol Suwanatat yesterday as Vietnamese Defence Minister looks on. Photograph: Reuters

The planned theme of yesterday’s ASEAN defence ministers roundtable was military co-operation between countries, particularly in times of natural disaster, but it was a theme invariably pushed to the background by other regional developments.

Among them was what appeared to be a cooling-off period in the dispute between the Philippines and China over sovereignty in the South China Sea, as well as this week’s visit by China’s minister of defence, the timing of which raised some eyebrows.

ASEAN members the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei, along with China and Taiwan, claim portions of the resource-rich body of water.

Last month, China and the Philippines each sent boats to a disputed reef that both countries claim.

But that standoff seems to have turned into a waiting game, based on remarks by the minister of defence for the Philippines, Voltaire Gazmin.

SMEs look to regional buyers

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 
By May Kunmakara 
Phnom Penh Post

Commercial and residential buildings seen from a window at the Cambodian Securities Exchange, which opened last month. Photograph: Will Baxter/Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia's ASEAN Economic Minister yesterday urged small and medium-size enterprises to focus on countries in Southeast Asia, rather than Europe and the United States, for export destinations.

Cham Prasidh, also the minister of commerce, said yesterday that regional markets have traditionally held a second place to those in the West.

The so-called ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a tariff and regulation bloc which member states hope to form by 2015, should bring regional trade into the forefront, he said.

“We are encouraging our SMEs and local producers to look the ASEAN market because standards will not be restrictive here, he said. “If we can sell into the United States and Europe, it should be easy for us to sell to countries in the region.”

Farmers fear deal has strings [you can have the land now, but after the election it's time to shed more tears]

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 
By Chhay Channyda 
Phnom Penh Post

Villagers from Kampong Chhnang’s Lorpeang Village, pictured last year, have recently been granted permission to farm land that has been disputed since 2007 with the KDC company. Photograph: Derek Stout/Phnom Penh Post

Forty Kampong Chhnang villagers embroiled in a long-running land dispute with KDC International, a company owned by the wife of a senior CPP official, farmed contested land without interference on Monday, prompting some to wonder if they were being coaxed to vote for the ruling party in the coming commune elections.

Villagers were confused as to why no one barred them from the land, which is claimed by KDC and its owner Chea Kheng, wife of CPP-affiliated Industry, Mines and Energy Minister Suy Sem.

However, village representative Reach Seima suspects the new accommodation is simply because “it’s time to vote”.

“When we entered, the guard told us to bring more villagers to [farm] on this land,” he said. “We wondered is that a trick of the company? [The CPP] are good to us because they don’t want to lose votes.”

Ping Vey: A surreal coming of age

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 
By Calvin Yang
Phnom Penh Post

Oeur Sokuntevy’s exhibit Ping Vey [adulthood] is a surreal reflection on her experience of Cambodian social norms, told through a young man’s life. Photograph: Photo Supplied
Fairly tale endings and happily ever afters for the modern-day ‘boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl’ sequence of events may be a thing of the past as far as an art piece in Ping Vey, a new exhibition by Phnom Penh-based surrealist painter Oeur Sokuntevy, goes.

A glance at the work titled Lost Together reveals a man and a woman, represented as pig figures in reference to the artist’s Cambodian zodiac, standing on the balcony of their home looking into the distance in what appears to be a married couple enjoying some quality time together.

But take a closer look and their grim facial expressions say it all. Loathing and bitterness consume their days spent together.

And if you scrutinise the painting hard enough, you might even notice a bright yellow wristband, on the right arm of the male character, imprinted with a two-word sexual expletive.

Princess Soma Norodom to pen new Post column

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 
By Diana Montaño
Phnom Penh Post

Princess Soma Norodom’s new column will cover pressing issues that others are afraid to bring up. Photograph: Chhim Sreyneang/Phnom Penh Post

Barely two years since returning to Cambodia after her family’s 1975 exile to the United States, Princess Soma Norodom has already made a splash in her native Phnom Penh.

On any given night, the outgoing California-raised royal is just as likely to be found mingling with the Kingdom’s elite at a posh wedding, as she is grooving to hip-hop at Riverhouse or speaking passionately against US deportations at an activist gathering.

She’s everywhere.

And now, Phnom Penhites can expect to see a little more of the socialite princess with the launch of her new weekly column, “The Social Agenda”, which debuts this Friday in The Phnom Penh Post’s English and Khmer versions.

The column will deal with social issues close to the royal’s heart, including wealth disparities, the health and education systems and human trafficking.

Boeung Kak women kept away from NGO, reporters

Boeung Kak Lake representatives arrested (Photo: The Phnom Penh Post

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 
By May Titthara and Shane Worrell 
Phnom Penh Post 

Imprisoned Boeung Kak lake villagers, some crying, motioned to human rights representatives and Post reporters through a chain-link fence at Prey Sar prison on Tuesday.

Their efforts to talk to the visitors were futile, however, as two guards stopped anyone from approaching the 13 women sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison last Thursday, or Ly Chanary, who was arrested the same day.

Rights group Licadho put on an International Children’s Day show in the courtyard of Prey Sar’s CC2 complex for about 300 imprisoned youths and eight children being raised behind bars, as a show of a different kind played out nearby.

The two guards, dressed in unmarked grey clothing distinct from regular guards at Prey Sar, ordered those who ventured near the fence closest to the Boeung Kak women to move away.

KR evacuation plan dissected

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 
By Bridget Di Certo
Phnom Penh Post

Khmer Rouge ambassador to the UN Thiounn Prasith [far right wearing glasses] gives a tour of the Kingdom to an unidentified foreign delegation. Photograph: DC-CAM
The forced evacuation of Cambodia’s city dwellers to the countryside was a plan doomed to failure, the brother of Khmer Rouge senior leader Son Sen revealed yesterday.

Ny Kan, the younger brother of the man who masterminded Phnom Penh’s notorious S-21 prison, told the court that there were nationwide food shortages before the Khmer Rouge evacuated the urban centres and conceded that it would be very difficult for any of the co-operatives to achieve the target of two to three tonnes of produce per hectare.

“The land condition would not allow farmers to do farming three times a year, because the land was not that fertile; and in addition, there was a water shortage as well,” said Ny Kan, who worked in the protocol department of the ministry of foreign affairs led by Case 002 co-accused Ieng Sary.

“We had to encourage people to comply by the instructions, but it depended on the agriculture location that the majority could not achieve the target set,” he said, at one point adding “no matter what happened, there would never be enough food to feed all the people”.

Part of his duties in the protocol section included greeting and guiding foreign delegations and subsequently reporting about this visits to the “upper echelons”.

Current Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh and Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon were also involved in greeting these foreign delegations and reporting back, he said.

Jebsen & Jessen buys offshore marine firm

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 
By Stuart Alan Becker
Phnom Penh Post 

Regional conglomerate Jebsen & Jessen Southeast Asia (JJSEA) announced the purchase of Singapore-based Halcyon Offshore on Monday, in an expansion move that extends the multi-disciplinary company into the service of offshore marine vessels and shipyards.

Jebsen & Jessen’s Cambodia country manager says the move could have implications for Cambodia’s own developing offshore marine industry.

“We’re going into a new area, a very interesting field. Hopefully we will develop some additional opportunities for Cambodia in the years to come when the offshore market is ready. This could be highly interesting,” said Alfons Mensdorff-Pouilly, general manager, Jebsen & Jessen Cambodia Ltd.

Cambodia attracts 1.27 mln foreign visitors in first 4 months

PHNOM PENH, May 30, 2012 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia has received 1.27 million international tourists in the first four months of this year, a 27 percent increase from the same period last year, statistics of the Tourism Ministry showed Wednesday.
Some 50 percent of the visitors arrived in the country by air, 46 percent by land and the rest by water ways.
From January to April this year, Vietnam topped the chart among the top 10 arrivals with 246,600 tourists, up 35 percent, followed by South Korea with 181,000, up 39 percent, and Chinese tourists with 112,600, up 32 percent.
During the period, Thai tourists to Cambodia has also seen a sharp rise of 87 percent to 65,200, [Does this number includes the 50,000 Thais who came to join Thaksin's rally in Siem Reap during the Khmer-Thai New Year in April?] thanks to the improving relations between the two countries after military tension over disputed border areas has eased since last July.
Siem Reap's Angkor archeological park, the country's largest cultural destination, received 810,000 foreign tourists during the period, up 64 percent.
Tourism industry is one of the major four pillars supporting Cambodian economy. In 2011, the sector received 2.88 million foreign tourists, generating a total revenue of 1.91 billion U.S. dollars.

Editor: Mo Hong'e

Petition and Press Conference Invitation to call on government to stop violent response on ongoing land conflict

Dear all,

The Cambodian Center for Human Rights ("CCHR") has been asked to forward the attached petition that has been drafted by Stop Violence Cambodia, a local youth group. The petition calls on the Royal Government of Cambodia (the "RGC") to take immediate action in order to bring about peaceful resolutions to the ongoing land conflicts in Cambodia.

Please also find attached an invitation to a press conference that will be held by Stop Violence Cambodia at 9 am on 1 June 2012 at Baitong Restaurant, Phnom Penh.

Best regards,

Dear all,

The continuing problem of land evictions and the violent response by local authorities against protesters and communities who are only advocating for their rights to be respected shall no be longer tolerated. These issues would have better results if the authorities focused on peaceful settlements and adhered to human rights principles in the interests of their citizens and in the interests of establishing a country that observes the rule of law.

We, the undersigned group and ordinary citizens; therefore, organize the petition which are available to be sign online (http://www.change.org/petitions/cambodian-government-stop-violent-response-but-peaceful-resolution-on-ongoing-land-conflicts#) would like to invite all of you you join signing this petition in calling on our Cambodian government for the end of violent response but peaceful resolution on ongoing land conflicts.

There will be press conference on the petition and our appeal as the following:

Inline image 1  
The attached are detail of the event and petition. Please join support our cause to call for an end of violent responses in Cambodia and other key appeals as stated in the petition.

Stop Violence Team Members

Appeal from Cheam Kimny, Chea Vichea's wife, for the upcoming commune election

Golden memories

Alone - by Heart

SomeTimes when we Touch Dan Hill 

Preventing the CPP from distorting the people’s will at next Sunday’s commune elections

May 30, 2012


As a general pattern the ruling CPP has two combined ways to manipulate elections so as to secure a landslide victory before Voting Day: Disenfranchisement and Impersonation.

There is a massive disenfranchisement affecting citizens that CPP-affiliated village chiefs and other local officials throughout the country have identified as non-CPP supporters or potential opposition voters. Based on political reports from CPP grassroots agents, the CPP-controlled National Election Committee (NEC) establishes voter lists in such a way as to exclude as many opposition voters as possible. According to independent observers from COMFREL (Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia), up to 1.5 million Cambodians representing 17 percent of the electorate will lose their right to vote in the upcoming commune elections due to irregularities in voters’ registration lists (*).

Floating Lodge puts you on the beautiful waters of the Cambodian jungle

May 30, 2012
Traditionally an inhospitable region for tourists, Koh Kong is now open for business
Traditionally an inhospitable region for tourists, Koh Kong is now open for business
Image Gallery (22 images). More pictures at GIZMAG.

Some landscapes are so compelling and beautiful you want to be immersed in them, not simply gaze from a distance. The water of the Tatai River, which winds and meanders through the lush, isolated mountains and jungles of southwest Cambodia, is one such landscape. Adventurous travelers can satiate their desire to be immersed in this stunning environment in the most literal of ways – by sleeping atop the water at the 4 Rivers Eco Lodge.
The 4 Rivers lodge brings upscale accommodations to the unlikeliest of settings. The Koh Kong region of Cambodia has long been isolated by its geography and lack of infrastructure, making it virtually inaccessible to outsiders. Even if you had found your way there, you'd have had to deal with rampant lawlessness and unrest. However, with the recent introduction of roads, lodging and an emphasis on ecotourism, the Koh Kong region has officially arrived on the travel scene.

CAMBODIA: CHRAC Condemns Grave Human Rights Violation Committed by the Government Authorities

Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC)  
Asian Human Rights Commission
Phnom Penh, May 28, 2012

The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC), a coalition of 22 NGOs, condemns the serious human rights violations committed recently by the armed forces of the Royal Government of Cambodia. These forces have evicted people from their home lands; used violent acts against peaceful assemblies; committed extra judicial killings; caused serious injuries; arrested and detained citizens in custody without proper investigation; attempted to arrest community representatives; destroyed citizens’ properties and grabbed their land without paying fair and just compensations.

CHRAC notes that the Government’s authorities have failed to conduct thorough investigations into these violations or to seek peaceful resolutions for those cases. Moreover, CHRAC has also noted that in many land dispute cases, instead of defending the interests of the community people, the armed forces were present instead to defend the interests of private companies. They did not carry out their duties properly in accordance with current legal procedures and laws. The court, in similar cases, has accused and sentenced some community representatives without adequate legal basis. Some of these cases are highlighted below.

At Harvard, Room To Write Uncensored

Tuesday, 29 May 2012 Sophat Soeung, VOA Khmer | Massachusetts

Photo: VOA Khmer
Kho Tararith, a Cambodian fellow with the Harvard Scholars at Risk program, says Cambodian writers and researchers still face strong censorship.
“[In the US] we can write about anything. They even give us money to write. They say, ‘All you need is to submit a proposal,’ and they never bar us from any topics.”

Although violence against writers and academics in Cambodia has decreased in recent years, many say they still face strong censorship. A literary program at Harvard University, in Massachusetts, provides a place for writers from countries like Cambodia to work uncensored.
Harvard’s Scholars at Risk program put on the “Living Magazine” in April, where written works were performed for an audience, and where writers like Keo Chanbo, who is originally from Battambang, told their stories.
“I had to flee the country for my life, but I can’t stop writing,” Keo Chanbo, who now lives in Minnesota, told the audience of about 100 students, professors and local Cambodian-Americans. She wept as she spoke. “Writing is my life.”