Silverdocs film festival addresses pollution in Cambodia

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Excerpt from The Washington Post
POLLUTION


Troubled water, near and far

Silverdocs

The annual Silverdocs documentary film festival runs through June 27 in Silver Spring. This year's lineup of 102 films from 54 countries includes a few films with science themes, such as "Born Sweet," a heartbreaker about Vinh, a Cambodian boy with arsenic poisoning. In his rural village, tainted drinking water has given someone in almost every family arsenic poisoning, which causes black spots on the skin, coughing, diarrhea and vomiting. Vinh's father and grandfather are also afflicted. The boy dreams of becoming a karaoke star but grapples with what he sees as his destiny: "In this world, some people are salty, some people are sweet," he says in a voice-over. "The salty are strong, the sweet are sickly." This 28-minute film plays with a group of three other shorts Tuesday at noon at the AFI Silver Theatre and also on June 23. See http://www.silverdocs.com for ticket information.
READ MORE - Silverdocs film festival addresses pollution in Cambodia

Thai police arrest suspected seller of 'child ghosts' [Kaun Krork]

Tue, 22 Jun 2010
DPA

Bangkok - Police arrested a former nurse as a suspected seller of "child ghosts" after 14 pickled foetuses were found in an abandoned house in north-eastern Thailand, media reports said Tuesday.

Police said Naengnoi Kaan admitted to buying foetuses from a woman who performed illegal abortions in Ubon Ratchathani province on the border with Laos and Cambodia to sell as "luk krok," or "child ghosts," believed to bring good luck, the Bangkok Post reported, citing police.

The case came to police attention after a scavenger found 14 bottles of pickled foetuses in an abandoned shophouse that belonged to one of Naengnoi's relatives.

Police said the nurse had allegedly stored the foetuses in the shophouse while awaiting orders from prospective customers.

Luk krok, according to Thai superstition, are particularly helpful for winning lotteries.
READ MORE - Thai police arrest suspected seller of 'child ghosts' [Kaun Krork]

Many senior red shirts are reportedly hiding in Cambodia?

Blacklisted people to be summoned for questioning

June 22, 2010
The Nation

Starting next Monday, the 83 people blacklisted for allegedly funding last month's violent red-shirt protests will be summoned to meet with the Department of Special Investigation after the Army commander yesterday signed a directive officially enabling the process.

The 83 people, mostly politicians and others with ties to ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, have until the end of next month to meet with DSI agents and defend their money transfers and business transactions suspected of funding red-shirt activities.

Failure to comply could result in a two-year prison term and/or a heavy fine.

The locations where the 83 people will meet with the DSI agents and officials from three other agencies will soon be announced. Many of the people may need to have extended meetings to clarify all questions regarding their money transfers, especially what they spent the cash on.

The DSI is also obtaining warrants to search the homes of many Pheu Thai Party MPs and other politicians for their suspected sheltering of fugitive red-shirt demonstrators, director-general Tharit Pengdit said yesterday.

DSI agents and Thai marshals are tracing red-shirt suspects wanted for torching city halls in several provinces and other arson attacks in Bangkok,

Ratchaburi, Kanchanaburi and Chon Buri. Many senior red shirts are reportedly hiding in Cambodia while allegedly plotting a third red-shirt rally and even underground operations in the coming months.

The blacklist was approved by the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Resolution at the recommendation of the Anti-Money Laundering Office.

Army chief General Anupong Paochinda has officially endorsed it, activating the entire process.

The DSI has taken over all criminal cases involving alleged acts of terrorism by the red shirts. Of the 155 cases, 75 concern direct acts of terrorism, 18 involve defying state authorities, 50 are assaults on state officials and others and 12 regard government-issued weapons.

Eighty-six suspects in 31 of the 155 cases, most of which were committed in Bangkok, have turned themselves in, 29 are on the run and one - Army specialist Khattiya Sawasdipol - died.

Of the arson attacks in five northeastern provinces, 396 suspects were wanted in nine cases - 105 have surrendered and 291 others are still hiding.

In the 31 cases in which suspects have turned themselves in, three have been indicted and one had all charges dropped.
READ MORE - Many senior red shirts are reportedly hiding in Cambodia?

Hun Xen is truly a puppet and lackey of Yuon Hanoi: Ven. Tim Sakhorn

READ MORE - Hun Xen is truly a puppet and lackey of Yuon Hanoi: Ven. Tim Sakhorn

Their Royal Highnesses of Cambodia visit their former Comrades in Hanoi: it's a private visit ... of course ;)

February 1973: General Vo Nguyen Giap and his wife visit Norodom Sihanouk and Princess Monique in their residence located in a discrete location in Hanoi (Photo: NorodomSihanouk.info)

Cambodian Former King Leaves for Vietnam for Visit

2010-06-22
Xinhua

Cambodian King Father Norodom Sihanouk left on Tuesday to pay a four-day friendship visit to Hanoi at the invitation of the Vietnamese president.

Sihanouk was accompanied by his wife and son King Norodom Sihamoni. They were seen off at the Phnom Penh International Airport by Prime Minister Hun Sen, the National Assembly President Heng Samrin and the Senate President Chea Sim and other government officials and royal family members.

King Father Norodom Sihanouk will not address political issues during his visit to Hanoi, according to Prince Sisowath Thomico, adviser to the former King on Monday. "I think that the visit will be aimed to boost good relations between the governments of Cambodia and Vietnam and between the peoples of the two countries, " he said at a press conference.

"Being retired and no longer doing politics nor diplomacy, my trip to the glorious Socialist Republic of Vietnam will have a strictly private character," the former King said in a statement dated June 14.

The former king made his first visit to Vietnam in 1995 in his capacity as a king of Cambodia. Sihanouk abdicated in October 2004 and was succeeded by his son King Norodom Sihamoni.

During King's absence, the Senate President Chea Sim will be acting as the head of state in accordance with the Kingdom's constitution.
READ MORE - Their Royal Highnesses of Cambodia visit their former Comrades in Hanoi: it's a private visit ... of course ;)

Comrade Im Chaem: The center of attention

Im Chaem, right, 67-year-old former Khmer Rouge provincial secretary, reacts as she witnesses delivery of copies of 'A History of Democratic Kampuchea'to students in Anlong Veng, in Uddor Mean Chey province, about 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, June 21, 2010. Cambodian students in the former Khmer Rouge stronghold were issued the textbook Monday that for the first time teaches the atrocities of the past, a little more than a decade after government forces captured the movement's last bastion. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
Youk Chhang, left, director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia which published 'A History of Democratic Kampuchea', introduces Im Chaem, right, 67-year-oldformer Khmer Rouge provincial secretary, during delivery of the textbook to students in Anlong Veng, in Uddor Mean Chey province, about 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, June 21, 2010. Cambodian students in the former Khmer Rouge stronghold were issued the textbook Monday that for the first time teaches the atrocities of the past, a little more than a decade after government forces captured the movement's last bastion. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
READ MORE - Comrade Im Chaem: The center of attention

The Prey Nokor News No. 17 Vol. 1 now available

Views of Khmer Krom Youths following their participation at the 2010 UNPFII meeting

Click here to read The Prey Nokor News
READ MORE - The Prey Nokor News No. 17 Vol. 1 now available

Sacrava's Political Cartoon: The Sick Xmer Prime Minister

Monday, June 21, 2010


Cartoons by Sacrava (on the web at http://sacrava.blogspot.com)
READ MORE - Sacrava's Political Cartoon: The Sick Xmer Prime Minister

"Sva Lém Leum" a Poem in Khmer by Sék Serei & Hin Sithan


READ MORE - "Sva Lém Leum" a Poem in Khmer by Sék Serei & Hin Sithan

The many ways to curse Heng Soy ... please choose your words curse wisely

Dear Readers,

It's early morning here in Phnom Penh. After spending the whole night awake, I thought I would share with our readers the many ways one can curse my name and the explanation that goes with it. My advance apologies if I may offend any of you, the following are merely my own self-deprecating notes.

I have to confess that I am somewhat disappointed because these curses pale in comparison to the alleged exchange between our famous singer and her husband.

Last, but not least, please believe me, when I say "disappointed" I did not mean to look down on anybody!

Yours truly,

Heng Soy

---------------

Ah Soy: The unlucky (derogatory)

Hen Soy: Ruined unlucky

Seng Soy: Soy who is sold or rented out for a commission or profit

Heng Soy so childish: Need I say more?

Antikhmer Heng Soy: I never renege my Khmer nationality as far as I know

Ah Heng Soy, Ah Jangrai: Heng Soy (derogatory) the prophet of evil. Please send in your donation, I will pray for you! All currencies accepted except Vietnamese Dongs (too heavy and burdensome!).

Your parents are all dead: Please tell me something new

Idiot and Little Snake like you: How could you tell I am slithery when I did not meet you face to face yet? Did I tell you also that I am a venomous snake?

Idiot divider: Agreed! Please send me a calculator, I was never good at division.

[You are] being a great divider: Please see above

[You are] playing Yuon Hanoi game: I am not the one who is traveling to Hanoi on cue, am I?

A skilled troll: As far as I can tell, I'm a wee bit taller than a troll

[You] can only stir up the flame confusing the ignorant pukes: I'm speechless at the power I have not acquired yet.

A troll divider is Heng Soy: How can I reject the absolute truth? Anyway, which page of the bible stated this again?

Heng Soy is stupid: Agreed!

Heng Soy and Hun Sen are the same thing, they are they both are dumb and stupid street gangsters!: Amen! Wait, I still have both eyes and I do not live in Tuol Krasaing.

Crazy mob like Heng Soy: A one-man mob? How do you do that?

Stupid divider H[eng]S[oy]: How can I oppose a higher authority?

Heng Soy is Hun Sen alike: Sorry to disappoint you, I still have both eyes and I don't curse.

You are soy biggest time: You are soy to the n-th power?

KI[-Media] makes readers stupid: Really? But, Sir/Madam, you thought differently from others, therefore, you are definitely not one. Do I feel a sense of contradiction here?

The hypocrite great dividers owned KI[-Media]: To be exact, Google owns Blogspot which hosted KI-Media for free.

Heng Soy is very SOY: Couldn't agree more!

Heng Soy is one of the irrational and extreme divider: Right on the money!

Heng Sa-oy: Lucky foul smell. I must have a skunk in my family tree? Lucky? I doubt it!

Heng Ksouy: Lucky out of breath

Fool Ah Soy: No translation needed

You are wrong and fxxxing dirty: I may be wrong, but I don't think I'm dirty, I shower at least once a day even when the temperature falls below zero and several times a day when the temperature climbs above 40 degrees Celsius.
READ MORE - The many ways to curse Heng Soy ... please choose your words curse wisely

“We are not ignorant to the problems that devastate the country” ... it's just that we don't want to do anything about them: Hoon Xhen

An irate Hun Xen (Photo: Sovannara, RFI)

Hun Sen Angered by UN Envoy’s Remarks

Chun Sakada, VOA Khmer
Phnom Penh Monday, 21 June 2010

“I did not escape the meeting with [Subedi],” Hun Sen said. “I had no other reason other than my own health problems, which caused an abrupt cancellation of the meeting.”
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday lashed out at the UN’s human rights envoy, who said last week he was “disappointed” he was not able to meet Hun Sen during a fact-finding mission this month.

The UN special rapporteur on human rights, Subya Subedi, gave a scathing review of Cambodia’s courts following his 10-day investigation, during which his appointment with Hun Sen was canceled.

Hun Sen said in a speech Monday he had been unable to meet because of a health problem, and he said the diplomatic word “disappointed” was disrespectful and could hurt future visits.

“I am very sorry that Surya P. Subedi used the word ‘disappointed’ for not meeting me,” Hun Sen said. “I think the word lacks the respect for the owner of the country and the leader of Cambodia, which has independence and sovereignty, and [the word] could also be looking down on Cambodians who voted for the [ruling Cambodian People’s Party], through the National Assembly, and for Hun Sen to become prime minister.”

Hun Sen has traditionally had a prickly relationship with UN rights envoys, and he cut off meetings entirely with Subedi’s predecessor, Yash Ghai, who was heavily critical of Cambodia’s human rights record.

“I did not escape the meeting with [Subedi],” Hun Sen said. “I had no other reason other than my own health problems, which caused an abrupt cancellation of the meeting.”

Subedi said last week he was not confident the courts could bring justice to the people of Cambodia. Subedi met with Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and senior government adviser Om Yentieng and will submit detailed recommendations to the UN’s Human Rights Council in September.

In his speech Monday, Hun Sen also took issue with Subedi’s assessment of the courts, which the envoy said lacked the resources, organization and willingness on the part of some judges to “command the confidence of the people.”

“We are not ignorant to the problems that devastate the country,” Hun Sen said. “You [Subedi], do not try to break through the door when the door is open, and don’t tell me that rain is falling when I’m standing under the rain.”
READ MORE - “We are not ignorant to the problems that devastate the country” ... it's just that we don't want to do anything about them: Hoon Xhen

“If [Mu Sochua] still opposes, she will be arrested”: Ultimatum from CPP-controlled Sok Roeun


Ultimatum Issued in Mu Sochua Court Fine

Heng Reaksmey, VOA Khmer
Phnom Penh Monday, 21 June 2010


The Phnom Penh municipal treasury department has issued a court order to opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua that requires her to pay a court-mandated fine and compensation to Prime Minister Hun Sen or face a jail term.

Mu Sochua, who lost a Supreme Court appeal in a guilty verdict for defamation this month, is in the US. She has said she will not pay the fine and compensation, a total of around $4,500, in a countersuit brought by Hun Sen after she sued him for allegedly degrading remarks in public speeches.

If a warrant is issued for her arrest, she will be the second Sam Rainsy Party member to be abroad and facing a jail term.

Sam Rainsy himself remains in exile and faces a two-year sentence for destruction of border markers in Svay Rieng province. He is facing additional criminal charges for publishing a map on his website alleging improper border demarcation by the government.

Both lawmakers have been without their parliamentary immunity since 2009, and both have said the courts are being politically manipulated by the ruling party to damage the opposition.

In a letter last week to Mu Sochua, the municipal treasury department said she would have two weeks to pay her fine.

Mu Sochua is currently traveling in the US to promote a documentary film on human trafficking she helped produce. She was not immediately available for comment.

Municipal court prosecutor Sok Roeun told VOA Khmer Monday he will soon issue his own letter giving Mu Sochua 10 days to comply with the fines.

If she still opposes, she will be arrested,” he said.
READ MORE - “If [Mu Sochua] still opposes, she will be arrested”: Ultimatum from CPP-controlled Sok Roeun

'Enemies of the People' Garners Rights Award

Filmmaker Thet Sambat interviewing former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea in his home. (Photo: Courtesy of Thet Sambath)

Men Kimseng, VOA Khmer
New York Monday, 21 June 2010

Co-producer Thet Sambath, who remained in Cambodia for the screening, said the film was “very crucial to show to people…to understand human rights violations and the leading of a country to disaster.”
A documentary that explores the leadership of the Khmer Rouge and its decision-making, “Enemies of the People,” has won another award at this year’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

The film, which contains rare interviews with Khmer Rouge ideologue Nuon Chea, who is currently detained for atrocity crimes at the UN-backed tribunal, was shown for three days at Walter Reade Theater in New York.

The Nestor Almendros Award was given to "Enemies of the People" for its courage and commitment, John Biaggi, director of the festival, said.

Co-producer Thet Sambath, who remained in Cambodia for the screening, said the film was “very crucial to show to people…to understand human rights violations and the leading of a country to disaster.”

The film also won prizes at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

A second Cambodian documentary, “Red Light,” will have its premiere in New York this week. That film, produced with the help of opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua, examines Cambodia’s sex industry.
READ MORE - 'Enemies of the People' Garners Rights Award

Recasting The Map Of Cambodia


62ENG-Refonte MAP-18 JUN-2010

COMMUNIQUE

RECASTING THE MAP OF CAMBODIA

(Paris June 18, 2010)

Modern definition​​​​ of the Khmer Nation is quite similar to that of the Khmer people, in accordance with the traditional definition in the international law, within the context of the international relations and for the purpose and the principles of the United Nations. Cambodia must:
  • Be a sovereign country (or a sovereign State) that has a defined territory and borders distinctive from it neighboring countries;
  • Have a permanent population composed of a majority of people of Khmer origin;
  • Have a Government that administers its own people.
The sovereignty of a State is defined by the competence, independence and legal equality of States. An important component of sovereignty has always been an adequate display of the authority of states to act over their territory to the exclusion of other states. In 1949 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) observed that "between independent States, respect for territorial sovereignty is an essential foundation of international relations."

As evidenced from history, the borders of individual country may have evolved, however these border changes must be completely subjected to the sovereignty of each concerned country.

The United Nations recognizes Cambodia as a legitimate member state. Therefore, Cambodia is a sovereign country like other nations members of the United Nations (UN). The Khmer Nation is covered by the provisions enshrined in the United Nations (UN) Charter which emphasize that all nations have legal equality status and the rights to self-determination. By virtue of that right, Khmer people can freely determine the fate of his own country. The concept is normally used to encompass all matters in which each state is permitted by international law to decide and act without intrusions from other sovereign states.

The Khmer Nation by this definition must have a genuine Khmer Government who serves the interest of its own Khmer people and must enjoy adequate rights to determine the borders of his own country with neighboring countries in a sovereign manner. The Khmer Government must be able to freely and independently decide the fate of Cambodia to ensure development and happiness for the Khmer People.

It is worth noted that Cambodia which descended from the Great Khmer Empire has seen its territory being gradually diminished due to three main events:
  1. For the period up to 1863, the Khmer people controlled the destiny of his country in full sovereignty. Therefore the lost of Cambodia's territory due to wars should be entirely attributed to the responsibility of the Khmer people itself.
  2. For the period between 1863 and 1953, the lost of Cambodia's territory were committed entirely to the responsibility of the French Protectorate.
After receiving independence from France in 1953, the Khmer Nation had suffered a great deal in the lost of a huge surface of its territory. The Khmer people has lost "Kampuchea Krom" (which is currently South Vietnam) and "Koh Trall Islands" which historically belong to and were part of the Khmer Nation before French Protectorate took control and colonized Cambodia and Vietnam. The State of Cambodia has never ever recognized or accepted the map determined by the French Colony on the border lines between Cambodia and Vietnam as accurate and correct. All Cambodian governments, after the Independence, have fiercely insisted on the facts that "Kampuchea Krom" and "Koh Trall Islands" have always exclusively been the property of the Khmer people. Cambodia has acknowledged the fact that France had returned to the Khmer Nation, only the remainder (leftover) of Cambodia's entire territory without "Kampuchea Krom" and "Koh Trall Islands", all of which was under French sole occupation. This violation of Cambodia's Territorial Integrity is the accountability and responsibility of France. The map of this remainder territory of Cambodia, drawn after Cambodia Independence, was produced on a unilateral decision by the French Protectorate using the scale of 1/100.000, and since then a copy of it is kept at the Office of the United Nations.
Since the invasion of Cambodia by Vietnam from 07 January 1979 to the present time, Cambodia no longer has efficient sovereignty in mastering and self-determining the destiny of its own country. The deprivation of its sovereignty is due to Cambodia has been pressured to submit itself to Vietnam. Consequently, the borders between Cambodia and Vietnam have been arbitrarily determined by Vietnam. Moreover, these newly demarcated boundaries were imposed unilaterally by Vietnam without involvement of KHMER people or the consent of the real KHMER Nation, as defined in the United Nations (UN) Charter.
In this context, "Khmer M'Chas Srok" solemnly declares that "we will not recognize the borders or the maps made by any third country whatsoever, whatever procedure used, which was manipulated by Cambodian Government who does not represent the genuine choice of the KHMER People who supposed to be elected through a free and fair election in accordance with article 21-3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations of December 10, 1948". The determination of the Cambodia's borders with its neighboring countries is "the fundamental rights of the KHMER people" as defined within the context of the United Nations" which no one can deviate from nor manipulate it.

Paris, June 18, 2010
President of Khmer M'Chas Srok
Dr. Sakhonn CHAK
READ MORE - Recasting The Map Of Cambodia

From Hue to Hanoi

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Op-Ed by MP

SOMETIMES men commit treason deliberately for the advancement of their own narrow self-interests; while others commit treason unwittingly through lack of foresight.

Which of the above categories does this reported joint-administration of Kampuchea Krom proposal fall under?

Most Khmer people who follow news of their country today were probably born well after those portions of Khmer territory had been (for whatever reasons) handed over to Vietnamese authority or control. Regardless, as a nation Khmer people feel the burden and pain of the losses in their hearts as if these events occurred yesterday and indeed in context of their country's long history, the losses are certainly recent, smouldering phenomena.

What does the concept of "co-management" of these territories tell the world about their historical-legal status? Like the idea proposed by Bangkok over the Preah Vihear area one of the most feasible assumptions that can be derived out of it is that Cambodia has a de facto recognition that the losses were dictated by legitimate circumstances.

The other related implication is that Cambodians are resigned to relinquishing their claims -if any - on the said territories, and such despondent abandonment of will and determination in the face of adversity in like manner to how a python constricts, crushes and suffocates its prey until it breathes its last, is precisely the End Game of this historical, piece-meal Vietnamese expansionism.

If Hanoi accedes to such a proposal it will not be something out of its character either. After all, the Court of Hue and the Court of Hanoi have in succession pursued their grand imperial ambitions over weaker states through their fostered facades of mutually beneficial co-existence with those states for over three centuries, have they not? They applied tact and diplomacy when they needed to populate new territories, but as soon as Vietnamese influence and presence had been established over those lands they feigned amnesia over their own pledges and sacred vows.

We need not look far into the past to find instances of this co-management schemes being put into practice. Indeed, the idea itself is innate to the Vietnamese State (and I am at risk of repeating myself unnecessarily by pointing this out). It underpinned the Indochinese Workers' Party when critical international assistance was required, then the Communist Party of Laos and Kampuchea to win over patriotic fervour of these neighbouring states as well as to allay fear of outright Vietnamese domination and the loss of their respective politico-economic autonomy.

So yes, if Cambodia and Vietnam were to agree to exercise joint administration over the Mekong Delta and Koh Tral, do not expect the affair to be a drastic departure from anything the Khmer nation has had the misfortune to endure so far, from joint management of forestry and rubber plantations to border delineation and ‘national’ airline.

It would be more worthwhile to build up Cambodia’s case by gathering all the relevant historical treaties and documents and then establish how exactly or what were the circumstances under which the country was forced to cede its territories; how these territories were annexed, and why the Khmer people still feel strong emotional attachment to their losses – if they do. In fact, the Khmer people should be told how exactly Koh Tral, for instance, came to be under Vietnamese control, and if this portion of Khmer sovereignty was seized unjustly or illegally then there should not be justifiable reason for the Khmer people not to reclaim it by appropriate means.

That choice will, of course, be theirs to make, rather than individuals like Mr Soubert or anyone else, this insignificant writer included. Cambodia deserves no more and no less of what is rightfully hers.
READ MORE - From Hue to Hanoi

Sacrava's Political Cartoon: My Beloved Samdach Akkek Decho Hun Xen

Cartoon by Sacrava (on the web at http://sacrava.blogspot.com)

READ MORE - Sacrava's Political Cartoon: My Beloved Samdach Akkek Decho Hun Xen

Do We Have Pride to Be Born As Khmer?



Meas Srey Has Pride to be Born as Khmer

Monday, June 21, 2010
Op-Ed by Khmer Borann

When you are visiting Preah Vihear temple, you will see a big billboard with the writing in Khmer and English ‘We have Pride to Be Born as Khmer’. It is not known who planted this billboard near Preah Vihear temple. But the locals in the area said the Khmer authority has planted the billboard. Regardless of who planted it, the billboard is a mean to remind all Khmers that we are a nation that has dignity and pride and we have to love and protect Khmer land.

The slogan ‘We have Pride to Be Born as Khmer’ is a very good patriotic reminder for Khmers. This slogan is also coincident the provisions in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, like Article 49 which says: All Khmer citizens shall have the duty to take part in the national reconstruction and to defend the homeland. To have pride to be born as Khmer means to have pride to love Khmer land and to protect Khmer land.

Do Meas Srey and Prom Chea, Khmer farmers in Svay Rieng who are being imprisioned by Hun Sen court for protecting Khmer land from Yuon encroachment, have pride to be born as Khmer? I think, of course, Mrs. Meas Srey and Mr. Prom Chea have pride to be born as Khmer and that’s why they risk their lives to protect their rice fields which are located on Khmer land. I think other Khmers also have pride to be born as Khmer such as Khmer soldiers who fight against Thai aggression on the Khmer-Thai border.

How about the Cambodian officials who jail Mrs. Meas Srey and Mr. Prom Chea? Do they have the pride to be born as Khmer? If they have pride to be born as Khmer, why they imprison Khmers who dare to protect Khmer land? What Hun Sen government is doing to Khmers people regarding the defending national border is just a mockery to the slogan ‘We have Pride to Be Born as Khmer’.

Do you have pride to be born as Khmer when Khmer leaders jail their people because they protect Khmer land?

Khmer Borann
Phnom Penh
READ MORE - Do We Have Pride to Be Born As Khmer?

KPNLF calls for action on ‘lost’ land

Monday, 21 June 2010
Vong Sokheng
The Phnom Penh Post


A KHMER nationalist group has called for the joint administration of former Cambodian territories in South Vietnam in advance of King Father Norodom Sihanouk’s unofficial visit to Hanoi this week.

In a statement issued Monday, Son Soubert, vice president of the Khmer People’s National Liberation Front (KPNLF), said Sihanouk’s visit could usher in “a new era of frank cooperation” between the two countries.

He also added that “co-management” of Kampuchea Krom – the former Cambodian territories in South Vietnam – would be a “unique” opportunity to improve bilateral relations.

“A formula of co-management of Kampuchea Krom, ex-French Cochinchina, known also as the Mekong Delta, by the Kingdom of Cambodia and Vietnam will inaugurate a new era of peace and prosperity in the framework of the construction of ASEAN,” the statement reads.

It notes that such co-management exists in the Pyrenees region of France, where the principality of Andorra has been under joint French-Spanish sovereignty since the 17th century.

The KPNLF was one of three antigovernment resistance groups to join in the decade-long civil war against the Phnom Penh government during the 1980s.

Cheam Yeap, a senior lawmaker for the Cambodian People’s Party, dismissed concerns about Vietnamese border demarcation, saying it is being carried out smoothly.

Sihanouk said in a statement last week that his visit to Hanoi, set to begin Tuesday and to last for two or three days, is of a strictly personal and “non-diplomatic” nature.
READ MORE - KPNLF calls for action on ‘lost’ land

Yuon to boost investment in Kingdom's rubber industry ... at the expense of forced Khmer evictions from their land?

The Vietnamese Rubber Enterprise Federation breaks ground Sunday on a new rubber plantation in Cambodia. The group announced it would increase investment by US$200 million through 2012. (Photo by: Chun Sophal)

Vietnam to boost investment in Kingdom's rubber industry

Monday, 21 June 2010
Chun Sophal
The Phnom Penh Post


Vietnamese Rubber Enterprise Federation to increase outlay by $200 million

THE Vietnamese Rubber Enterprise Federation (VREF) announced it would invest an additional US$200 million on planting rubber trees in Cambodia from 2009 to 2012, on top of a previous $600 million commitment, officials said Saturday.

The 14-member federation intends to plant a total of 100,000 hectares of rubber trees in Cambodia, its chief of governing council Le Quang Thung said at the ceremony for rubber plantings by Vietnamese firms Dong Nai and Dong Phou in Sambor district, Kratie province.

“We are happy to increase our capital for growing rubber in Cambodia, because we hope it will help the federation form strong infrastructure for long-term rubber plantations,” he said.

Le Quang Thung said the initial announcement for $600 million might be enough for operating the plantations, but it would not be enough to improve infrastructure in the area.

“We will use the additional amount to build roads, bridges, healthcare centres, schools and houses, so workers can access the areas companies are developing,” he said Saturday.

The VREF announced the initial $600 million investment to grow rubber when it was granted 100,000 hectares of land concessions in Kampong Thomg, Kratie, Stung Treng, Ratanakiri, and Mondulkiri provinces in 2009.

Cambodian Rubber General Directorate director general Ly Phalla said the increased investment, now totalling $800 million, was a positive sign for the VREF, as it would help create a strong basis to carry out its future plans, but that cooperation is still to be worked out.

“We are not yet aware of the degree of cooperation required to help the Vietnamese Rubber Enterprise Federation succeed in its plans to grow rubber in Cambodia, as we have not worked together yet.”

The VREF first revealed plans to grow up to 100,000 hectares of rubber in Cambodia by 2012 following an agreement last year between leaders of the two countries.

It said the group’s 14 companies planted rubber on 10,000 hectares as a first step in 2009, adding 20,000 hectares in 2010, 30,000 hectares in 2011, and 40,000 hectares in 2012.

Last year’s VREF planting took place on 10,500 hectares in Kratie, Kampong Thom, and Ratanakiri provinces.
Le Quang Thung added the Federation might expand future plantations in Cambodia pending future discussions.

“We will invest more on growing rubber in Cambodia if the country is able to give more economic land concession,” he said.

Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Im Chhun Lim said the Cambodian government weighed forest loss against economic needs when granting concessions.

Firms investing in the domestic agro-industry created job opportunities, reducing poverty and boosting sources of income for the national economy, he said.

“We welcome the investment from Vietnam because it can help improve Cambodia to be as capable as other countries in the region.”
Low-quality rubber traded for $2,900 per tonne over the weekend, and high-quality rubber sold for approximately $3,800 a tonne.

The Vietnamese Rubber Enterprise Federation plans to be growing rubber on 200,000 hectares in Myanmar by the end of 2010, Le Quang Thung said.

In 2006, the federation also invested capital to grow rubber on a total of 100,000 hectares in Laos.

High temperatures over the year to date may restrict the Vietnamese federation’s planned yield, VREF’s Cambodia president Leng Rithy said.

He added that he expects a 10 percent smaller yield due to changing weather in 2010, and that the federation might be able to grow only 18,000 hectares of rubber this year.

Le Quang Thung did not mention the potential impact of hot weather when speaking Saturday.

Despite growing prices for rubber on international markets, several producers have said that poor weather and rising oil prices are slowing plans to plant the lucrative crop.
READ MORE - Yuon to boost investment in Kingdom's rubber industry ... at the expense of forced Khmer evictions from their land?

Cambodia instructed to host SEA Games by 2015, says NOCC official

NOCC General Secretary Vath Chamroeun has revealed that Cambodia may have just five years to organise the hosting of the SEA Games, or risk waiting much longer. (Photo by: Yeun Ponlok)

Monday, 21 June 2010
H S Manjunath
The Phnom Penh Post


THE Southeast Asian Games Council has called upon Cambodia to host their regional sports biannual event by 2015 at the latest, with a faint warning that if the only founding member not to have staged the tournament in its 50-year history misses out on this opportunity, the wait for the next chance could be long and painful as bids are considered on a rotation basis.

Individual member countries have also pledged explicit support and co-operation for Cambodia to push its bid for 2015, but the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) argues that five years could be too short a time for the Kingdom to prepare for a sporting event of that magnitude.

“We are overwhelmed by this show of massive support, but realistically it may not be possible to mobilise resources, create infrastructure and develop human resources in a time frame of five years from now,” stated NOCC Secretary General Vath Chamroeun. “But we have already started work on human resource development as the first phase of our master plan for the SEA Games, and there are so many other big hurdles to cross before we can confidently say ‘Yes we are ready to do it.’

“We need the government’s help every step of the way for a mega event like this,” he declared. “We are in discussion with several government agencies and once the master plan is completely drawn, we can predict the time frame on our readiness.

“If not 2015, the next one could possibly be our target,” he said adding that he hoped fellow ASEAN members would respect their predicament.

Singapore relinquished their rights to host the 2013 SEA Games due to construction delays of their new US$1.87 billion Sports Hub. Indonesia will be hosting their fourth edition next year.

Vath Chamroeun laid emphasis on strengthening the NOCC base by goading the 33 affiliated sports federations to start pulling their weight. The secretary revealed that some federations were doing very well while some lay totally dormant. “We at the NOCC want those federations which are inactive to wake up, hold elections and usher in a new set of office-bearers who are enthusiastic to promote sport,” he affirmed.

Cambodia plans to take part in six disciplines – Swimming, Athletics, Boxing, Taekwondo, Wrestling and Beach Volleyball – during the upcoming Asian Games in Guangzhou, China this November. Meanwhile, the Kingdom’s involvement in the Asian Beach Games to be held in Muscat, Oman in December is confined to just Beach Volleyball.

The NOCC has inviting a volleyball expert from China and a wrestling ace from Kazakhstan to conduct specialised technical courses for local coaches.
READ MORE - Cambodia instructed to host SEA Games by 2015, says NOCC official

Former sex slave fights illegal trade

"Girls are taught only shame and ignorance about their bodies and men have their first sexual experience in brothels. Rape is the only thing they know." Photo: AFP

June 22, 2010

AAP

Somaly Mam emerged from a life of sex slavery in Cambodia to become a champion of women's rights and one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people on the planet.

Abandoned by her parents, Mam was raped at 12, forced to marry at 14 and then sold into prostitution.

She suffered years of abuse before escaping with the help of a Medicin Sans Frontieres worker, whom she later married.

Mam has never had any formal schooling, yet she now speaks five languages.

She has become a tireless activist heading two organisations which fight sexual slavery, and has received international humanitarian awards.

Mam spoke about her extraordinary life during her first visit to Australia, in between a flurry of book signings, public lectures and meetings with politicians.

Her autobiography, The Road of Lost Innocence, has been reprinted many times.

It is a grim story of abuse - young lives broken by rape, torture and starvation together with betrayal by the very people who should have protected their own children.

Poverty also causes Cambodian families to sell their daughters into prostitution.

Mam says her story is symptomatic of a country with a long history of treating females worse than livestock.

"Cambodian society is about violence and submission," she told AAP.

"That smile people associate with gentle Cambodian women is a lie.

"It's always been like that. Women have been beaten slaves since before the Khmer Rouge, who killed any compassion there was.

"Although the situation is changing, 30 years later Cambodian society is still struggling. People only care about themselves."

Cambodians are a silent people, Mam says, and women's suffering is also endured in silence, compounded by a lack of education in all spheres.

"Girls are taught only shame and ignorance about their bodies and men have their first sexual experience in brothels. Rape is the only thing they know."

Up to 70 per cent of brothel clients are Cambodian men and the remaining 30 per cent are foreigners including paedophiles targeting children, she says.

Although Mam was able to escape her past by living in France for a while with her French husband Pierre, she continues to be haunted by nightmares and post-traumatic stress.

Mam says she felt driven to rescue girls like herself. Together with Pierre she started saving victims of sexual slavery in Cambodia even though police and corrupt politicians were as bad as the pimps and clients who wanted her gone.

She was one of the founding members of AFESIP (Acting for Women in Distressing Circumstances), which has rescued and rehabilitated over 4000 women since 1996.

Now divorced, Mam says her traumatic past makes it impossible for her to be in a relationship.

But becoming a mother helped her feel love for the first time.

Mam has three children aged 18, 14 and eight. The oldest girl, Ning, is her sister's daughter whom she adopted.

"I'm not a gentle girl and life has been a fight, but out of this, and becoming a mother, came love."

The motherly love she discovered now fuels her mission in Cambodia, where she lives, to maintain three shelters for rescued sex slaves where their dignity is rebuilt through nurturing and education.

"It takes five minutes to rescue a girl and then the hard work starts," she says.

"First give them love until they feel it and they feel safe. Prove to them they can trust, and then start building life skills."

Bill Livermore, the US head of the Somaly Mam Foundation, says a key to ending trafficking is empowering women.

"Access to education, law and the economy is a must. If you take 50 per cent of the population out of those areas, countries do not thrive. Cambodia is very poor".

Livermore also advocates embarrassing governments who tolerate the sex slavery scourge "because governments won't change unless they are embarrassed to change".

He says the rehabilitation success rate in Cambodia soared after survivors were encouraged to rescue other girls.

"It went up from 65 per cent to 90 per cent because they were able to bond with the prostitutes and that's the kind of skill that a PhD from Harvard will never give you," he says.

The foundation was created in the US in 2007 and has a combination of corporate and private funding - not a cent comes from the United Nations or any government body.

Mam's high international profile helps, although old enemies remain. There have been threats on her life and she has a driver and a full-time bodyguard.

"If they kill me, there will be many more to take my place," she says.

SEX SLAVERY: THE FACTS
  • One in 40 Cambodian girls is sold into sexual slavery
  • Human trafficking is the second-largest organised crime in the world, even bigger than the drugs trade
  • 2-4 million women and girls will be sold into prostitution worldwide over the next 12 months
  • Over a million will be small children
  • Some girls will be sold for as little as $US10 and will be as young as five
  • Profits from sexual slavery are estimated at up to $US12 billion annually
Sources: US State Department, UNICEF, UN Office of Drugs and Crime
The Road of Lost Innocence, by Somaly Mam, is published by Virago Press.
For more info go to www.somaly.org and www.projectfutures.com
READ MORE - Former sex slave fights illegal trade

Former Khmer Rouge stronghold gets first textbook about atrocities committed in the 1970s


The Associated Press

ANLONG VENG, Cambodia — Cambodian students in a former Khmer Rouge stronghold were issued a textbook Monday that for the first time teaches the atrocities of the past, a little more than a decade after government forces captured the movement's last bastion.

Some 1,000 copies of, "A History of Democratic Kampuchea," were handed out Monday at the Anlong Veng high school, located in the last jungle holdout of the regime that became a killing machine in the late 1970s.

The textbook by a Cambodian genocide researcher was first published in 2007 and entered circulation in 2009. Since then, about 300,000 copies have been distributed to high schools elsewhere in the country.

Most books about the 1975-79 Khmer Rouge era, when some 1.7 million perished through hunger, disease and executions, have been written by foreigners or overseas Cambodians. Very few have been translated into the Cambodian language, and none are cheaply available.

The book's arrival in the northern province of Anlong Veng has special poignancy. The area was home to many of the former regime's senior leaders and almost everyone — from teachers to district officials — was once Khmer Rouge. But students here have remained virtually clueless about the subject.

"I'm so happy to get this book," said 18-year-old student Pen Mom, whose parents were Khmer Rouge cadres. "I have heard from my parents about the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge, but now I will see how bad the regime really was."

The Khmer Rouge regime was toppled in 1979 but continued as a guerrilla force that plagued Cambodia with civil war. Anlong Veng was one of the rebels' last jungle strongholds, finally falling to government forces in 1998 after key rebel leaders surrendered.

The Documentation Center of Cambodia, an independent group that collects evidence of the Khmer Rouge and published the book, says it plans to print 700,000 more copies to distribute to high schools by the end of the year.

"All of us can draw lessons from our history," said Youk Chhang, the centre's director. "By taking responsibility for teaching our children through texts such as this one, Cambodia can move forward and mould future generations to ensure that the seeds of genocide never again take root in our country."

Earlier of this year, the government said it will preserve 14 sites in Anlong Veng as tourist attractions including homes belonging to Khmer Rouge leaders, an ammunition warehouse and the grave of Pol Pot, who died in 1998.

"I will keep this book forever," said Chhun Soklin, a 29-year-old teacher at the high school. "After I read it I will pass it to my children because this book reflects the suffering endured by all Cambodians who experienced life under the Khmer Rouge."

The country is gearing up for the first and long-awaited verdict from the U.N.-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal. The tribunal will hand down its verdict July 26 in the case of Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, the Khmer Rouge prison chief accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes, murder and torture.

Four other aging Khmer Rouge leaders are facing trials expected to begin late this year or early next year.
__
Associated Press Writer Sopheng Cheang contributed reporting from Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
READ MORE - Former Khmer Rouge stronghold gets first textbook about atrocities committed in the 1970s

SRP plans to visit other border posts with neighboring countries

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Location of border post no. 270 in Anh-chanh villager, Chey Chauk commune, Borey Chulsa district, Takeo province on 12 June 2010.

19 June 2010

By Den Aythyea
Radio Free Asia
Translated from Khmer by Socheata
Click here to read the article in Khmer


SRP leaders plan to visit numerous planting of border posts along the border between Cambodia and neighboring countries in secret in the upcoming days.

Opposition officials have accused that the planting of border stakes by government experts and experts from neighboring countries affected the territorial integrity of Cambodia, in addition to causing the loss of rice fields owned by Cambodian farmers.

Yim Sovann, SRP MP and SRP spokesman, told RFA this weekend that in the upcoming days, SRP officials plan to travel to visit the planting of all border stakes that Cambodia agreed with neighboring countries.

He added that the planned visit to these border stakes stems from the fact that the SRP received information from local villagers living along the border claiming that the planting of border stakes between Cambodia and neighboring countries, in particular with Vietnam, led to the loss of Cambodian territories.

Yim Sovann said: “This action affects the land owned by local villagers, it affects Cambodia’s territories, and they [the government] threaten the villagers, telling them not to react or protest. This action [by the government] is not proper at all. This is a very serious issue, it’s not just the case of border post 270 alone. There are four more border posts in Chantrea village, and 2 others in Kak commune, Kampong Cham province also. Right now, we are reviewing other border posts to see if the planting was done properly or not. But, we are not doing this openly, in order to avoid being harassed [by the government].”

Opposition and civil society officials claimed that the planting of border stakes between Cambodia and neighboring countries was done through encroachments into Cambodian territories and led to the loss of villagers’ lands by several hectares. However, such accusations always met with constant denial from government officials.

Rong Chhun, President of the Cambodia Independent Teachers’ Association (CITA) and representative of the Cambodia Watchdog Council (CWC), said that there is no reason for government experts to prevent opposition and civil society officials from visiting the location of the border stakes if such planting was not done with mystery and it did not lead to the loss of Cambodian territories.

Rong Chhun said: “I want the government leaders to recognize the truth, and they should avoid hiding their mistakes. We must recognize the fact that the Yuon authority is currently encroaching on lands belonging to our Cambodian people. It is true, the live witnesses are the people who are currently on the spot.”

sVar Kim Hong, the senior minister in charge of Cambodian borders, used to claim that the planting of border stakes between Cambodia and neighboring countries was not done without prior detailed discussions by expert officials and government leaders because these officials are responsible in the eyes of history. sVar Kim Hong considered the criticisms leveled by opposition or civil officials on government border experts as a prevention act to the government’s speedup of the border post planting.

sVar Kim Hong said: “We are doing according to high-level technology in the survey of border between country and country. We are not an irresponsible committee! Therefore, if the opposition cannot trust a national institution, who can it trust? They trust NGOs in France, in the US, or in Switzerland, and such and such professor! It’s tough, they harass our committee’s work. If they harass us, we have the rights to defend the interest of our nation’s government also!”

In the past, any criticisms leveled against government officials in regards to the planting of border stakes between Cambodia and neighboring countries have led to the exile fleeing of opposition and civil society critics. A number of other critics have been charged by the government with jail terms because they dare criticize this border issue.

On 27 January 2010, in regards to this border problem also, the Svay Rieng provincial court sentenced opposition leader Sam Rainsy to a 2-year jail term, as well as 2 other villagers to one-year of jail term each. All three were fined a total amount of 60 million riels for destruction of public property after they participated in the uprooting of border stakes no. 185 located in Samrong commune, Chantrea district, on 25 October 2009.

Nevertheless, Yim Sovann did not provide the schedule of the SRP visit to the border post locations, nor the location of these border posts, because doing so would earn them harassment from the Cambodian authority.

Cambodia is currently planting border posts with neighboring countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. The Cambodian government plans to end the planting of border posts with Vietnam by the end of 2012.
READ MORE - SRP plans to visit other border posts with neighboring countries

Aung San Suu Kyi's Birthday

READ MORE - Aung San Suu Kyi's Birthday

Cambodia's Red Klansman?

(Photo: Pring Samrang)

The Cambodia Daily reported in its 18 June’s edition that the statue (photo above) found shrouded under a red material cover in front of the Anticorruption Institution could be a 5-meter-high statue of Hun Xen which Om Yentieng claimed to have built on his own volition. However, The Cambodia Daily reported that Om Yentieng denied having knowledge of the statue, although he issued a public apology to Hun Xen for building one.
READ MORE - Cambodia's Red Klansman?

Brilliant Film Premiers Monday in NYC, Offering Solution to Global Child Exploitation

June 19, 2010
Jim Luce
Huffington Post


Not often does a filmmaker present both an untenable social problem - and its solution. Not often is its filmmaker an artist as well as a banker and a lawyer. Meet Guy Jacobson through whose eyes in the film Redlight we meet two remarkable women opposed to childhood sexual slavery in Cambodia. One, the head of the opposition party there, and the other a woman who escaped the brothels to dedicate her life to freeing others. I sat down this week with Guy to hear more about the opening of his film Redlight, produced and narrated by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lucy Liu.

The film "Redlight" is produced and narrated by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lucy Liu.

Having built a reputation of orphan care around the world known as Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW), and being a new friend of Cambodian legend, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Mu Sochua, I am familiar with the plight of sexually abused children. But the staggering figure of 2.5 million children aged 18 months to 18 years exploited for their young bodies made my skin crawl. They can be raped 20 - 30 times a day, and up to half of them will die from shock, torture, drugs, and/or AIDS.

The film "Holly" production shot of brothel room. Photographer: Elkana Jacobson.

Two women are featured in the film, grassroots activist Somaly Mam and politician Mu Sochua. Filmed over a four year period, the incredibly moving Redlight focuses on the personal stories of the victims and two remarkable advocates for change in a nation that lived through the Killing Fields. Both women have since been nominated for the Noble Peace Prize and won other numerous human rights awards around the world. See the film's trailer on Vimeo.

This powerful, must-see film opens in New York City this Monday night, June 21, with a red carpet affair, followed by a VIP reception featuring celebrity guests. Tickets are also available to the general public.

Expected guests for the star-studded event include Ambassador Mark Lagon, Alyse Nelson, president and C.E.O. of Vital Voices, Cecilia Attias, Richard Attias, producer of the World Economic Forum in Davos, and Global C.E.O. Andrew Prozes of LexisNexis. A heavy media turnout is anticipated.

The Honorary Host Committee includes Congresswoman Congressmember Carolyn B. Maloney, Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Lauren Bush, and Abigail Disney, among others. The event is sponsored in part by LexisNexis.


This special evening will be a multi-pronged event with two screenings offered. The official World Premiere Red Carpet Screening with limited tickets open to the public opens at 6pm. VIP guests will join the VIP reception and Q&A at the CUE Art Gallery, 511 West 25th Street. All other guests are invited to a one-hour open bar after-party from 9:30pm at the Juliet Supper Club, located at 539 West 21st Street.

Producers Adi Ezroni and Guy Jacobson at "Holly" premier in 2007. Photo: Madhu Dhas.

The General Public Red Carpet Screening is scheduled for 9:00pm, with an after-party also at the Juliet Supper Club. Both screenings will be followed by a Q&A session featuring, M.P. Mu Sochua, UNICEF's Global Chief of Child Protection Dr. Susan Bissell, and filmmakers Guy Jacobson and Israeli actress Adi Ezroni, both of whom won the prestigious U.S. State Department's Global Hero Award for their work.

Ron Livingston stars as Patrick, an American card shark and dealer of stolen artifacts living in Cambodia for years, when he encounters Holly, a 12-year-old Vietnamese girl sold by her impoverished family and smuggled across the border to work as a prostitute in the feature film Holly, a captivating, touching and emotional experience, that highlights the growing international issue of human trafficking. Photo: Elkana Jacobson.

This film is the second in Guy's trilogy, known as the K11 Project. Holly was the first in 2007, the story of a 12-year old prostitute who captures the jaded heart of a foreigner living in Cambodia who in turn goes out of his way to rescue her from the criminal element that controls her. This filmed premiered at the United Nations, with honorary committee members including Susan Sarandon and Hillary Clinton. All three films benefit from Guy's undercover work in Cambodian brothels, using espionage equipment and secret cameras to research the plight of child trafficking victims.

Filmmaker, banker and lawyer Guy Jacobson, standing, with his team in Battambang, Cambodia.

To make Redlight in Cambodia, where he was challenging the underground that profit off the lives of children, Guy had to surround himself with 40 bodyguards armed with automatic weapons. As Lucy Liu states in the film, the brothels are powerful and notoriously violent. "I come from Israel originally. I know how to take care of myself," Guy shrugged with a smile. At one point, Interpol contacted Guy to warn him to flee the country because the Chinese, Vietnamese, and Cambodian mafia had hits taken out on his life.

In 2000, Guy left the intersection of investment banking and law here in NYC to spend two years travelling the world. In Phnom Penh he walked down one street where he was surrounded by a large group of girls competing to offer his sexual favors in exchange for cash. Just as my first visit to an orphanage 'warehouse' led to my epiphany, Guy's experience with these girls led to his life commitment to end the plight of red light children, leading him to found an organization to help end exploitation by the same name.


Children in Cambodia fishing villages, as children anywhere in the world, can be in danger.

Guy's cutting-edge strategy to end the sexual exploitation of children is to work with major law firms around the world s, and focus on filing civil suits on behalf of a victim against an exploiter in each city, sending a message of deterrence across oceans like a Tsunami. "This does not end exploitation on its own, but sends a chill down the spines of the exploiters." Guy told me. If it scared only 10%, it would save 250,000 children. "Governments in many countries are not strong enough to fight this scourge effectively. We need to fight for the children ourselves, in the civil courts and arena of public opinion."

The Redlight Children Campaign originally aimed at pressuring governments to enact or amend legislation to address this issue more effectively and allocate more resources towards enforcement of laws. This has proven to be difficult. Now, in addition to the original strategy, Guy wants to make it more difficult and costly for perpetrators to sexually abuse children. Redlight Children has partnered with LexisNexis to create both an international case law database for trafficking, and a trafficking offenders database to assist lawmakers and prosecutors.

According to RedLightChildren.org:
Every single day children are kidnapped or stolen and forced into the global, multi-billion dollar sex industry. Interpol estimates that this trafficking of children and young women is the third largest international criminal activity.

Its scope is shocking. According to UNICEF, over two million children are involved -- from kids around the world who are kidnapped from their families to children victimized on the internet via community sites and chatrooms.
To effectively counter the violent mobs who control child exploitation around the world, Guy turned to his artistic past and decided to incorporate film with law and finance. He began Priority Films. He understood that to solve a problem, he had to first bring people to the realization that such a problem existed. He chose to do this through film, using the law and financial pressure to provide a cutting-edge solution. His film company is a cutting edge 'micro studio' with a focus on low budget, high quality, commercial films. He has created a strong grassroots approach to film, producing the K11 Project, the most comprehensive film project about child trafficking and child prostitution to date.

At the end of the day, we must ask ourselves: are our world's children safe?

Human trafficking is a brutal and horrific reality. I hope you will support efforts in the fight against this global epidemic. Proceeds from this important event will benefit RedLight Children and Restore NYC, two not for profit organizations both working tirelessly to end slavery and child exploitation.

For further issues, facts and the rule of law, see LexisNexis website.
To buy the DVD, go to Priority Films website.
READ MORE - Brilliant Film Premiers Monday in NYC, Offering Solution to Global Child Exploitation

CAMBODIA: Key role for universities in healing society

Vicheth Sen*
20 June 2010
Issue: 129
University World News


Universities need to move beyond their traditional roles of teaching, learning and research towards another core function - linking campuses to communities. They can play a key role in organising programmes in which students have the opportunity to be engaged in civic activities. This is particularly important in countries like Cambodia, which have been damaged by severe societal breakdowns in the past.

The erosion of trust in Cambodia - both interpersonal and institutional - caused by the Khmer Rouge regime, has weakened people's ability to work together for a common goal. It has crippled Cambodia's ability to recover from the devastation caused by prolonged civil conflicts. The Khmer Rouge regime left a psychological legacy - in this case, trauma - which has yet to be treated or healed.

As someone born after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, I believe that many young Cambodians have been affected by their parents' bad experiences. This trauma has become inter-generational.

Although young Cambodians' experiences are not as bad as those of their parents, parents' traumatic experiences of the genocidal regime and the chronic civil wars have been passed on to their children through the ways they were brought up.

The bad experiences affected the ways people viewed the world around them and how they related to other people. The erosion of trust continues into present Cambodian society.

It is noticeable that the ability to work together among (young) Cambodians tends to be limited to within families and small intimate groups of close friends. People don't seem to have enough confidence to extend cooperation beyond close networks, which really affects their ability to work together as well as the productivity of their work.

Promoting civic engagement at universities allows students to interact with one another beyond their small groups, to communicate with one another, to work together to achieve a common purpose, and to learn about one another, which leads to a better understanding of each other.

This process is critical for confidence and trust building, which is the first step to encouraging people to work together productively.

However, because of limited budget and lack of understanding of the importance of civic engagement, most Cambodian universities focus only on their traditional roles of teaching, learning and research.

Although some students mention having been involved in community service or volunteerism, the primary reason they stated was egoistic rather than altruistic, self-centered rather than compassionate. For instance, the most cited reason for doing community service or volunteerism was to gain some experience so that it was easier to secure a job in future.

I believe being civically engaged means learning to give back to the community, to help one another, to share, to take responsibilities, to understand the working and systems of the government and the processes of choosing a leader, and learning to be a good leader, to be accountable and to understand the principles and practices of democracy, to mention a few.

In this sense, civic engagement at university makes young people build or connect the missing link between the academic world and the real world. Civic engagement makes the students understand the importance of being civically engaged because of the benefits they will gain by doing so.

It also helps them to learn to trust fellow Cambodians through working together and helping those in need of support. At the same time, they learn to be good citizens and good leaders.

What's also important is that civic education programmes help students to understand the importance of their role in a democratic country. This is vital not only in the present but also in the future. I believe that a healthy democratic country has a huge population with high levels of civic mindedness and engagement.

For this reason, in this critical stage of democratising Cambodia, it is important to promote civic engagement among young Cambodians. This will provide a good opportunity for them not only to be well prepared for future careers but also to contribute to a healthy democracy in this newly democratised country.

* Vicheth Sen, a lecturer at the Royal Phnom Penh University, is the author of Higher Education and Civic Engagement In Cambodia: A Case Study at the Royal University of Phnom Penh.
READ MORE - CAMBODIA: Key role for universities in healing society

British paedo running kids charity in Cambodia

20/06/2010
EXCLUSIVE by Andrew Drummond in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
and Justin Penrose
Mirror.co.uk


They are known as the ­rubbish dump kids… ­starving children who ­scavenge for scraps of food on a toxic mountain of waste.

He is a former hairdresser who runs a “charity” in Cambodia inviting you to send him money to save them.

David Fletcher, 65, appears to be the Good Samaritan, feeding hundreds of children who affectionately know him as “Papa”.

But Fletcher hides a dark secret – he was jailed in Britain for the ­statutory rape of a 15-year-old girl and videoing the horrific crime.

He now uses the guise of his unregistered charity in ­Cambodia – where he fled to six years ago – to spend every day with little girls, some as young as eight. The pervert raises money from tourists who believe they are providing food and shelter for the hundreds of poor and ­hungry children.

But a Sunday Mirror investigation can reveal how Fletcher has become ­worryingly close to a number of young girls – and spoke to our investigators of an eight-year-old he calls his “favourite little girl”.

Fletcher has even bought himself a 17-year-old Cambodian bride for £150 who he met on the dump – sold by her own mother to pay off debts. Genuine charities are so concerned they attempted to outbid him to keep the girl out of his clutches.

The Sunday Mirror joined Fletcher for one of his tours to the rancid rubbish tip on the outskirts of the capital Phnom Penh.

We met him at the Flora Bar where he had his hand inside the bra of a young ­Cambodian hostess and was ­happy to tell us: “She’s ­shaven, you know. That’s how I like them. No pubic hair. I prefer Cambodian girls. I tried ­Thailand first… went there for years, but here it’s much better. They’re more needy. You just have to be a little careful. I know I am being watched.”

He added: “My two grown-up sons have disowned me. They did not like the fact that my girlfriends were younger than theirs. Who cares? It’s their loss.”

Fletcher was convicted at Norwich Crown Court in July 1997 of the ­statutory rape of a 15-year-old girl who he had plied with champagne and offered £250 for sex.

He also admitted possessing offensive weapons. He was jailed for 18 months. At the time he ran a series of ­hair-dressing salons in Cambridge and Saffron Walden. When he was released from jail, he fled Britain.

When asked about his conviction he was unapologetic, saying: “Oh yes. She was just my girlfriend. They caught me. I just did it ahead of her 16th ­birthday. People will stoop very low to say bad things about me.”

Fletcher runs the Rubbish Dump Project and has a website which tells the moving story of Phnom Penh’s ­garbage dump kids. He invites readers to send donations to his private bank account and claims every penny is spent on the children.

The Sunday Mirror signed up for a tour of the dump and handed over US$50, the amount Fletcher says will feed 150 children.

When we got to the garbage mountain at Stung Meanchey on the outskirts of the capital he took a cream bun and some fruit to “my favourite little girl”.

With his tuk-tuk driver he dished out fruit to more than 100 desperate children amid the stench. The slum families try to survive on what they can scavenge, so flock to him when he has food.

The pervert preys on their desperation, building up the ­children’s trust – ­including his 17-year-old bride-to-be Yang Dany, who he met at the tip.

We accompanied him to Yang Dany’s home with a special bag of goodies for her mum.

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“I’m planning to marry her when the time is right,” he said. “Where can a man like me get a girl like this?”

Earlier in the day our investigators saw British-born Scott Neeson, who runs the respected charity ­Cambodian ­Children’s Fund, try to persuade Yang Dany’s mother to change her mind about letting her daughter marry Fletcher.

Inside the corrugated shack in ­Dhamnak Thom Village No. 1, Mr Neeson, tried to negotiate with the mother.

Khaeng Sokun, 58, lost her first ­husband and baby twin daughters in the “Killing Fields” of the Khmer Rouge.

Now she is about to unwittingly give her daughter to a convicted British paedophile for £150 ($200) to help clear her debts.

She said: “But we owe $600. How else can I pay this off? Dany wants to help her family. Her future husband is a good man. She feels sorry for him. He comes here and gives everybody food.”

Scott says he will help the family with their debts and begs her to reconsider.

Scott, 51, said: “People like Fletcher are a continuous source of worry. There is little doubt Fletcher devotes his time here to befriending young girls.

“He tells their parents he wants to adopt them, care for them. They think because he gives out food he is good. But he is grooming them.

“The fact is that these children can be bought. It’s difficult to stop it. The British Embassy have been told about Fletcher. Many organisations have files on him, but nothing has happened.”

The abuse of children by ­foreigners in ­Cambodia is hampered by ­institutionalised corruption in a one-party state run by Hun Sen, who has locked up ­opposition leader Sam ­Rainsy.

Cambodia has become the favoured destination for paedophiles after ­several crackdowns on sex tourism by the ­authorities in neighbouring Thailand.

Last week the Sunday Mirror revealed that teacher Gary Robcoy became the first Brit to be deported from Thailand because of his paedo convictions in

the UK. In contrast only a handful of foreign tourists languish in Cambodian jails for sex offences, despite a thriving child sex industry. Police take pay-offs to release ­foreigners on child sexual abuse charges and most cases are settled with cash payments to victims.

Fletcher used to run his charity from a bar called “Bogie and Bacall” but the two Australian colleagues he had quickly left.

One of them, Ross Wright, said: “We decided to go our own way. He never once showed us the bank account into which donations were going.

"There were tens of ­thousands of dollars ­coming in. Cash was ­being donated by Rotary Clubs and big private ­donors. We also had ­complaints of him being too familiar with young girls.”

Fletcher is now being investigated by Britain’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, which has officers in South East Asia.

CEOP, part of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, has established a ­presence there in the last two years and is ­working with Cambodian police.

A spokesman said: “We are aware of complaints about David Fletcher and have been in ­discussion with the ­authorities.”

scoops@sundaymirror.co.uk
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