Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Teenager shot dead in land dispute
Tue, 29 July 2014
A Royal Cambodian Armed Forces soldier shot a 19-year-old farmer dead in Preah Vihear province’s Kulen district on Sunday during a disagreement over a neighbour’s apparent land dispute, witnesses and authorities said yesterday.
According to Srayorn commune police chief Kim Sarien, suspect Poeun Tash, 30, was detained by villagers at the scene on Sunday afternoon after he allegedly shot Try Chamroeun during a verbal disagreement. Tash has been in the custody of district police since yesterday morning.
Pich Sokheng, 60, said she was one of 13 villagers helping Chamroeun plant soybeans on his 2-hectare plot of land in Snar Phar Em village on Sunday when a soldier with a chainsaw began cutting down a tree on her own soybean patch a short distance away.
She and Chamroeun’s younger sister went to ask the soldier to stop, but he refused, saying the land belonged to his boss, Major Sun Horm.
“Suddenly, the soldier made a phone call, and then another soldier armed with an AK rifle came out of the forest,” she said, adding that the newcomer, Tash, fired a shot in the air.
When Chamroeun saw what was happening, she continued, he and other villagers came over to help.
“They walked towards him, asking the soldier to put the gun down to have a talk, but he did not,” she said. “Chamroeun was about three metres away, and the soldier shot him in the left arm once, and then another shot in chest, passing through from the right to the left,” she added. “He fell to the ground covered with blood.”
Other villagers then rushed Tash, restrained him and turned him over to police, said the victim’s aunt, Sros Vanna. The other soldier at the scene fled.
Chamroeun was sent to the commune health centre, but pronounced dead on arrival.
The victim’s father, Svay Min, 69, said his and 10 other families had cleared about 27 hectares of forest for farming in the area in 2011, and had never run into trouble before. But last week, he added, soldiers told them they could no longer farm there because the land belonged to their superior, Major Sun Horm of Unit 41, and the they would have to leave the area.
“A few days ago, the soldiers threatened us, saying ‘you all will not abandon the land unless one or two of you go missing’. They killed my son on purpose,” said Min, himself a former soldier during the Sihanouk and Lon Nol regimes. “It is unspeakable.”
The family yesterday filed a complaint to commune police yesterday demanding $25,000 in compensation, he said, and has asked the court to punish both the soldier and the commanding officer.
“If no one ordered it, the soldier would not dare to shoot like this,” Min said, while grimly allowing that “nothing can make my son live” again.
Contact information for Horm could not be found yesterday, but Meas Yoeun, the deputy provincial military commander, said that while he was not aware of the case the court should take action against the soldier if he had committed the murder.
Deputy Provincial police chief Keo Chamroeun said Tash was likely to be sent to the provincial court today and that he had heard the soldiers were actually felling trees on land bordering the villagers’ plots when the argument broke out.
“The soldier said the villagers wanted to grab and detain him and kept walking towards him, so he shot. It is a murder case, but I do not know if it is connected with a land dispute,” he said.
If the situation were related to a land dispute, it would be reminiscent of the 2012 shooting death of a 14-year-old girl at the hands of state security forces in Kratie province’s Pro Ma village, which was embroiled in a land dispute with the agribusiness company Casotim.
Adhoc senior investigator Chan Soveth said the organisation would continue to investigate, and noted that, despite an ambitious land-titling program and a moratorium on economic land concessions, “land disputes are still a hot issue for Cambodian people”.

Contact author: Phak Seangly

Devil’s in the details
Wed, 30 July 2014
Progress towards amending the constitution and election law – key prerequisites of a deal to bring the opposition party into parliament – hit a snag yesterday, with Cambodia National Rescue Party president Sam Rainsy saying the next steps depend on the ruling party.
Three working group meetings were held at the National Assembly aimed at amending the rules of parliament, the election law and the constitution.
“The result today varied from one group to another,” Rainsy said. “The working group on the National Assembly has completed its work. The draft amendment has been completed. It will be submitted for approval when the National Assembly meets.
“But the two working groups on the constitution and the election law have not moved forward very significantly,” he added.
The cross-party meetings yesterday followed the announcement on Monday that the president of the rights group Licadho, Pung Chhiv Kek, had accepted an offer to become the crucial ninth member of a reformed National Election Committee (NEC).
She will likely hold the deciding vote in the new election body, with four candidates appointed to represent the interests of both the CNRP and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.
Choosing Kek as the ninth member, widely seen as the only candidate both parties could agree on, removed what was thought to be the biggest stumbling block in the way of fulfilling the political deal struck between Rainsy and Prime Minister Hun Sen on July 22.
The opposition’s 55 elected members could still take their seats as early as next week, but Rainsy said yesterday this now hinges on how the CPP approaches the next round of talks.
“At the request of the CPP, they have requested another meeting either on Friday or Monday. They say they cannot meet [today]. We are prepared to meet [today], but how we move forward now really depends on the CPP delegation,” he said.
Members of the CPP working group could not be reached to respond to Rainsy’s comments.
The CPP, however, is heralding the beginning of a new era of transparency in the country.
Speaking to reporters after the conclusion of yesterday’s talks, Chheang Vun, spokesman of the National Assembly and head of the CPP’s delegation, said that in future, politicians from both sides of the aisle would hold press conferences after each parliamentary session.
“We have amended the National Assembly’s regulations so that, after each session of parliament, every political party with seats in the parliament will have the opportunity to talk with journalists by holding press conferences for 20 minutes,” he said.
Reporters will not be allowed to attend sessions of parliament or photograph inside the chamber, he added.
CNRP spokesman Yem Ponnarith downplayed perceived obstacles in the talks, saying that the talks lasted until about 6pm because the opposition had so many questions for the government working groups.
“Before, we have not implemented [the internal regulations] fully. We have debated for a long time on this point, to have the government implement them according to the internal order of parliament, either verbally or in writing,” he said.
Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said Hun Sen had shown he was willing to preside over a “transition” period.
“The CNRP accused the election committee [of bias]; now everyone has agreed to overhaul it…it’s a very good move,” he said.
“He has reformed the National Assembly for the national interest, even though he doesn’t have to. He said in a recent CPP meeting he likes to see participation from everybody…we want to see the CNRP have a voice [in parliament] to scrutinise the government.
“We want action from the opposition, to be partners in prosperity and the pursuit of happiness.”
Representatives of both parties declined to comment on who might claim the remaining eight seats on the NEC, although some names have been put forward, including Kuoy Bunroeun, a former CNRP lawmaker for Kampong Cham province.
Koul Panha, executive director of election monitor Comfrel, said he would consider a position on the NEC if he was selected, but he would have to see the amended laws and regulations.
“Because the people have become interested in the political process, now it is very different than before.”

Contact authors: Daniel Pye and Meas Sokchea

Monday, July 28, 2014

From Mour Ley, Khmer American Alliance for Democracy

The "Gang of Two" and the betrayal of the will of the people

Dear compatriots:
Everyone is still familiar with the "Gang of Four" of China (Jiang Qing, Wang Hongwen, Yao Wenyuan, Zhang Chunqiao) who were leaders during "Cultural Revolution" from 1966 to 1976 in China and finally were accused of committing treasonous act against the will of the people of China. They were trial and imprisoned. The Gang of Four of China actually did not offer any favoritism nor political deal to foreign enemy against the will of the people. But regardless, their political manoeuvres were absolutely intolerable by the people's will. Similarly, Mr. Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha who are now seen as the " Gang of Two" of Cambodia and the betrayal of the people's WILL are currently labeled by students and Cambodians inside and abroad as classical "traitors" to their country (Cambodia) as their current " political deal", venture, or shameful agreement with Mr. Hun Sen, the head of illegitimate and puppet government of Vietnamese is historically unacceptable, intolerable, and must be condemned by the will of the people. Cambodian people cannot tolerate this type of "treasonous leadership" that has been manipulatively lied to people for over a year through mass demonstrations against Mr. Hun Sen and his puppet government costing at least six deaths, many wounded, and many many more jailed. Now both of them join the same "puppet government" with the same enemy of the will of the people since July 28, 2013. By joining Mr. Hun Sen's partnership, Mr. Rainsy and Sokha likely have a chance to indirectly help spawning more Vietnamese in Cambodia and a promising trust guaranteeing that CPP will definitely win the next election as million of younger Vietnamese (now 16 years of age and up) will have the rights to vote by then in the next two years. 

Please be informed Mr. Hun Sen and Mr. Rainsy, infact, have secretly started "political deal" to one another through Mr. Kiet Meng since July 13, 2013 via a secret e-mail of Mr. Son Chhay to Mr. Rainsy in six days before the latter returned from exile on July 19, 2013. The words "political deal" using on that e-mail is now clearly evidently proven enough that Mr. Hun Sen and Sam Rainsy's "political deal" has turned to be "historic deal" of betraying the people's WILL. Please see the attached email of Mr. Son Chhay, under (Son Chhay Letter) for evidence. This e-mail was once sent out to inform the public by Khmer American Alliance for Democracy on March, 5, 2014.  

In this regard, the WILL of the people will stand up to protect Cambodia's sovereignty and the freedom of the people at all costs. Through the creation of "United Free Cambodia", the people's WILL will democratically bring Mr. Hun Sen down and his puppet government has to be replaced. Conspirators (traitors) to this puppet Prime Minister and illegitimate government must pay their alleged treasonous prices before the WILL of the people.

Khmer American Alliance for Democracy (KAAD) highly respects CNRP as a popular hopeful political party and always regards its general members as nationalistic compatriots. But we are regretful to see its two top leaders have finally apparently made wrong move toward a pro-Hun Sen's Vietnamezation and being labeled as "traitors" by all group of students and Cambodian people generally.  Some believe this is the beginning of the end of CNRP political life and party integrity with respect to mass citizenry tactically destroyed by the "Gang of Two." KAAD appeals for solidarity and cooperation from all Cambodian people at this time working collaboratively shoulders to shoulders to support "United Free Cambodia" of the people's WILL to bring Mr. Hun Sen down at this last opportunity for a New Cambodia with full Sovereignty, Freedom, and Democracy for our nation and for all Cambodian people. Remember, this is the only last chance to save Cambodia. Please stand up for the historic Revolution, Challenge and Change.  


Khmer American Alliance for Democracy

សូមស្តាប់ ៖ តើសមរង្ស៊ីជានរណា?

Phnom Penh Post on July 28, 2014

សុំនិយាយផងដោយលោក លី​ឌៀប