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Kem Sokha denies cooperating with CPP

June 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Human Rights Party president Kem Sokha has accused the ruling Cambodian People’s Party of leaking a recorded conversation between himself and Prime Minister Hun Sen in retaliation for his refusal to collaborate with the CPP.

In the recording, which dates back to 2007 and was posted on Sunday by DAP News, Kem Sokha can be heard asking the premier for assistance in securing use of the Olympic Stadium for a party conference. The Sam Rainsy Party, the Kingdom’s largest opposition party, has seized on the recording as evidence of alleged collusion between the HRP and CPP and has said that flagging negotiations on an SRP-HRP merger will be halted as a result.

Kem Sokha claimed yesterday that the leak had been orchestrated as a result of his repeated rebuffs of entreaties from the ruling party.

“They have tried very hard. They have tried to persuade me and have also threatened me, but I have not agreed,” he said, adding that if he had indeed colluded with the CPP, “please let lightning strike me”.

In the recording, Kem Sokha can be heard attempting to mollify Hun Sen in advance of future criticisms.

“I would like to inform Samdech that if I am against what Samdech is doing, the principles by which I work are from my heart,” Kem Sokha says, using the premier’s honourific. 

“I would ask Samdech to understand that we can work together in the future.”

Hun Sen later responds that even if politicians from the ruling party and opposition attack one another, “we can still have friendly cooperation with each other”.

The premier later suggests that the HRP poach members from the SRP.

“I think a good idea is to grab some people in the provinces, provincial council members of the Sam Rainsy Party – good people who have the ability to attract votes,” Hun Sen says.

Kem Sokha responds “yes” to this statement on the recording before changing the subject. He said yesterday, however, that this assent was merely one of politeness. “I did not say I agreed to do what he said,” Kem Sokha said. “I said that I will oppose him.”

Hang Chhaya, executive director of the Khmer Institute for Democracy, said that despite Kem Sokha’s protestations, the recording could prove politically damaging for the HRP.

“People are suspicious of that because it seems like he’s allowed to freely attack the government, whereas anything that Sam Rainsy would say on radio or elsewhere would get a reaction from the government,” Hang Chhaya said.

In a statement issued yesterday, the SRP cabinet said the recording “has the effect of a bomb on Cambodia’s political landscape”.

“Hun Sen and Kem Sokha clearly showed their common goal: the destruction of the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), the main opposition party that had unwaveringly been standing against the CPP,” the SRP said. “Kem Sokha is not an honest man. He is not honest with the SRP and cannot be a loyal partner.”

The SRP and HRP have long mooted a potential merger, and last year, United States secretary of state Hillary Clinton reportedly encouraged the two parties to form a united opposition against the CPP. The CPP currently holds 90 seats in the National Assembly, compared with 25 for the SRP and three for the HRP.

In the past few months, however, the merger talks have broken down amid recriminations from both sides.

“Kem Sokha’s duplicity does not allow the SRP to consider his HRP as a possible partner in any alliance,” the SRP cabinet said yesterday.  

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SAM RITH AND JAMES O’TOOLE


Phnom Penh Post
Categories: Local News, Politic

Cambodian opposition leader to speak in Lowell Saturday

June 1, 2011 Leave a comment

LOWELL — A Cambodian opposition leader and two other members of parliament will be in Lowell Saturday to discuss ongoing human-rights abuses in Cambodia.
Sam Rainsy, leader of the Sam Rainsy Party and generally considered the main rival to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, will appear with fellow SRP legislators Tok Vanchan and Tioulong Sumura, Rainsy’s wife, on Saturday, from 5 p.m. to midnight at the Sunny Da Restaurant, 450 Chelmsford St.
Rainsy, formerly a member of the Cambodian National Assembly, has most recently been living in self-imposed exile in Australia. In March, the Cambodian Supreme Court upheld Rainsy’s conviction on charges of inciting racial discrimination and uprooting border markings with neighboring Vietnam.
Shortly after the court’s ruling, the National Assembly released a statement revoking Rainsy’s “rights, privileges and membership as member of parliament.”
The conviction upheld by the Supreme Court carries with it a two-year prison sentence and, when combined with an unrelated 10-year sentence for publishing a false map of the border with Vietnam.
Since 2009, Rainsy has maintained he was leading demonstrations on the Cambodian-Vietnamese border to protest what he believes is Vietnamese encroachment on Cambodian land.
A Rainsy Party spokesman criticized the National Assembly decree as a political move by a parliament dominated by MPs from Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party. In the past, the Rainsy

Party and the NGO Cambodian Center for Human Rights have asserted that Rainsy’s convictions were an attempt to keep him from participating in Cambodia’s 2013 national election.

Hun Sen, 59, has held power in Cambodia for a quarter-century and, according to some, has vowed to remain in power until he is 90 years old.
Rainsy plans to discuss those issues, as well as what he calls ongoing human-rights abuses in Cambodia, suppression of the Cambodian media and the future of the country.
For more information, email Chhan Touch atchhantouch@comcast.net.
Lowell Sun
Categories: Local News, Politic, Sam Rainsy

Heng Samrin flags pay dispute

May 31, 2011 Leave a comment

National Assembly President Heng Samrin has called on the Ministry of Labour to resolve a dispute over severance pay involving roughly 4,000 workers from the June Textile factory, which burned down in March.

Garment workers formerly employed by the June Textile factory gather at the office of the local rights group Adhoc earlier this month to seek help after the factory burned down in March. Photo by: Pha Lina

In a letter dated Friday, Heng Samrin and Khoun Sudary, a parliamentarian and chairwoman of the National Assembly’s human rights committee, told Labour Minister Vong Soth that they had received a request from the workers to intervene in the case.

“The Committee of Human Rights of the National Assembly and Senate sends this case to the Minister to check, research and solve, and then, requests that he report the solution to the Committee, so that the Committee can reply to the requests of workers,” the letter says.

The company has offered workers severance payments of US$20 for every year they have worked at the factory, though roughly 1,000 workers are holding out for payments of $100 per year. Dave Welsh, country director for the American Centre for International Labour Solidarity, said last week that the case was set to be heard today by the Arbitration Council. 

Khieu Savuth, deputy director of the department of labour disputes at the Ministry of Labour, said yesterday that the case was in the hands of the Council. Sok Lao, executive director of the Arbitration Council Foundation, said a decision in the dispute would likely be handed down in mid-June.
Phnom Penh Post

Categories: Local News, Politic

Mao Monyvann says more HRP defections coming from SRP ranks

May 27, 2011 Leave a comment
Former Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Mao Monyvann has boasted that the
majority of SRP district and commune officials in Kampong Cham province
will follow him in defecting to the Human Rights Party, the latest snipe
in the recent bickering between the duelling opposition parties.
Mao Monyvann speaks to reporters outside the National Assembly in Phnom Penh in March. Photo by: Heng Chivoan
Mao
Monyvann, who formerly held a seat in the National Assembly
representing Kampong Cham province, announced his resignation from
parliament in March. Later that month, he staged a press conference to
criticise what he said was the nepotistic leadership of the SRP,
prompting SRP officials to vote for his ouster from the party.

Shortly
thereafter, he joined the HRP, and he said yesterday that dozens of SRP
officials in his former constituency of Kampong Cham would soon follow
his lead. The SRP currently has 394 commune councillors, eight district
councillors and six provincial councillors in Kampong Cham, he said.

“They
are contacting me so that they can defect to the HRP as well. Sixty
percent of them will decide to join the HRP soon,” he claimed.

When
Mao Monyvann left the SRP in March, he criticised what he said was the
excessive control wielded over the party by the families of lawmakers
Yim Sovann and Eng Chhay Eang. SRP officials in Kampong Cham have since
said they agree with these sentiments, Mao Monyvann said.

“They said my defection is good – they dislike SRP leaders who think too much about nepotisim,” he said.

The
SRP and HRP, which currently hold 25 and three seats in the National
Assembly respectively, have long floated talks of a merger to form a
united front against the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, which holds
90. Merger talks have broken down in the past few months, however, amid
recriminations traded  between the two parties.

Sovann Pisakha,
an SRP lawmaker who replaced Mao Monyvann in Kampong Cham, said
yesterday that he had seen no evidence of a mass defection brewing in
the province.

“My grassroots leaders believe in the SRP and Mr Sam Rainsy,” Sovann Pisakha said.

Phnom Penh Post
Categories: Local News, Politic

Cambodia Dismisses Knowledge about Thaksin Entering Country

May 25, 2011 Leave a comment
Good friends Thaksin Shinawatra and Hun Sen, playing golf together
With speculations about a possible return of
the ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, possibly to neighboring Cambodia,
during the general election, the Cambodian information minister insists
he has no knowledge of any such plan.

In an article posted yesterday on the Phnom Penh Post website,
Information Minister Khieu Kanharith was asked whether ousted prime
minister Thaksin Shinawatra will be permitted to enter Cambodia during
the Thai general election in which his sister is the Pheu Thai Party’s
leading candidate for the premiership.


Khieu stated that he has not received any requests from Thaksin regarding his possible entry into Cambodia.

Cambodian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Koi Kuang also insisted that he
has not received any information regarding Thaksin either.

He declined to further comment on the issue.

In a statement at the Cambodian Cabinet meeting last Friday, Cambodian
Prime Minister Hun Sen said that he will not allow foreigners or foreign
political organizations to use Cambodia as a base to attack or
overthrow the government of any foreign country.

Thaksin is known to have close ties with Hun Sen and the appointment of
Thaksin to an economic advisor post by Hun Sen sparked a conflict
between the two countries up until when Thaksin resigned from the
position.

TAN Network
Categories: Local News, Politic

HRP president urges US to monitor elections

May 25, 2011 Leave a comment
Human Rights Party President Kem Sokha said yesterday he had urged
United States Foreign Affairs officials to monitor upcoming elections in
Cambodia next year and in 2013, during a three-week tour of 17
American states. During the trip to drum up party support ahead of
commune elections next year and National Assembly elections in 2013,
Kem Sohka said US Foreign Affairs official Adam N. Davis hadn’t
confirmed whether or not the US would send observers, as he had
requested. US embassy spokesman Mark Wenig said yesterday that it was
too early to say whether his government would deploy observers.
Phnom Penh Post
Categories: Local News, Politic

Funcinpec Widow Files ACU Complaint for Lost Land

May 19, 2011 Leave a comment
An APC (armored personel carrier) waits on a side street as a few
remaining motorists leave an area of Phnom Penh where fighting broke out
on Sunday July 6,1997. Fear spread through the city as scattered
fighting broke out throughout the capital. APC’s and tanks rumbled
through Phonm Penh s streets while television stations repeatedly aired a
tape of the man behind the apparent coup, Co-Premier Hun Sen, accusing
rival Co-Premier Norodom Randariddh of preparing for war. (AP
Photo/Richard Vogel)
The wife of a royalist general who was killed in the 1997 coup has
filed a complaint with the national Anti-Corruption Unit, saying a group
of officials and judges conspired to sell her husband’s land after he
died.
Chea Kim, the wife of Ho Sok, who was a Funcinpec secretary of state
at the Ministry of Interior and a three-star general, says 29 government
officials and six judges worked together to sell 13 hectares of land in
Kandal province in 1998.
Ho Sok and other Funcinpec generals and officials were either killed
in fighting or executed during the two-day coup in July 1997, as then
co-prime minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party seized power.
In her May 6 complaint, obtained by VOA Khmer, Chea Kim states that
the Supreme Court overturned a 2007 decision that awarded the land to
her.
Chea Kim names Yos Sokhourn, a Supreme Court judge, and five other judges, as conspirators in the alleged land theft.
Fleeing Phnom Penh residents carry their
belongings along Pochentong airport road after a fuel dump exploded on
Sunday July 6, 1997. Fear spread through the city as scattered fighting
broke out throughout the capital. Armed forces sealed off Cambodia s
warring capital Sunday on the second day of a devastating and deadly
apparent coup – phone lines were cut, the airport closed and roads into
the city blocked. AP
Yos Sokhourn said “no one” complained after the court decision and declared the case “over.”
“So now why does Ho Sok’s wife file a complaint against us?” he said.
Chea Kim also names as one of the conspirators Prak Savuth, a former
Kandal deputy governor and the current chief of the provincial council.
Contacted Wednesday, Prak Savuth declined to comment, saying he was in a private hospital for a medical check up.
A police official with knowledge of the case, who requested
anonymity, said Prak Savuth had “masterminded” a land grab after Ho Sok
was shot in 1997.
Another official accused in the case, Ieng Moly, a former information
minister, said Wednesday he had legitimately bought the land eight
years ago and subsequently sold it. He would consider a defamation suit
against Chea Kim for accusing him of theft, he said.
Officials at the Anti-Corruption Unit, which has made a number of
arrests and at least one high-profile prosecution under new
anti-corruption legislation, declined to comment or could not be reached
Wednesday.
Source: VOA News
Categories: Local News, Politic