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Parliamentarians from the Ruling Party and from the Opposition Parties Argued over Democracy in Cambodia

By: The Mirror, editor: Norbert Klein Posted: September-17-2009 in
The Mirror, editor: Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 630 - Wednesday, 16.9.2009

"On Tuesday, representatives of the Cambodian People's Party responded and expressed strong disagreement over the comments about the respect for human rights and the implementation of democracy in Cambodia by the president of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Sam Rainsy, who claimed, 'Freedom, the respect for human rights, and democracy exist only as an image in Cambodia, but their real essence is not applied.'

"The National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia organized a forum about democracy under the topics of political understanding and tolerance on 15 September 2009, in which also many parliamentarians, ambassadors, and civil society officials attended [see The Mirror of 14.9.2009: Officials of the Opposition Parties and of the Ruling Party Will Discuss Mutual Tolerance in Front of Diplomats]

"The forum about the democratic process in Cambodia in an international perspective was organized after there had been some comments from a parliamentarian from Kampot who is a deputy secretary-general of the Sam Rainsy Party, Ms. Mu Sochua, making the accusation that in Cambodia, the respect for human rights and democracy had deteriorated, and the court system is not independent.

"Mr. Sam Rainsy said during the forum that holding elections every five years is not enough to have democratic processes, and previously, the European Union observers had assessed the elections in Cambodia to have been of a very low grade.

"Mr. Sam Rainsy added, 'The government makes only efforts to create an image of democracy; the country has a National Assembly, but the role of its members, the parliamentarians, does not comply with democratic principles, not considering that the country is a democratic country, because the National Assembly is only rubber-stamping [decisions made somewhere else].'

"Responding to Mr. Sam Rainsy, the chairperson of the Commission on International Affairs and Information of the National Assembly, Mr. Chheang Von, expressed deep regret about this statement, saying 'that H.E. Sam Rainsy had said that Cambodia has only an image of democracy - I really regret this, while in fact the citizens' rights include the right through which they can elect their leaders to rule the country.'

"Mr. Chheang Von added, regarding international agencies' opinions that had participated to observe and monitor the elections in Cambodia, that not only the European Union, but also the United States of America, England, and Germany, had highly assessed the election results.

"The president of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Samdech Akkak Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, said during the forum that it was the first time that the National Assembly of Cambodia celebrated the International Day of Democracy [by holding the present meeting] after there had been an unanimous vote by the United Nation General Assembly in late 2007 about the creation of an international day to welcome democracy, designating the date of 15 September every year.

"Samdech Heng Samrin went on to say, 'The topic for this year of 2009 was about political understanding and democracy, which is very meaningful, especially for democratic countries, and it requires us to respect and value each other with equal rights in front of the law, as well as within the range of our own responsibility. Therefore, through the celebration of the International Day of Democracy by the National Assembly of Cambodia under the topic of political understanding and tolerance, we will be encouraged to understand more clearly the importance of creating a culture of tolerance in society, especially also in politics.'

"The chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights of the Royal Government of Cambodia, Mr. Om Yentieng said, 'The two important points of democracy in Cambodia are: first, though the Cambodian economy is in difficulty, the implementation of democracy does not derail because of this economic process, and the Royal Government has started this task with empty hands, and second, the implementation of democracy is related to the culture of the Khmer society, by which we are proud that there are no points contrasting the culture towards the implementation of democracy and the respect of human rights in Cambodia.'

"The British Ambassador to Cambodia, Mr. Andrew Mace, said, 'These challenges are not important for any specific country, but they are problems that all democratic countries have to understand and to solve.'

"The president of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections (COMFREL), Mr. Kol Panha, stated, 'Cambodia will become more proud if the Royal Government of Cambodia, the National Assembly, and the Senate implemented principles and vowed to ensure an efficient rule of law, of good governance, of democratic principles, of the rule of the state through the Constitution, and to respect, promote, and protect human rights as stated in international treaties.'

"A UN representative to Cambodia, Mr. Douglas Roderick, said during the forum, 'Thus, the celebration provides an opportunity to reflect how much this nation has progressed since the first democratic elections in May 1993. And it is time to consider the different roles and responsibilities, and to join to guarantee that his country will continue to promote and implement democracy more deeply.'" Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #290, 16.9.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #290, 16.9.2009

  • Parliamentarians from the Ruling Party and from the Opposition Party Argued over Democracy in Cambodia
  • The National Assembly Issued a Letter to Condemn [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mu Sochua [who said during the US Tom Lantos Human Rights Hearing that democracy and the respect for human rights turned worse in Cambodia, and the courts are not independent]
  • The Ministry of Cults and Religions Orders the [Sihanoukville] Department of Cults and Religions to Investigate the Scandal of the Chief Monk Kiet Chanthuch [getting drunk and chasing monks in a pagoda to hit them]
  • The Head of the Government [Prime Minister Hun Sen] Published a Message to Welcome the Ozone Protection Day

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2050, 16.9.2009

  • Cambodia Asks Siam [Thailand] to Investigate the Burning of a Khmer Citizen to Death [as reported by the provincial authorities of Oddar Meanchey]
  • >

  • The Royal Government Guarantees Transparent Biddings for the Exploration for Oil [towards the Mitsui Oil Exploration Company (MOECO) of Japan]
  • When the Pchum Ben Days Come, the Cost of Transport Services Double, and [more than the normal number of] Passengers Squeeze into Cars without Caring about the Danger

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #491, 16.9.2009

  • The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [in Cambodia] Condemns the Ratanakiri Court for Intimidating a Reporter [of Radio Free Asia] and a Civil Society Activist [of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), over land disputes]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6756, 16.9.2009

  • A French Man Was Convicted to Serve Three Years in Prison, with the Sentence Suspended forTwo Years, because of Engaging a Cambodian Child as a Prostitute [Phnom Penh]
  • An Old Couple of Husband and Wife Were Killed while Sleeping, where the Husband Was Axed and the Wife Was Stabbed [police are hunting the murderers - Kompong Chhnang]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5000, 16.9.2009

  • Some Types of Rice Grown from Natural Fertilizer Are Not Certified by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • An Old Woman Was Raped and Killed [in Kampot]
  • Kompong Speu Military Police Confiscated More than One Tonne Illegal Chicken Meat

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1795, 16.9.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Yim Sovann Demands the National Election Committee to Stop Using Political Orientation to Delete Voters' Names

Have a look at the last editorial - you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
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