Tag Archives: Cambodian Parliament

Attended a Human Rights forum in Battambang

In 1997, over 10,000 hectare of the forest in the district of Koh Kralor were given to Khmer Rouge army officers and leaders in exchange for their re-integration and to stop the armed conflict.

The remaining 3,800 hectares of the forest were reserved for social concessions. 

Throughout the years, the former KR officers and leaders have sold part of the 3,800 hectares that are state land. In the meantime, villagers from the neighboring commune have cleared the remaining forest for farming.

The sale of the state land continues till today with the help of the commune chief, the village chief, and other former KR leaders with protection from police and the court. Villagers who have cleared the forest for farming are threatened, their crops destroyed and face arrest and detention.

I have intervened and rescued many villagers, including children who are arrested and detained. Villagers live in fear of arrest.

My question: why are local authorities allowing and are part of the sale of state land?

My solution: the committee in charge of land management should register villagers with no land and provide them land equally and with transparency, to end the dispute. 

My recommendation to the people: vote for a commune chief who will defend your land and not for a candidate who will sell your land.

A day after the forum took place, a woman is accused of stealing some type of farming equipment. The commune police are threatening with arrest. 

This is a threat and a message to villagers to not speak up against the local authorities.

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Fight Corruption Now: Distributing Weal th to Benefit All !

The existence of ‘ghost’ soldiers is no secret to Prime Minister Hun Sen. Millions of dollars of State funds have been lost to corruption committed during the demobilization of soldiers following the 1991 Paris Peace Accords and a second stage of demobilization followed with a US$18.4 million World Bank loan. Marred with corruption, the World Bank discontinued the project.

Last week a request was made by the Ministry of Economy and Finance for the Ministry of Social Welfare to return more than US$5 million embezzled through falsified budgets and pensions collected in the name of ‘ghost’ veterans. They also have demanded an immediate and in-depth inquiry of all Ministries concerned. Embezzlement of public funds, falsification of documents are crimes with stiff penalties under the Penal Code and the Anti-Corruption Law.

The time is now for Cambodian people to unite against corruption! Every year until now hundreds of million of dollars has been embezzled by this government and its officials either through the process of collecting revenue, through government expenditure or through government concession policy. This money was intended to be used to better pay for genuine civil servants, teachers and soldiers and especially to allow for the sustainable development of our country.

We, the Members of Parliament of the Sam Rainsy Party can no longer accept what is really a token political gesture to “return” the stolen State funds. This does not go far enough to address what has become a systemic problem in our country – government corruption. We demand the following:

  • An immediate and full independent and public investigation This investigation is to be transparent and objectively conducted into the investigation of all relevant Ministries including the Office of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Council of Ministers on the misappropriation of state funds and those held accountable to be brought for justice. This includes the suspension and criminal retribution of all those found responsible in accordance with Law.
  • The government is to release all falsified documents and expenses including the payroll list for soldiers, civil servants and government contracts (including oil and gas contracts), land, mining concessions and so forth.
  • The government adopt the law on Freedom of Information proposed by the the Sam Rainsy Party Members of Parliament.

Corruption thrives in a climate of secrecy and impunity. Corruption threatens good governance sustainable, democratic process and fair business practices. More importantly corruption creates poverty and human rights abuses.

Sam Rainsy Party Members of Parliament

For further information contact: MP Son Chhay on sonchhay@yahoo.com or MP Mu Sochua on 012- 831040

Free and fair elections-Reforms Needed in Cambodia

Mu Sochua Interview with Radio Free Asia/ 14 July, 2011, in Khmer.

http://www.rfa.org/khmer/indepth/interview_musochua-07132011033659.html

Radio Free Asia: Has there been any reforms of the electoral process?

Mu Sochua: yes, but minor reforms.

RFA: If Mr. Sam Rainsy is prevented from returning to Cambodia, will the party look for a substitute?

MS: It is out of the question. The real problem is electoral reforms. Mr. Sam Rainsy is a victim of political persecution. If his legal records are not cleared, his does not have a chance to stand as a candidate for election. I am also a victim of this political persecution. Does it mean that I also have to be replaced as a candidate? it is not for the victim for find solution. It is for reforms to happen in order for free and fair elections to be guaranteed.

RFA: What is SRP strategy for the return of Mr. Sam Rainsy?

MS: the party is calling on the signatories of the Paris Peace Accords to reconvene and to review the conditions put forward in the 1991 Paris Peace Accords. Free and fair election, non-violence, democracy, these are all part of the accords. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression must be upheld, that is part of the accords.

RFA: Is mass demonstration – Malaysia style something SRP is considering despite recent government crackdowns?

MS: We are not at mass demonstration yet. We hope to have all stakeholders come together to find solutions. We do not see this as just SRP responsibility. We, as Cambodians must share the same task to push for electoral reforms. We call on all Cambodian citizens to defend their fundamental right: the right to vote. Demonstrations are our rights that we can exercise.

RFA: If Mr. Sam Rainsy can not return, will SRP consider a mass demonstration?

MS: there is no “f”. For election to be called free and fair, Mr. Sam Rainsy must return. Mass demonstration is one of the solutions.

Mu Sochua’s trip to Finland and Norway

Press Release

President Tarja Halonen of Finland with MP, Mu Sochua at the opening of the conference on Women Inspiring the World, in Vilnius-Lithuania

The Sam Rainsy Party (SRP) chapter in Finland would like to inform the public that Mrs. Mu Sochua, a Member of Parliament from the SRP was attending in the conference on Women Inspiring the World in Lithuania. She is expecting to leave for Helsinki this evening and will have a meeting with Cambodian community in Espoo of Finland from 20-22PM.

On Sunday morning, 03.07.2011 she will leave for Kristiansand of Norway. SRP-Norway will warmly welcome her in a meeting. She will flight back to Finland on Monday.

On Tuesday 5 July she will meet Hanna Gehör an advisor of the President Tarja Halonen of Finland in the Presidental Palace at 10AM. She will meet Minister for Foreign Affairs, Erkki Tuomioja in the Ministry at 14:30.

Mu Sochua will go to visit the office of Taksvärkki and will have a dinner with the leaders of the Cambodian Friendship Association before she goes back to Cambodia in the midnight.

For more information please contact:
Sar Sophorn
H.P: (358) 405634631
E-mail: sophornsar@yahoo.com

A day in the life of Mu Sochua

Video created by Philip Skoczkowski. Check out his amazing work at www.skoczkowski.com

A Day In The Life Of Mu Sochua from Philip Skoczkowski on Vimeo.

Bitter taste of sugar trading- Phnom Penh Post

“The European Union is “very concerned” about claims that trade preferences encouraging Cambodia to export sugar to the continent are fuelling land-grabbing, forced evictions and other human rights abuses,  as a visiting EU parliamentarian spoke out about the issue.

The “Everything but Arms” initiative abolishes tariffs and quotas for Cambodia and other low-income countries to export goods to the EU. Sugar exports are guaranteed at a minimum price.”

Read the complete article on the Phnom Penh Post Website.

Cecilia promised me that she would come to visit Cambodia. She came and saw that the reports I had been sending her about the land lost to the sugar companies described less reality than the devastation she witnessed in the eys and faces of the villagers who are victims of development policy that has no safe guard for the protection of human rights.

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php?option=com_jomcomment&task=trackback&id=49266&opt=com_content

Institutions pass the buck on Sochua

WEDNESDAY, 26 JANUARY 2011 19:52 MEAS SOKCHEA PHNOM PENH POST

The National Assembly and the Ministry of Justice are passing the buck on the issue of who is responsible for restoring the parliamentary immunity of opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua, saying each institution is awaiting an authorisation letter from the other.

Earlier this month, the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian called for her immunity to be restored, after the resolution of her high-profile legal spat with Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Cheam Yeap, chairman of the National Assembly’s Banking and Finance Committee, said today that the parliament cannot restore Mu Sochua’s immunity unless the Justice Ministry requests it first.

“The court requested firstly that [her immunity] be suspended, so when it happens the court must inform the parliament through the Justice Minister,” Cheam Yeap said.

But Minister of Justice Ang Vong Vathana said last week that in Mu Sochua’s case, the parliament has to send a letter to the Justice Ministry and that the ministry was still awaiting word.

“I am waiting for a letter from the parliament first,” Ang Vong Vathana told reporters following a legal arbitration workshop in Phnom Penh.

Mu Sochua’s legal battle with Hun Sen started in April 2009, when she filed a defamation suit against him in relation to comments he made during a speech in Kampot province, in which he allegedly made derogatory comments about her.

The premier countersued and the court ruled against her, ordering her to pay 16.5 million riels (US$4,084) in fines and compensation to Hun Sen.

Mu Sochua said today that she has refused to make a request to the courts for the restoration of her immunity, saying that if the court will not do it without prompting, they are clearly not impartial.

“My duty is not to ask for [immunity]. I do not need to ask, it is a duty of the law enforcer,” Mu Sochua said.

“Samdech Prime Minister has said that if you exit by any way, you must enter by the same way. Now will this be re-enforced or is it political discrimination?”

Sok Sam Oeun, executive director of the Cambodian Defenders Project, said the Ministry of Justice had to write to the National Assembly, since it made the initial request to remove Mu Sochua’s immunity.

“It is not necessary for the person concerned to ask,” he said today.