Tag Archives: Social Networking

Cambodia: Women Entrepreneurs and Social Media – Global Voices

Cambodian women seizing opportunities provided by social media to improve their enterprises. They represent the new women of Cambodia. They change the economic, social and political landscape of Cambodia.

Support them, invest in them.

Global Voices Cambodia: Women Entrepreneurs and Social Media

Planting Democracy Seeds in Former Khmer Rouge Territory

Building democracy in this part of Cambodia-a strong hold of the Cambodian People’s Party is a challenge to the mind and the body. The CPP in Samlot is led by former Khmer Rouge soldiers who reintegrated with the Cambodian Royal Armed Forces in 1997.

Inspecting party signs

For our team, coming to this territory to bring a message of change is similar to the farmers preparing the field. The hard work continues on with seed planting, weeding, watering, till it is time for harvest.

My body is aching from a cold and weakened by the challenge of walking from field to field. Members of the team consult each other when we can’t seem to get the message of change through to the villagers who have lived with fear for over two decades-the legacy of the Khmer Rouges, responsible for the killing of 1.7 million Cambodians.

Despite daily threats, intimidation, villagers who have lost or about to lose their land seem to be stuck with the same feeling: what if the village chief finds ut that we are from the opposition.

My colleagues and I use the word “democracy”, “human rights”, “freedom” with a lot of caution. We spend hours listening, convincing, and reassuring that only when farmers have title of their land can they live in peace. Land tenure is a right, to men and women.

We have been coming to this territory for the past 15 years but our votes go no farther than 10%.

We train women and youth, we empower the few who have shown courage to continue the struggle.

12 more months before local elections. Time is short. In Some villages, we have no representatives.

Very few organizations here. very little attention given to human rights and democracy.

A true challenge but we are inspired by the courage of our representatives.

Thanks to IT, I am able to blog, tweet and post on facebook.

blogging and tweeting with the help of a 3G cell card

Forgot malaria pills back in the city. Spread myself with mosquito repellant, hoping that it will work.


Typing this inside a mosquito net and under a light run on battery.


All for Democracy.


19 July, 2011

Cambodia- A Repressive One Party-State System of Intolerance

The blocking of any source of information by the government of Cambodia is a sign of intolerance. It is a sign of repression and a violation of human rights. Cambodia can not afford to move back to the years of darkness. Read the full Phnom Penh Post article below:

Blockage of Blog Denied.  Meas Sokchea and Summer Walker. 19/01/2011

The government has denied that it has ordered local internet service providers to block a domain hosting controversial antigovernment news blog KI-Media, amid reports customers of the Ezecom ISP were unable to access the site today.
A customer service representative for Ezecom, contacted by The Post today, confirmed that his manager told him to block access to the website, saying the government had informed them to shut it down.

Naly Pilorge, director of the rights group Licadho, said her staff could not access any sites on KI-Media’s blogspot.com domain through Ezecom as of this morning, and she had received similar complaints from about 15 others Ezecom customers as early as Tuesday.

She said a customer service representative had also informed her that an unidentified government ministry asked the firm to block the site on Tuesday, due the highly critical commentary posted on the website.

There have been no reports of other ISPs blocking the domain.

Ezecom CEO Paul Blanche-Horgan said he was unaware that any actions had been taken today to shut off access to the website, forwarding questions to the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

Government officials contacted today also denied any action to block KI-Media.

“The ministry of posts and telecommunications did not attempt to shut them [KI media] down,” Minister of Posts and Telecommunications So Khun told reporters today.

He said, however, that the government had to “make sure that what is on the website is true” and ensure it doesn’t post any lewd images.

When contacted today, Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said he did not know whether the government had ordered Ezecom to block the blogspot.com domain, but added that KI-Media deserved to be shut down.

“I don’t know, but it should be closed,” he said, due to its strong criticisms of the government.

Government spokesman and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith could not be reached for comment today.

Naly Pilorge from Licadho said that if the reports that the government had blocked the site were true, it would mark a significant narrowing of the space for public debate.

“This is a critical moment towards censorship and more repression,” she said.

“Free access to information is vital to any functioning democracy.”

KI-Media last made headlines in December, when Seng Kunnaka, a security guard employed by the United Nations World Food Programme, was charged with incitement and jailed for six months after he showed colleagues an article printed from the website.

Following Seng Kunnaka’s conviction, Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan told The Post that the article had referred to Prime Minister Hun Sen and Var Kimhong, the senior minister in charge of border affairs, as “traitors”. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SAMOEURN SAMBATH

For everyone living outside of Cambodia: http://kimedia.blogspot.com/

Cambodians and Facebook, A Love Story

Thursday, January 6th, 2011 at 3:04 pm. Read the Full Article on VOAnews.

Bun Tharum, Phnom Penh

This week Facebook announced $500 million in investment from Goldman Sachs. This put the value of Facebook at $50 billion, affirming its popularity among many Internet users around the world.

Cambodia is no different, and in the past six months, the number of Facebook users here has skyrocketed.

Cambodians use Facebook to “seek fun, socialize and maintain friendship,” according to data from an online survey by Royal University of Phnom Penh. We now have made Facebook the most visited social networking site in the country.

Leang Chumsoben, a government official in Kampong Chhnang’s provincial administration, has been on Facebook since 2008, using it as a way to stay connected with his sister, a university student in Phnom Penh.

“We can express feelings more openly than before,” he told me in an e-mail. He had recently shared a news article with his 600 Facebook friends reporting on a local newspaper, a new song about “Or Phnom Penh Euy” currently banned by the Ministry of Information.

Leang Chumsoben is far from alone in his Facebooking.

According to new research by RUPP’s department of media and communications, there are nearly 200,000 Cambodian Facebook users. The majority of Cambodians who use the Internet are on Facebook, researchers found in their 2010 Cambodian Communications Review.

In an online survey of 468 Cambodian Facebook users, CCR found that the site “has increasingly become integrated into Cambodian Internet users’ daily experience.” “More than half of the users surveyed used the site at least once a day and another one-third used it several times a week,” the review found.

For organizations, groups and individuals, the site has been used to exchange ideas and mobilize supporters in a number of ways, from branding and businesses to celebrity and politics.

A prominent parliamentarian for the Sam Rainsy Party, Mu Sochua, maintains a Facebook page, where she has 1,450 “friends.” The 56-year-old lawmaker uses the site to spread messages among her supporters more quickly than word of mouth. Four days after the bridge tragedy at Diamond Island in November, 2010, she used Facebook to promote her own blog post “A Nation in Grief – A Nation Transformed.”

“When I was facing the courts in Cambodia, it was the most efficient means and costing
nothing to put out the appeal and the response has been very rewarding,” Mu Sochua responded to my email interview, suggesting that Facebook “is a very powerful political tool when
one has to mobilize thousands or millions to join a cause. Young people contribute to politics in so many different ways and facebook and other forms of social media is changing politics.”