Cambodia today is a one-party state, a non-democratic, contradictory to the Cambodian National Constitution
Ref: ASEAN-US Summit, 12-13 May 2022
The Committee for Election Rights of Overseas Cambodians known as The CEROC, respects and recalls the United States’ foreign policy stance, which is firm in its values of democracy and respect for human rights.
At this ASEAN-US Summit, we firmly believe that the United States can not only put effort for the balance of geopolitical power alone, but also the non-democratic Cambodia, Burma, Laos and Vietnam, can certainly ruin the geopolitical efforts of the United States in the region.
Cambodia under the leadership of Hun Sen as the chair of ASEAN this year, has destroyed the values of democracy and human rights as stated in the Cambodian Constitution, a democratic standard like the United States, after the dissolution of the CNRP in 2017, banned the political rights of Cambodian citizens, utilize the judiciary national institution which guarantees the rights and freedoms of the people as their political tools to serve their party interests, shut down independent media, oppress and harass civil society, establish non-independent electoral body, and continue to intimidate Commune/Sangkat candidates from Candle Light Party for the upcoming June 5, 2022 sub-national election.
Therefore, we strongly hope that the United States will continue to educate Hun Sen and his team about the true values of democracy and human rights in a practical and meaningful mechanism. Khmer people always hope and believe in the respect for human rights!
UN Calls for End to ‘Punitive Measures’ Used Against Cambodian Environmental Activists
‘Human rights and environmental work are not criminal offenses,’ the UN says in a June 30 statement.2021-06-30
United Nations human rights and environmental officials called on Wednesday for an end to Cambodian authorities’ use of “punitive measures” against protectors of the country’s environment, following the arrests this month of four young environmental activists.
The four activists, members of the Cambodian environmental protection group Mother Nature, were arrested on June 16 after three of the group—Sun Ratha, Ly Chandaravuth, and Sith Chhivmeng—were arrested while filming the drainage of sewage into the Tonle Sap River in front of Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace.
Separately, authorities in Kandal province arrested Mother Nature activist Yim Leang Hy at his hometown in the province’s Koh Thom district. Sith Chhivmeng was later released after 24 hours of questioning by police in Phnom Penh.
Sun Ratha, 26, and Yim Leang Hy, 32—have now been charged with conspiracy and with lèse-majesté, or insulting the king, and are being held in Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar Prison awaiting trial.
The fourth youth activist arrested and now also held at Prey Sar—Ly Chandaravuth, 22—has been charged with plotting to topple Cambodia’s government.
The group could face between five to 10 years in prison on conviction. Mother Nature founder Alejandro Gonzalez-Davidson, now living outside Cambodia, also faces charges of conspiracy.
In a June 30 statement, Cynthia Veliko—Southeast Asia Representative for the UN Human Rights Office in Bangkok—called on Cambodian authorities to end the use of the “punitive measures routinely leveled against human rights and environmental rights workers in Cambodia.”
“Human rights and environmental work are not criminal offenses,” Veliko said.
“We urge the authorities to ensure that human rights and civil society organizations in Cambodia can operate without fear or intimidation and that their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association are protected and respected.”
The world is now living in the midst of an environmental crisis, added Dechen Tsering, the UN Environment Programme’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, also writing in the June 30 statement.
“Civil society which peacefully advocates for the environment is a fundamental partner in addressing the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution,” Tsering said.
Cambodia rejects criticisms
Responding to the UN statement, Kata On—spokesperson for Cambodia’s official Human Rights Committee—rejected the statement’s concerns as the thoughts of individuals “whose opinions are not in the best interests of Cambodia.”
“But if these concerns are raised one day at the UN General Assembly or in meetings of the UN Human Rights Council, Cambodia will use the mechanisms [available to it] to defend its record on human rights,” Kata On said.
The concerns expressed in the UN statement are not subjective opinion, however, but the views of skilled UN staff working to fulfill their responsibilities, said Soeung Senkaruna, spokesperson for the Cambodian rights group ADHOC.
“These explanations by the Cambodian government have not won credibility with the international community in the past,” Soeung Senkaruna said.
“If Cambodia is concerned about losing its image on the world stage, or about getting respect on the world stage, it should accept findings like these and work to improve its record,” he said.
Many people have wondered and inquired on the current government of Cambodia as “illegitimate” after the election on July 29, 2018 which was full of controversy. Some perspectives stressed on the election conducted by the NEC, some stressed on the legal procedures of the court which are very “biased”, and some stressed on the behaviors of power used by the power-holders. But the most important and essential perspective is the violation over the Constitution of the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia which has clearly inscribed the different between Nation and Government.
Nation means the country that has existed population and sovereign independence. According to the Constitution, the people are the owner of the country, and the power to govern the country is the people exercising through their Representatives whom elected by the people to create, to monitor, to amend, and to enforce the laws.
Government means the team of officers whose winning political party has rights to select Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet in accordance to the Statute on the Cabinet of Minister. According to current law, the members of Cabinet comprises of ministers to prime ministers and they are the member of the Executive Branch which has been mandated by the Constitution. They could exercise their power independently without interfering the power of Judiciary and Parliament. Note that after the amended law allowing Prime Minister to having power to nominate Secretary of State and Under-secretary of State directly, these two posts are not belonging to the Cabinet as the quota from winning political party any more, according to the law.
In conclusion, the result of national election which is the election conducting by the single party, the election result is the single party result, which has led to the creation of an illegitimate Government of a single-party state government with composition members of Prime Minister, Senior Ministers, and Ministers.
So, the Cambodia nation as a State comprises of over 16 million population with nearly two millions public servants of both civil servants and arm-force, they could conduct their legitimate tasks as usual as they are the technical team to serve the people. For the current illegitimate government, they have lost their own legitimacy to utilize nation wealth, to undertake decision-making for major tasks of the nation, to mutually conduct diplomacy with foreign countries, and to approve loans lending from foreign partners. What the current government has been undertaking at the present are just the perpetual power-abused.