ហុនសែនអួតប្រាប់ប្រជារាស្ត្រខ្មែរថាអ្វីដែលគេមាន សព្វថ្ងៃគឺបានដោយសាការបូជា សាច់ស្រស់ឈាមស្រស់ ក្រោមការដាក់ទណ្ឌកម្ម និងការដាក់ឲ្យឯកោពី សហគមន៏ អន្តរជាតិដូច្នេះគេមិនខ្លាចនឹងចំណាយ ទៅវិញដើម្បីរក្សាអំណាចគេទេ? ~Reader
|លោក អ៊ុង ឫទ្ធី (រូបកាន់មេក្រូនិយាយ) ចូលរួមបាតុកម្មតវ៉ាឲ្យដោះលែងលោក កឹម សុខា នៅមុខក្រសួងការបរទេសអាមេរិក នៅថ្ងៃទី ១៥ ខែ ឧសភា ឆ្នាំ ២០១៧។ RFA|
លោក មួង ណារ៉េត RFA 2017-09-21
រលកនៃការតវ៉ារបស់ពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរ នៅក្រៅប្រទេស ដើម្បីទាមទារឲ្យដោះលែងលោក កឹម សុខា នឹងបន្តបោកបក់ ទៅដល់ទីស្នាក់ការអង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិ នៅទីក្រុងញូយក នៅថ្ងៃ សុក្រ នេះទៀត។
គាប់ជួន ពេលដែលអង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិ កំពុងបើកមហាសន្និបាតលើកទី ៧២ របស់ខ្លួននៅទីក្រុង New York ពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរនៅតាមបណ្តារដ្ឋនានា នឹងប្រមូលផ្តុំគ្នាតវ៉ា នៅខាងមុខស្នាក់ការ របស់អង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិ នៅថ្ងៃ សុក្រ ទី ២២ ខែ កញ្ញា នេះ។ ពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរអាមេរិកម្នាក់គឺលោក អ៊ុង ឬទ្ធី មកពីក្រុងឡូវែល ដែលនឹងចូលរួមតវ៉ាឲ្យដោះលែង លោក កឹម សុខា ប្រាប់អាស៊ីសេរី ថាពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរអាមេរិកាំង ជាច្រើនបានសំណូមពរ ឲ្យនាំគ្នាធ្វើបាតុកម្មនៅកន្លែងមហាសន្និបាត របស់អង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិនេះ ដោយសារចង់ផ្ញើសារ ឲ្យឮដល់មេដឹកនាំនៃបណ្ដាប្រទេសទាំងអស់នៅលើពិភពលោក ដែលមកចូលរួមក្នុងសន្និបាត នោះ បានដឹងពីការរំលោភ សិទ្ធិមនុស្ស និងលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ នៅកម្ពុជា៖ “យើងចង់ផ្ញើសារទៅពិភពលោក ឲ្យដឹង ឲ្យជួយដោះស្រាយបញ្ហាប្រទេសរបស់យើង ជាពិសេសពាក់ព័ន្ធនឹងការចាប់ឃុំឃាំងប្រធានគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះ ជាតិ។ ទីពីរប្រសិនជាមានការចាប់ចងប្រធានគណបក្សអ៊ីចឹង ការបោះឆ្នោតនឹងមិនអាចប្រព្រឹត្តទៅដោយត្រឹមត្រូវ និង យុត្តិធម៌។ ទីបី សុំឲ្យមានស្ថិរភាព ក្នុងរឿងលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យនៅក្នុងប្រទេសកម្ពុជាយើង ព្រោះកំពុងរងការលំបាក និង ដើរថយក្រោយ។ ទីបួន គឺសុំទាមទារឲ្យអង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិ ជួយបញ្ជូនអ្នកសង្កេតការណ៍បោះឆ្នោត នៅឆ្នាំ ២០១៨ ខាងមុខនេះ”។
ក្នុងមហាសន្និបាតលើកទី ៧២ របស់អង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិ ដែលប្រព្រឹត្តទៅពីថ្ងៃទី ១២ ដល់ថ្ងៃទី ២៥ ខែ កញ្ញានេះ ប្រទេសកម្ពុជា បានចាត់រដ្ឋមន្រ្តីក្រសួងការបរទេសលោក ប្រាក់ សុខុន ឲ្យមកចូលរួមប្រជុំ។ ប៉ុន្តែ លោក អ៊ុង ឬទ្ធី បញ្ជាក់ ថាការធ្វើបាតុកម្មនេះ គឺដើម្បីផ្ញើសារទៅមេដឹកនាំពិភពលោក រួមទាំងម្ចាស់ហត្ថលេខី នៃកិច្ចព្រមព្រៀងសន្តិភាពទីក្រុងប៉ារីស មិនសំខាន់ថាមាន ឬ គ្មានវត្តមានតំណាងរដ្ឋាភិបាលលោក ហ៊ុន សែន មកចូលរួមប្រជុំនោះទេ៖ “ទោះបីលោក ប្រាក់ សុខុន មកឬមិនមក សំខាន់យើងចង់ធ្វើម៉េចក្នុងនាមយើងជាជនជាតិខ្មែរ ដែលរស់នៅប្រទេសក្រៅ យើងចង់ឲ្យពិភពលោក ដឹងថាយើងមិនពេញចិត្តនឹងអ្វីដែលរដ្ឋាភិបាលកម្ពុជា កំពុងធ្វើសព្វថ្ងៃនេះឡើយ”។
តាំងពីក្រោយការចាប់ខ្លួន ប្រធានគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិលោក កឹម សុខា រលកបាតុកម្ម របស់សហគមន៍ខ្មែរនៅក្រៅប្រទេស ដែលប្រឆាំងនឹងចំណាត់ការរបស់រដ្ឋាភិបាលលោក ហ៊ុន សែន បានផ្ទុះឡើងស្ទើរគ្រប់ទីន្លែងដែលមានខ្មែររស់នៅ។ នៅថ្ងៃទី ២៦ ខែ កញ្ញាខាងមុខនេះ ពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរមកពីរបណ្ដាប្រទេសសហគមន៍អឺរ៉ុប នឹងធ្វើបាតុកម្មទាមទារឲ្យដោះលែងលោក កឹម សុខា នៅមុខការិល័យសិទ្ធិមនុស្ស របស់អង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិ នៅទីក្រុងហ្សឺណែវ ប្រទេសស្វ៊ីស។ ចំណែកឯពលករខ្មែរ នៅប្រទេសកូរ៉េខាងត្បូង នឹងនាំគ្នាធ្វើមហាបាតុកម្មទាមទារដូចគ្នានេះដែរ នៅថ្ងៃទី ០១ ខែ តុលា ខាងមុខនេះ៕
Despite troubling developments, a little more optimism is warranted as the Cambodian people get ready to go to the polls.
The Diplomat, By David Hutt, September 22, 2017
“Descent into Outright Dictatorship.” So read the front-page headline of the final edition of the Cambodia Daily, an English-language newspaper closed this month because of taxation issues. This came the day after Kem Sokha, the leader of the main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), was arrested in his Phnom Penh home on treason charges. Now, the government is threatening other CNRP politicians with possible warrants for arrest, which, one assumes, would eventually lead to the party’s eventual dissolution. Still, this has yet to happen, and a vitally important general election is just ten months away.
Many people, journalists included, have nonetheless rushed to claim that democracy in Cambodia is now dead, or words to that effect. The Financial Times, on September 7, claimed that “Hun Sen’s Cambodia slides into despotism.” The Washington Post, a day earlier, opined that “Cambodia’s ruthless leader is stepping up his authoritarian game.” The latter, arguably, best sums up what is happening: an escalation, not an outright descent.
No doubt, many those who argue Cambodia is now a dictatorship and democracy dead hope that the international community will step in and sort out the matter. This is unlikely to happen. For starters, Cambodia, despite what has happened, remains relatively stable. There have been no major demonstrations or deaths, yet. And while foreign investment might drop, especially from the West, Chinese money continues to pour in.
More important, Cambodia is just one islet in a sea of repression. Vietnam, to its east, has never even promised to hold elections in decades but now is one of America and the European Union’s main partners in Southeast Asia. To Cambodia’s north, nominally communist Laos is in an even worse situation when it comes to freedom. To its west lies Thailand which has been under a military junta since 2014 and shows few signs of returning to democracy, in any meaningful sense of the word. And, further afield, the democratically-elected de-facto leader that is Aung San Suu Kyi, who the West invested heavily in making an icon, is today arguably an apologist for crimes against humanity.
The Rohingya issue no doubt is now taking up much of the time of Western diplomats, pushing Cambodian democracy further down the list of concerns. But even if the United States or the EU decides to punish Phnom Penh it will raise unwanted questions, among them why the West has been so generous to Vietnam or Thailand in recent years. And any sanctions imposed by Washington would be simply paraded as a sign that the United States is conspiring against the Cambodian government, as it now claims (Kem Sokha was charged with treason for working with Americans to overthrow the government).
Then there’s the fact that Donald Trump cares little about despotic nations. And the EU, long divided over human rights and interventionism, actually finds unity when it comes to its own financial matters, which would no doubt be harmed if punitive actions are taken.
So the CNRP is correct when it says only the Cambodian people can change Cambodia. “A legitimate government can only be born from the will of the people,” CNRP vice-president Mu Sochua told me some weeks ago. But saying that the country has descended into a dictatorship does a disservice to Cambodian voters. If it is a dictatorship, then why should they bother to turn out at next year’s general election, to be held in July 2018? If the country has already fallen, why care about changing politics peacefully?
At the moment, one might say what democracy Cambodia has left is in a perilous condition, as is free speech. But nihilism serves no one. Until the ballot is taken away from the people then there is always a chance that their votes can make their wishes felt. And until the CNRP is actually dissolved, even in its currently enfeebled state, it still stands in opposition to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP).
One ought not to forget that June’s commune election had the highest voter turnout in decades: 85 percent of eligible voters went to the ballot three months ago. In fact, at every election since its first real election in 1993 the number of people turning out to vote has tended to decrease, except in June. And, that month, the CNRP gained significant ground on the CPP, a rarity in local elections. What are we to make of this? Quite simply, it shows that Cambodians are either now more politically engaged or believe their vote actually matters.
Most are, however, not so naïve to think that an election will result in a peaceful transfer of power. As I have noted in my column on numerous occasions, the CPP is unlikely to back out of government willingly or peacefully. But optimism is better than nihilism if a democracy is to be born. And while the people still have the opportunity to tell their government that they don’t want it to rule, power is not solely in the hands of one person.
So what has changed since June? Well, an English-language newspaper has closed, as have radio stations carrying U.S.-funded Khmer-language programs; a U.S.-funded democracy-building organization has been ordered to cease working in the country; and the CNRP president arrested. The question, then, is whether these incidents are enough to stop Cambodians going to the ballot at next year’s general election.
Of course, as I noted in a previous article for The Diplomat, the ruling CPP has combined repression with “generosity.” The government has promised the 700,000-odd garment workers, long loyal CNRP voters, another raise in their minimum wage before next year’s general election. And more social welfare policies have been promised, as they have been promised in the past.
Nonetheless, before the 2013 general election the party’s then-president Sam Rainsy had been in exile for years beforehand (he was allowed to return weeks ahead of the vote). And even without the figurehead in the country the CNRP still received only 300,000 fewer votes than the CPP. Today, with one leader in jail and the other again in exile in France, it still might not be enough to perturb voters from opting for the CNRP next year.
Moreover, the fact that more than three million Cambodians cast their votes for CNRP candidates in June, even after Sam Rainsy resigned as party leader and the party threatened with dissolution, is arguably a sign that threats don’t always work. After all, as CNRP voters have told me, the party gains its support for what it represents, not just who represents it. Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha have not been forgotten and their names remain rallying cries, as does b’do (meaning change).
Under no circumstances should Cambodia force these refugees back to Vietnam, where they would face severe persecution on political and religious grounds, Phil Robertson Deputy Asia Director
|© 2016 Radio Free Asia|
Human Rights Watch, September 12, 2017
Forced Return to Vietnam Will Bring Mistreatment, Arrest
The Cambodian government should not carry out its threats to imminently return a group of ethnic Montagnards to Vietnam, Human Rights Watch said today. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) says they are refugees with a well-founded fear of persecution if sent back. Sending them back would violate Cambodia’s international and domestic legal obligations.
Cambodia’s Interior Ministry has wrongly denied the claims of the 29 Montagnard refugees and is failing to cooperate with the UNHCR’s efforts to resettle them. The Cambodian government has not carried out a joint review process under which the UNHCR was to join a review of the government’s first-instance rejection decision. Cambodia then refused a UNHCR offer to relocate the refugees to a third country.
“Under no circumstances should Cambodia force these refugees back to Vietnam, where they would face severe persecution on political and religious grounds,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. “If the government forces them back to Vietnam, Cambodia’s reputation as a regional leader in protecting the rights of refugees will be left in tatters.”
Members of the group reported receiving threats that they would be imprisoned if they ever tried to flee abroad so now they have great concerns about what sort of reception they will receive if returned to Vietnam.
One Montagnard in Phnom Penh who was imprisoned in Vietnam before fleeing to Cambodia told Human Rights Watch his fear of being returned: “They will not let me live in peace, they will arrest me, and they will do even more to me than they did before. They will say good words to try to convince people to go back. But when they go back they will be arrested. I know because I was in jail already.”
In mid-August 2017, a group of Cambodian Interior Ministry officials, including senior Refugee Department staff, traveled with Vietnamese authorities to some villages in Vietnam where family members of the asylum seekers in Cambodia live. Montagnard and nongovernmental group sources told Human Rights Watch that the officials intimidated some of the younger relatives to write letters saying it was safe for their relatives to return to Vietnam.
In April 2017, a Montagnard asylum-seeker who was returned to Vietnam from Cambodia was detained and interrogated for 12 days by Vietnamese authorities. In May, a video recording emerged on Vietnamese television of apparently forced confessions by Montagnards who claimed to be returned refugees
Vietnam imposes criminal penalties on dissenters returned under Article 91 of the Vietnamese Criminal Code, which provides 3 to 12 years in prison for those who “flee abroad or defect to stay overseas with a view to opposing the people’s administration.” Under that article, “organizers, coercers and instigators” of such movements face 5 to 15 years in prison; and those found to have committed “particularly serious crimes” – not defined – can be imprisoned for 12 to 20 years, or for life.
Vietnam has a long and well-documented history of persecuting Montagnards. Many from these upland ethnic minorities were allied with the French and Americans in Vietnam during the war years between 1946 and 1975, and many adopted Christianity. Since the Communist government assumed power, these groups have faced political persecution, forced repudiation of their faith, shuttering of Christian house churches, and constant monitoring and surveillance by Vietnam police, soldiers, and officials.
In 2005, Human Rights Watch documented the torture of Montagnards who were forced back from Cambodia to Vietnam. They had fled a government crackdown on activists who organized peaceful demonstrations demanding support for religious freedom and a return of their ancestral lands.
In 2015, Human Rights Watch documented intimidation, arbitrary arrest, and mistreatment in custody of Montagnards. Human Rights Watch found that Vietnamese authorities subjected Montagnards to constant surveillance if they were thought to have politically “autonomous thoughts,” or be involved in religious activities the government declared not “pure.” People arrested in this campaign suffered from mistreatment, including interrogations, beatings, and forced disappearances.
In April 2015, four Montagnards who returned to Vietnam from Cambodia disappeared from their village in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, while others familiar with the group were summoned for questioning.
In June 2016, the Cambodian government facilitated visits by Vietnamese officials, including some police officials from the refugees’ home villages, to more than 100 Montagnard asylum seekers in Cambodia, without their consent. The officials urged the assembled asylum seekers to return to Vietnam and promised to end persecution against them.
Cambodia is a State party to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol and the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Under these international treaties, Cambodia has an obligation not to return people to countries where they have a well-founded fear of persecution or torture.
A Cambodian government Sub-Decree No. 224/2009 on Procedure for Recognition as a Refugee or Providing Asylum Rights to Foreigners in the Kingdom of Cambodia provides that a refugee “shall not be expelled or returned in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his or her life, freedom or rights would be threatened on account of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership of a social group or particular political opinion.”
To comply with its international obligations, the Cambodian government should refrain from taking any action toward forcibly returning the 29 at-risk Montagnards, and initiate the promised joint review with the UNHCR to ensure a fair determination of their claims for protection.
The Vietnamese government should also immediately cease its systematic political persecution and restrictions on freedom of religion for the Montagnard population in the Central Highlands. Vietnam should permit the UNHCR to exercise its refugee protection mandate, and Hanoi should agree to refrain from pressuring refugees to return home.
“The Cambodian government is required to make sure that these Montagnard refugees are protected, and not to send them back into harm’s way in Vietnam,” Robertson said. “International donors and the UN Country Team for Cambodia should warn the Cambodian government that it will become a refugee rights pariah state if the Montagnards are forced back to Vietnam over the UN refugee agency’s objections.”