The power of individuals has increased in recent years in Cambodia, but
the power of the masses, democracy, has not, a leading researcher said Monday.
"Democracy is poor, but individual power is
strong," said Lao Monghay, a senior researcher at the Asian Human Rights
Commission, as a guest on "Hello VOA."
Much of the country's political power remained in the hands
of Prime Minister Hun Sen, Lao Monghay said.
The recent arrest of an opposition newspaper editor, Dam
Sith, and court actions against opposition leader Sam Rainsy attested to a
dampening of freedoms, an increase of media restrictions, and the increased
politicization of the courts, he said.
"The lack of a rule of law weakens democracy and there
is no progress," he said. "Through training from NGOs, the media and
other forums, people understand democracy, but most important is, how can they
have the freedom to address it?"