Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Southeast Asia

Asean Leaders Adopt Contentious Declaration of Rights

Residents who face eviction from their homes display signs with pictures of U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as they ask for help in protecting their rights during a protest ahead of their visit in Phnom Penh November 18.Residents who face eviction from their homes display signs with pictures of U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as they ask for help in protecting their rights during a protest ahead of their visit in Phnom Penh November 18.
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Residents who face eviction from their homes display signs with pictures of U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as they ask for help in protecting their rights during a protest ahead of their visit in Phnom Penh November 18.
Residents who face eviction from their homes display signs with pictures of U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as they ask for help in protecting their rights during a protest ahead of their visit in Phnom Penh November 18.
Heng Reaksmey
Asean leaders on Sunday adopted a Declaration of Human Rights, hailing it as a step forward for the regional bloc that is consistent with international norms, despite protests from rights groups.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told reporters Sunday the declaration “is consistent with the universal declaration of human rights, as well as the Vienna human rights program of action.”

“It is something we now possess that we did not possess beforehand, so it’s an important benchmark for Asean to be kept honest in terms of its human rights obligations,” he said.

But the declaration has met with sharp criticism from local, regional and international rights groups, who say its language leaves too much room for interpretation and would allow authoritarian regimes to arbitrarily curb rights and freedoms.

“Our worst fears in this process have now come to pass,” Phil Robertson, the deputy director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. “Rather than meeting international standards, this declaration lowers them by creating new loopholes and justifications that Asean member states can use to justify abusing the rights of their people.”

He called the declaration “flawed” and “with promises of faithful implementation from a regional grouping that has a history of promising much and doing little.”

For Cambodia, which has faced ongoing criticism of a sliding rights record, the declaration could become an “excuse shield” for Prime Minister Hun Sen, Robertson said, “whenever he is accused of being deficient in protecting human rights.
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Hunting for Wild Honey in Cambodia's Forestsi
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17 December 2014
Cambodia is thought to produce the best wild honey in Southeast Asia, mainly due to its climate and topography. Most of it is harvested informally and sold cheaply at local village markets. Now, one company is helping some of the country's poorest people by employing them to hunt for honey, then selling it commercially. (AP, Koh Kong)

English with Mani & Mori

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You've Got To Be Kidding (Movie: Bedtime Stories)i
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01 December 2014
You can say, "What? You lost your passport? So, you're stranded in a foreign country, where you don't speak the language and you don't know anyone? You've got to be kidding me, right?" What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
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Video You've Got To Be Kidding (Movie: Bedtime Stories)

You can say, "What? You lost your passport? So, you're stranded in a foreign country, where you don't speak the language and you don't know anyone? You've got to be kidding me, right?" What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish.
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Video All Thumbs (Movie: Minority Report)

You can say, "I was 'all thumbs' this morning when trying to tie this tie - I kept making mistakes and just couldn't figure a way to pull it together." What does it mean? Watch here.
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