Wednesday, 01 October 2014

Cambodia

Despite International Pressure, Sam Rainsy’s Status Remains in Doubt

UN special rights envoy Surya Subedi has called for the return of Sam Rainsy if the 2013 election is to be considered legitimate.UN special rights envoy Surya Subedi has called for the return of Sam Rainsy if the 2013 election is to be considered legitimate.
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UN special rights envoy Surya Subedi has called for the return of Sam Rainsy if the 2013 election is to be considered legitimate.
UN special rights envoy Surya Subedi has called for the return of Sam Rainsy if the 2013 election is to be considered legitimate.
Kong Sothanarith
The return of Cambodia’s main opposition leader remains in doubt, with no political deal forthcoming from the administration of Prime Minister Hun Sen, despite warnings from the US and others that a leaderless opposition could hurt the legitimacy of the July 2013 polls.
 
However, speaking to VOA Khmer by phone from Paris, where he remains in exile, Sam Rainsy, who now heads the new opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, said there is still time.
 
“In only 24 hours, things can be changed,” he said.
 
Sam Rainsy is facing up to 12 years in prison in Cambodia on charges he says are politically motivated.
 
In a brief meeting with Hun Sen last month, US President Barack Obama said the US is concerned with Cambodia’s political environment leading into the polls and that opposition parties need the freedom to operate.
 
And UN special rights envoy Surya Subedi has called for the return of Sam Rainsy if the 2013 election is to be considered legitimate.
 
Hun Sen, however, has said Sam Rainsy’s case is a matter for the courts, and that there will be no political deal.
 
Sam Rainsy said Monday he felt like there is “still time to wait” over the next seven months.
 
Koul Panha, head of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, said he still is hopeful for a political settlement and Sam Rainsy’s return.
 
“There are ways, from international intervention to dialogue between politicians and ordinary citizens that can push those at political levels to think about the problem,” he said.
 
Sam Rainsy’s status as an indicted criminal makes him ineligible to vote or run for office, and the National Election Committee has removed his name from the national voter registry.
 
Koul Panha said that no matter whether he returns, Sam Rainsy will not have a chance to run as a candidate. “But I think it’s important to keep up the pressure on dictators, and I still hope the internationally community will lead a political settlement,” he said.
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Cambodia Foreign Minister UN Speech Touches More on World Issues, Less on Cambodiai
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29 September 2014
Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong's speech to the UN’s General Assembly on Monday in New York touches more on world issues and less on Cambodia. Before delivering his speech at UNGA, Hor Namhong told VOA Khmer that Cambodia was now enjoying peace and political stability after the two winning political parties in 2013 election had agreed to work together. His speech comes as Cambodia’s profile on the world stage has expanded in recent years. Cambodia has and improved economy and a growing participation in UN missions around the world. But Hor Namhong’s speech also comes amid deep criticism of Cambodia’s human rights record and a controversial agreement with Australia to help it resettle refuges in exchange for aid money. (VOA Khmer's Pin Sisovann, Washington)

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29 September 2014
You can say, "Things are going really well between the two of you - he's happy and you're happy, so why 'rock the boat'?" 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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