Cambodia’s ruling and opposition parties remain at odds over negotiations for a new government. The opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party wants to negotiate for election reforms, following irregularities opposition leaders say cost them the election in July. But a ruling party lawmaker told VOA Khmer that negotiations should now be centered around positions at the National Assembly, a legislative body the opposition says was illegally formed without their participation. Meanwhile, Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy, who is visiting key donors in Western countries, says the current government should not be recognized internationally. He told a group of Cambodian-Americans outside Washington Tuesday night that the opposition was pushing for “change” that many Cambodians wants, despite a high number unable to vote in July’s election. (Sok Khemara, Washington)
On International Day of the Girl Child, VOA Khmer reporter Say Mony looks at limited access for Cambodian girls whose families live in poor floating villages on the Tonle Sap Lake to education. Girls of Prek Toal primary school in Battambang province said they don't expect to finish high school because they must help their parents to earn a living.
Housing rights activists and eviction victims marked World Habitat Day on Thursday, calling on the government to end forced evictions and address ongoing land disputes. Around 400 people gathered in front of the popular tourist site of Wat Phnom in Phnom Penh, then marched down the street to City Hall, where they submitted a petition to city administrators. Police tried to bar their way, but they pushed through barricades before passing the US Embassy en route to City Hall. (Kong Sothanarith, Phnom Penh)
Venerable Loun Sovath, a winner of 2012 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders and land rights activist Tep Vanny appealed to international community to pay more attention to local people’s fight for rights and freedom. They also urged their countrymen to keep fighting against repressive government. VOA Khmer Men Kimseng interviewed both of them in Washington, DC, where they met with officials at State Department, and human rights watchdogs.
Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun widely seen as innocent in the 2004 killing of a Cambodian labor leader Chea Vichea have been released, following a case that saw them jailed for years. Walking out of prison on Thursday, the two men didn't think about file complaint for their unfair imprisonment but thanked prison officials, other than express their gratitudes to human rights workers. VOA Khmer's Khmer Sok Khemara and Say Mony.
Vital Voice award winner and land activist Tep Vanny is in Washington DC to attend a World Bank meeting. International community, including World Bank, should pressure Cambodia to end widespread land grabbing and human rights abuses, she said. Tep Vanny told VOA Khmer Kimseng Men that her latest peaceful protest on Sunday was violently cracked down by police and government thugs.
Thousands of garment factory workers in Cambodia held demonstrations Friday to demand higher wages. The group of mostly women, marched from their factory to the Prime Minister's house in Phnom Pehn to present him with a petition. The workers want a higher salary- right now, they get the equivalent of about $80 U.S. dollars a month. They want $150 dollars a month. Garment factory workers in Bangladesh are also demanding higher wages. (Reuters)
Two men widely seen as innocent in the 2004 killing of a Cambodian labor leader have been released, following a case that saw them jailed for years. Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun walked out of prison on Thursday, following a Supreme Court order on Wednesday. Both men were serving 20-year prison sentences for the killing of labor leader Chea Vichea, but their conviction was widely criticized for a lack of evidence. Say Mony, Phnom Penh.