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.
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy on Wednesday told reporters that this week’s National Assembly session, held by the ruling party without the participation of the opposition, was a “constitutional coup” that did not reflect the will of the people. “We will not cooperate in any manner with the present National Assembly and with the present government unless there are guarantees that there will be an investigation committee to investigate the election irregularities and to find justice for the voters, whose wills have been distorted, and provided also that there is a program of reforms that both parties can agree upon,” he said. Sam Rainsy’s remarks come a day after the ruling Cambodian People’s Party voted in a block measure to install its own members into the Cambodian cabinet, despite the absence of the opposition. (Heng Reaksmey, Phnom Penh)
Hundreds of land victims in Phnom Penh returned to retrieve their belongings from authority of Doun Penh district in Phnom Penh after their hunger strike were cracked downed on Sunday night by groups of violent youth believed to have acted on behalf of authorities. Eleven people are injured after Cambodian police disperse opposition party supporters conducting a hunger strike over the disputed July 28 election result. VOA Khmer’s Say Mony reports from Phnom Penh.
The ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Tuesday voted in a package measure to select the ranking members of the National Assembly, while reaffirming Hun Sen as prime minister. The vote, 68 to 0, took place under a National Assembly session that was boycotted by the opposition’s 55 lawmakers elect. Hun Sen told reporters after the session he was considering legal action against the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party for its claims that the Assembly session was an abuse of the law unilaterally undertaken by the CPP without the consent of the opposition. He also said the door remains open for the opposition to join in the parliament. The vote comes following an election in July that the opposition says was tainted by irregularities and fraud. The CPP also appointed eight different ministers, including a replacement for Keat Chhon, the longstanding Minister of Finance, and Cham Prasidh, the former Minister of Commerce. (Heng Reaksmey and Kong Sothanarith, Phnom Penh)
Cambodia’s king and 68 ruling party members went forward with an opening parliamentary session on Monday, but the National Assembly meeting was boycotted by 55 opposition lawmakers elect. The session follows July elections that the opposition says were tainted with irregularities and fraud that should be credibly investigated. Foreign dignitaries also attended the meeting, at the invitation of the king, but US Ambassador William Todd told VOA Khmer this did not mean the US fully endorsed the election. “America still believes that the election results still have errors and irregularities that need to be looked into,” Todd told reporters at the meeting. “We also believe that to have a National Assembly that functions, you need two parties.” (Heng Reaksmey and Say Mony, Phnom Penh)