Opposition commune chief Buth Saruth began a monthlong visit to the US this week, where he will seek more support for the opposition ahead of July's election and look for ways to improve community organizing. Buth Saruth told VOA Khmer via Skype that he plans to meet with Cambodian communities in Washington state and California and will especially be looking for ways to emulate local community activism here. Buth Saruth is one of 18 opposition commune chiefs elected in local polls in 2012. Kem Sokha, vice president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, said opposition supporters are being sent to the US, France and Australia to learn better methods of political organization ahead of the July 28 parliamentary elections. VOA Khmer's Sok Khemara, Washington.
The Cambodia National Rescue Party is looking for ways to improve agricultural economics, as well as increasing pay and benefits for civil servants, as it prepares for the July parliamentary polls. VOA Khmer’s Men Kimseng interviews Mu Sochua, an opposition lawmaker who recently visited Washington.
With economic concessions now widespread in the countryside, international donors must work harder to help Cambodia’s ethnic minorities battle forced evictions and land grabs, a representative for these groups said. Yun Mane, chair of the Cambodia Indigenous Youth Association, is in Washington this week, meeting with international groups to push for more land rights for the indigenous. VOA Khmer's Sok Khemera, Washington.
Housing rights activist Tep Vanny and other international rights advocates were awarded in a gala event at the Kennedy Center in Washington Tuesday night, sharing the stage with former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden. The event was held by Vital Voices, an organization established by Clinton in 1997. Tep Vanny accepted a global leadership award, calling it a sign that the Cambodian struggle for housing and land in the face of forced evictions had earned international recognition. VOA Khmer's Sok Khemera reports from Washington.
Cambodian rights issues are in the spotlight this week, with a delegation of activists arriving for a leadership award’s ceremony. Tep Vanny is in Washington to receive a leadership award this week from Vital Voices, an organization started by Hillary Clinton in 1997. Accompanying her are two other rights activists, Eang Vuthy, director of Equitable Cambodia, and Sia Phirum, secretariat director of the Housing Rights Task Force. In interviews with VOA Khmer, the Cambodian activists said they will meet with prominent international groups and policymakers to explain land grabs, forced evictions and other pressing issues. (Sok Khemara, Washington)
The global leadership award land rights advocate Tep Vanny will receive Tuesday night in Washington DC from Vital Voices empowers Cambodian women and can assist citizens seeking justice, the secretariat director of the Housing Rights Task Force in Cambodia said Monday. Sia Phirum, speaking with VOA Khmer’s Sok Khemara in a Washington TV Studio, said he is in Washington for meetings with U.S. officials and NGOs and to support Tep Vanny. He will attend the gala event at the Kennedy Center. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden are scheduled to attend. “I think that this award can help the [Cambodian] government to reconsider how it handles land issues for the people; otherwise Cambodia’s reputation is in a downward spiral,’’ Sia Phirum said.