News

(31-March-2015 / Phnom Penh Post)

PUNG Chhiv Kek, president of local rights group Licadho, has officially turned down a position as the ninth member of the reformed National Election Committee. In a statement released this morning, Chhiv Kek, who was offered the role in July, says that “although it was a great honor to have been chosen for this very important position, I deeply regret I have to decline the offer”. “I apologize to my fellow compatriots who had faith in me and whom I may have disappointed,” she adds.

(31-March-2015 / Phnom Penh Post)

The trial of a political activist charged with multiple offences for his alleged role in a violent Phnom Penh protest was dramatically adjourned yesterday, as the defendant refused to continue with questioning unless his accusers also came to the court. Ouk Pich Samnang was arrested in late October after driving his tuk-tuk through a security barricade near Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house during a protest with evictees from Preah Vihear province, which saw clashes with the notorious Daun Penh district security guards.

(31-March-2015 / Phnom Penh Post)

Villagers in Ratanakkiri province’s O’Yadav district have filed a complaint with rights group Adhoc against a logging company they say has claimed more than 9,000 hectares of community forest as its own and threatened residents against using the land. According to the complaint, which four community members filed yesterday, Cambodian company Prampimakara Powery entered the area last year and declared ownership of the community forest. The land covers three villages in O’Yadav’s Sesan commune, where more than 300 ethnic Jarai families live, said Sal Hlob, 36, one of the four who filed the complaint.

(31-March-2015 / Phnom Penh Post)

Members of the National Assembly sat down with a representative of the UK Parliament yesterday to discuss political party groups and the legislative system in the UK as part of a two-day consultative meeting that ends today. The event saw senior clerk Gosia McBride deliver four seminars to the 14 Cambodian lawmakers in attendance, covering party structure, parliamentary oversight, the legislative process and support for government and opposition members.

(31-March-2015 / Phnom Penh Post)

After a kickoff ceremony last Wednesday, a five-year development project in 30 villages, funded and supervised by South Korea’s International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) begins work this week. The New Village Movement, which is funded by an $8 million grant from South Korea, is starting as a pilot project in Takeo, Kampong Speu and Tbong Khmum provinces, project director Song Joo Kim said. This week, KOICA staffers will travel to participating villages to survey village needs and to explain to local leaders the types of projects allowed, Joo Kim said.

(31-March-2015 / Phnom Penh Post)

Ethnic minority villagers who live in the planned reservoir zone of the Lower Sesan II hydropower project along the Sesan and Srepok rivers have said they will not move from their homes unless the dam company and authorities pay for the removal of their ancestors’ remains. Many of the affected villagers are ethnic Phnong, Lao and other minorities, and revere the spirits of their forebears through ritual and ceremonial burial.

(31-March-2015 / Phnom Penh Post)

During yesterday’s 18th annual memorial of the 1997 grenade attack on an opposition rally in Phnom Penh, Cambodia National Rescue Party acting president Kem Sokha called for the amendment of three controversial judicial laws passed last year that critics claim have further compromised the independence of the Kingdom’s courts. Sokha’s comments on the judiciary came as he was summonsed to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for questioning on April 8 in connection with an unspecified case, his lawyer confirmed. The summons arrived just weeks after Prime Minister Hun Sen called on the courts to take action against the firebrand deputy CNRP leader for supposedly having admitted that he tried to topple the government following the 2013 election.

(31-March-2015 / The Cambodia Daily)

Cambodia should urgently disclose all information about land ownership and rethink its “wholesale sell-off” of the country’s natural resources, a local rights group said yesterday. The call to release information about Cambodia’s land sector, including a declaration of revenues, came as Licadho released an analysis of concessions showing that three-fifths of all of Cambodia’s arable land is under the control of mostly foreign-owned plantation firms.

(31-March-2015 / The Cambodia Daily)

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday met with a visiting delegation of U.S. Congress members, including House of Representatives minority leader Nancy Pelosi, a government spokesman said. Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said Ms. Pelosi’s delegation met Mr. Hun Sen at his office in Phnom Penh on Monday mornin

(31-March-2015 / The Cambodia Daily)

A judge at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court suspended the trial of an opposition activist Monday after the defendant demanded that his alleged victims face him in court and declared that his trial was a politicized sham.