Proleung Khmer

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Law of the Jungle

Today is a sad day for democracy in Cambodia.

For personal reasons and pure vendetta against Sam Rainsy, our Strongman with the collision of SKP, has decided to lift parliamentary immunity of 3 SRP MPs: Sam Rainsy, Cheam Channy and Chea Poch. According to SKP, this is only a temporary lift to allow the court to question them. SR and CP face libel suit by SKP for accusing SKP to take bribes to join the GRC last July. Strongman sued SR for accusing the former of plotting to kill other prominent political figures after the assassination of Union leader Chea Vichea in January 2004. CC was accused to form an armed force to topple the GRC. CC was in charge of monitoring the activities of the military in an opposition shadow cabinet.

Today without his immunity being lifted yet, CC was illegally arrested by military police. CC is civilian. This is a flagrant violation of the law.

Lifting immunity is a way for the Strongman and SKP to intimidate the opposition and send the three MPs to jail like the Strongman did with Prince Sirivudh in November 1995 with the consent of SKP. So we know what's going to happen.


This is the law of the jungle.

Who is in power can do anything without being prosecuted.


When the Strongman ordered the grenade attack on SR and his supporters on March 30, 1997, the court dismissed SR's suit.

Who's taking bribe for the building of the new $27 million National Assembly whereas it could be built for only $13 million?

The court rejected SR's suit demanding the clarification on the statement made by SKP regarding the beheading of him and SR if there was no agreement to allow the simultaneous vote of PM and NA President.

Instead of tending to the affairs of the State, the ruling parties continue to harrass the opposition and jail whoever is for the rule of law.

Wake up Khmer people!


6 Comments:

  • By Kate Woodsome
    Phnom Penh
    03 February 2005

    Cambodia's legislature has stripped opposition leader
    Sam Rainsy of his parliamentary immunity on Thursday,
    leaving him vulnerable to prosecution for defaming
    Prime Minister Hun Sen. Mr. Rainsy has left the
    country fearing arrest.

    Dozens of armed forces surrounded the National
    Assembly building in Phnom Penh on Thursday, as
    lawmakers inside voted to remove the immunity of Sam
    Rainsy and two other opposition politicians.

    Assembly members are normally exempt from legal
    prosecution or arrest for opinions expressed while
    fulfilling their duties. But a two-thirds legislative
    vote can revoke the safeguard.

    The move Thursday now leaves the opposition leader
    open to prosecution.

    Sam Rainsy faces a defamation suit by Prime Minister
    Hun Sen after Mr. Rainsy accused the government of
    planning to kill political opponents. The governing
    coalition partner and head of the National Assembly,
    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, is also suing Sam Rainsy for
    libel for alleging he accepted bribes to join the
    coalition last July.

    Mr. Rainsy, who said he had feared arrest, left
    Cambodia Thursday and is now staying outside Bangkok,
    Thailand.

    His party's spokesman, Ung Bun Ang, says Mr. Rainsy
    wants to draw international attention to the
    situation.

    "It seems to me that this is really a sad day for
    democracy in Cambodia as the ruling party is prepared
    to do anything to shut down the opposition in
    Cambodia. So that means that our suffering will
    continue and we need to be stronger and stronger to
    handle, to manage the situation," he said.

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh immediately
    condemned Cambodia's legislature, calling its action a
    major setback for democracy. In a written statement
    the embassy, says stripping Mr. Rainsy's immunity
    appears to be aimed at silencing dissent.

    War-torn Cambodia has maintained relative stability
    since 1997, when Hun Sen seized power from his then
    co-prime minister, Prince Norodom Ranariddh. Political
    deadlock gripped Cambodia after the last elections
    failed to produce a majority government. It took 11
    months for Prime Minister Hun Sen to get a coalition
    agreement with the prince's party, leaving the Sam
    Rainsy party the only effective opposition.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:25 AM  

  • Cambodia opposition leader flees
    Cambodia's opposition leader Sam Rainsy has reportedly
    left the country, hours after being stripped of his
    parliamentary immunity.

    Two other members of Sam Rainsy's party also lost
    their immunity, and are currently said to be in
    hiding.

    All three now face possible defamation claims brought
    by the leaders of the ruling coalition.

    The US embassy in Phnom Penh condemned the
    parliament's decision as a "major setback for
    democracy in Cambodia".

    A spokesman for Sam Rainsy said he had left the
    country to draw foreign attention to his case.

    He is believed to be in Bangkok, and no date has been
    set for his return.

    "He will gather international support because
    Cambodia's courts are not independent," said spokesman
    Ung Bun Ang.

    'Sad day for democracy'

    Earlier on Thursday Cambodia's National Assembly
    achieved the two-thirds majority it needed to overturn
    rules protecting Sam Rainsy and his colleagues from
    prosecution.

    As a result of the decision, the three men could face
    a series of defamation charges.


    SAM RAINSY
    1949: Born in Phnom Penh
    1965: Leaves Cambodia for France
    1989: Becomes Funcinpec's European representative
    1993: Back in Cambodia, becomes finance minister
    1994: Expelled from Funcinpec
    1995: Founds the Khmer Nation Party, later renamed the
    Sam Rainsy Party
    2003: Party polls 22% in general election
    2005: Leaves the country after losing parliamentary
    immunity

    Last July, Sam Rainsy alleged that the president of
    the National Assembly, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, took
    bribes to join forces with the Cambodian People's
    Party and form a government.

    Prince Ranariddh's Funcinpec Party began a defamation
    action in response.

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ruling Cambodian
    People's Party (CPP) also filed a suit against Sam
    Rainsy last year, for accusing the government of
    plotting to kill its political rivals.

    But because of the guarantee of immunity for
    politicians, none of these cases have been able to
    proceed - until now.

    The Sam Rainsy Party said Thursday's parliamentary
    vote was "a sad day for democracy in Cambodia".

    It said it feared for its leader and the two other MPs
    affected by Thursday's ruling, Cheam Channy and Chea
    Poch, who could face hefty fines or even jail terms if
    found guilty of the charges levelled against them.

    Sam Rainsy's spokesman Ung Bun Ang said Hun Sen's
    coalition government was trying to "shut down the
    opposition".

    "The only opposition party in Cambodia... have been
    taken out of all the National Assembly committees. And
    now they have removed the immunity of the leader.

    "So what else can you say about democracy in Cambodia
    except that we are now doing a U-turn to a
    dictatorship," he said.

    The US embassy in Phnom Penh also condemned the
    parliament's decision.

    "We are deeply concerned that the National Assembly
    has chosen to occupy itself with political activity
    that appears to be designed to silence the
    opposition," it said in a statement.

    But Hun Sen was unapologetic. "Parliament withdrew
    their immunity because they have violated the rights
    of others," he was quoted as saying by the French news
    agency AFP.

    "Withdrawing their immunity does not mean they will be
    convicted, but it opens the way for the courts to
    proceed with the case, following legal procedures," he
    said.

    Story from BBC NEWS:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/4231771.stm

    Published: 2005/02/03 12:07:56 GMT

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:25 AM  

  • THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA


    PUBLIC ADVISORY
    3 February 2005



    ILLEGAL ARREST OF OPPOSITION MP


    The SRP Parliamentarians deplore the manner in which MP Cheam Channy was
    arrested, and demand he be released immediately.

    MP Chheam Channy was arrested this evening at about 7 pm after being summarily
    served an arrest warrant issued by the Office of the Military Prosecutor.

    The authority has severely violated the law and legal procedures. The Military
    Court is supposed to deal only with offences committed by military personnel.
    MP Cheam Channy is a civilian. The arrest warrant was illegally issued by the
    Prosecutor Office, instead of the authorised Investigating Judge Office. It was
    furthermore summarily issued without the usual procedure that first requires a
    request for defendant to appear at the Prosecutor Office for questioning.

    The SRP Parliamentarians demand that the authority fully comply with the law,
    and release MP Cheam Channy without any condition.


    SRP Parliamentarians



    For further details, contact SRP Press Office
    Ung Bun-Ang, 012 605 999

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:33 AM  

  • Dear Colleagues and Friends,

    In addition to the phone call you make to your Congressmen and Senators, you can also send an email to all Senators with available email address.


    Name
    State
    Phone #
    Email

    Sen. Joe Biden
    DE
    202-224-5042
    senator@biden.senate.gov

    Sen. Barbara Boxer
    CA
    202-224-3553
    senator@boxer.senate.gov

    Sen. Robert Byrd
    WV
    202-224-3954
    senator@byrd.senate.gov

    Sen. Lincoln Chafee
    RI
    202-224-2921
    senator@chafee.senate.gov

    Sen. Hilary Clinton
    NY
    202-224-4451
    senator@clinton.senate.gov

    Sen. Diane Feinstein
    CA
    202-224-3841
    senator@feinstein.senate.gov

    Sen. Bill Frist
    TN
    202-224-3344
    senator@frist.senate.gov

    Sen. Chuck Hagel
    NE
    202-224-4224
    senator@hagel.senate.gov

    Sen. Orrin Hatch
    UT
    202-224-5251
    senator@hatch.senate.gov

    Sen. Edward Kennedy
    MA
    202-224-4543
    senator@kennedy.senate.gov

    Sen. John Kerry
    MA
    202-224-5653
    senator@kerry.senate.gov

    Sen. John McCain
    AZ
    202-224-2235
    senator@mccain.senate.gov

    Sen. Mitch McConnell
    KY
    202-224-2541
    senator@mccoonnell.senate.gov

    Following is a sample email text draft for you to use. Please read carefully and fill in your name, address and email address where applicable. Do not send as is.


    Thank you,

    ______________________



    Dear Senator (Name of Senator),



    My name is (your name), a resident of (your town and state). As a Cambodian American, I am deeply disturbed by the recent political development in Cambodia. Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly President Norodom Ranariddh are conspiring to remove parliamentary immunity from three (3) Members of Parliament (MPs) because these MPs speak up against corruption and impunity. These MPs are Sam Rainsy, Chea Poch, and Cheam Channy; they are leaders of the Sam Rainsy Party. I am concerned for their safety because I believe that these MPs will be arrested on trumped up charges once their parliamentary immunity has been removed.

    The United States Government, as the champion of freedom and promoter of democracy, has a moral obligation to use its diplomatic means to intervene and to put an end to this illegal and unconstitutional proceeding before the parliamentary immunity has been removed. If the U.S waits until after the removal of immunity to issue a statement condemning the proceeding, these MPs would have been arrested and imprisoned by the Cambodian Strongman Hun Sen. This would be a major set back for democracy in Cambodia.

    To help Cambodia back on the long and treacherous road to democracy, please contact the following individuals and ask them to use all diplomatic means to prevent the removal of parliamentary immunity :



    a. US Ambassador Charles A. Ray at RayCA@state.gov

    b. Mr. Mark C. Storella, Deputy Chief of Mission StorellaMC@state.gov

    c. Mr. Kevin Olbrysh, Cambodia Desk at the US State Department, (202) 647-3095 OlbryshKL@state.gov



    Thanks for supporting democracy in Cambodia. If you have any questions, I can be contacted at (Your Email Address)



    For background information on this political development, please see the Press Release below or go to www.samrainsyparty.org and www.khmerintelligence.org.





    THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA



    PUBLIC STATEMENT

    31 January 2005



    UNDERHAND SCHEME TO REMOVE MP IMMUNITY



    The SRP Parliamentarians deplore the NA Permanent Committee for their ploy to remove immunity of Opposition MPs in the upcoming NA plenary session on 3 February 2005.



    While the Permanent Committee chose not to disclose to the public its ill intention towards the Opposition after their meeting this morning, our most reliable sources indicate that the Permanent Committee did agree to include in the agenda for NA plenary session the removal of immunity from three Opposition MPs. There is no reason to be so secretive.



    MP Sam Rainsy and MP Chea Poch would stand trial for defamation case brought by NA president Prince Norodom Ranariddh; MP Cheam Channy would answer for an alleged establishment of a “shadow” Ministry of Defense to topple the Royal Government or/and for a worn-out charge of interfering into judicial procedures.



    The SRP Parliamentarians believe were it not for political expediency, the NA president and the prime minister would stand trial for criminal charges. The former failed to disclose details of a scheme to physically eliminate him and the Opposition before the Constitution was forcefully amended last June. The latter has yet to clear himself of an alleged involvement in the March 1997 grenade attack that killed up to twenty demonstrators and injured over one hundred. Both cases had severe implications for national security.



    SRP Parliamentarians



    For further details, contact SRP Press Office Ung Bun-Ang, 012 605 999

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:39 AM  

  • After the 9/11, one of the US efforts to fight terrorism was to follow the trail of money in the banks throughout the world. About a year ago it was reported that the US discovered a total sum of more than $800 million in Singapore banks belonging to high Cambodian officials.

    The US government knows the names of those high officials but she does not want to reveal it. Because of the corruption lawsuits file by Hun Sen and Norodom Ranariddh against Sam Rainsy, it is now a good opportunity for the US government to release the names of those Cambodian high officials.

    Under personal vendetta, Hun Sen in collusion with Norodom Ranariddh are abusing their power to punish Sam Rainsy and the other 3 SRP MPs as a way to silence the voices of the opposition party.

    Hun Sen and Norodom Ranariddh are cowards. I am also very disappointed with all the Funcinpec MPs who did not speak up against the egomaniac Norodom Ranariddh.

    Cambodia is moving backward from democracy. The United Nation must speak up against Hun Sen and Norodom Ranariddh. The United Nations have a vested interested in seeing Cambodia becoming more democratic. They sent UNTAC and spent billion of dollars supervising the 1993 election. However, after the departure of UNTAC Cambodia is becoming more dictatorial and less democratic. It is now time for The UN and the free world to denounce Hun Sen and Norodom Ranariddh’s flagrant violation of the law.

    Rethy Sen
    2/3/04

    By Blogger Rethy Sen, at 4:06 PM  

  • STATEMENT OF SENATOR MITCH McCONNELL ON CAMBODIA
    WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell inserted the following
    statement into the Congressional Record today on Cambodia:
    "Today was yet another black day in Cambodia's history and for freedom.
    However, given the nature of the current regime nobody should be
    surprised by this latest assault on liberty.
    "Behind closed doors, the country's rubber-stamp National Assembly
    executed the devious plan of FUNCINPEC Party head Norodom Ranariddh and
    CPP hardline Prime Minster Hun Sen to undermine the democratic
    opposition led by Sam Rainsy.
    "In a series of secret votes, Rainsy and SRP parliamentarians Chea Poch
    and Cheam Channy were stripped of their parliamentary immunity. The
    three now face trumped up charges that place their fates in the hands of
    a corrupt government that is infamous for its human rights abuses and
    injustices against the Cambodian people.
    "This is outrageous and unacceptable.
    "It should now be clear to everyone that Norodom Ranariddh has cast his
    lot with CPP hardliners. This is a slight against all FUNCINPEC members
    who continue to support democracy and justice in Cambodia, and a grave
    dishonor to those who have given their lives in the struggle for
    freedom.
    "The State Department has been following the situation closely, and I
    commend the efforts of Ambassador Charles Ray and his staff for
    promoting reason and the rule of law during this latest charade. I
    encourage the State Department to respond in a forceful and appropriate
    manner, including compiling a list of those individuals who voted to
    strip the immunity of SRP members. They and their family members should
    be prohibited from entering the United States. Such action is
    consistent with the President's Proclamation of January 12, 2004.
    "I encourage other donors to publicly condemn the actions of the
    National Assembly, and to consider sanctions against the Cambodian
    government. Any activities with the National Assembly should be
    immediately and indefinitely suspended.
    "Donors should know by now that there is no progress or development in
    Cambodia without democracy - and what little democracy existed prior to
    the votes has been stripped away. An opportunity exists for the tough
    talk of donors during the last consultative group meeting to be followed
    by concrete actions. They must not miss it.
    "I strongly advise all international financial institutions -
    particularly the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank - to add
    their voice to their chorus of concern and to consider a suspension of
    operations in Cambodia until the corrupt leaders get the message that
    tyranny will not be tolerated.
    "Those who have pledged resources for the Khmer Rouge tribunal may now
    want to reconsider - the actions of the National Assembly underscore
    that there is no justice in Cambodia today. It is ludicrous to believe
    that the country's legal system, even with outside participation, will
    function in a professional and independent manner.
    "Let me be clear that justice is unquestionably needed for the millions
    of victims of the Khmer Rouge genocide in the 1970s, but justice is also
    needed for more recent crimes in Cambodia, including the 1997 grenade
    attack against Sam Rainsy and his supporters and the murders of Om
    Radsady and Chea Vichea.
    "Finally, I encourage King Norodom Sihamoni to find his voice during
    this political crisis. The world awaits an indication of the character
    and priorities of the new monarch.
    "Hun Sen and Ranariddh underestimate the resolve of the United States,
    as articulated by President Bush in his Inaugural Address and again last
    night, to stand by those championing freedom and liberty. Today, we
    stand with Sam Rainsy, Chea Poch and Cheam Channy and add our voices to
    their demands for democracy and justice. I hold Hun Sen and Ranariddh
    responsible for the security and the safety of these individuals - now
    and in the future.
    "As Chairman of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee, I would remind
    Cambodian officials that my staff and I will be putting together the
    fiscal year 2006 foreign aid bill over the coming weeks and months. Hun
    Sen and Ranariddh should know that Washington - and the world - are
    watching."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:45 PM  

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