Opinion


OPINION: Memo to Cambodian English-language Newspapers (Subject: “Rubber Stamping”)

AKP Phnom Penh, March 06, 2017 – I have noticed an increasing tendency for you to use the term “rubber stamp” when referring to actions by Cambodia’s elected parliamentary bodies, especially in headlines: the Senate or National Assembly “rubber stamps” this or that law proposed by the government.

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COMMENTARY: Global Witness’ Flawed Report on Hun Sen’s Family

AKP Phnom Penh, July 19, 2016 – (The comments are solely the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Royal Government of Cambodia.)

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OPINION: How Radio Free Asia Tries to Dupe Cambodians

AKP Phnom Penh, June 05, 2016 — When the commune elections are held next year, and the national elections in 2018, there will be an important participant whose name does not appear on the ballots. In fact, that participant is already hard at work campaigning for the Cambodian National Rescue Party.

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Cambodia and Russia: Six Decades of a Solid and Dynamic Partnership

AKP Phnom Penh, May 12, 2016 – May 13, 2016 is an auspicious date, which marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Russia. Despite the profound and complex changes that have transformed the world over the past six decades, our ties have stood the test of time, ties that [...]

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Letter to the Editor: Distorting Human Rights in Cambodia

AKP Phnom Penh, December 14, 2015 – Dear Editor, Readers of the editorial in Thursday’s Post by Chak Sopheap (Human rights in Cambodia), the executive director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, might have been misled by the name of that organization if they knew nothing of its actual history.

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LETTER TO THE KHMER TIMES EDITOR: Disputed Election?

Dear Sir, Your lead article on Monday, November 23, refers to “the disputed 2013 national election” in which “Mr. Rainsy and other CNRP [Cambodia National Rescue Party] leaders said they were cheated out of a win.”

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COMMENTARY: Rhona Smith, please don’t repeat Subedi’s mistakes

AKP Phnom Penh, September 24, 2015 – Professor Rhona Smith, the new United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia, is on her first visit to Phnom Penh in that capacity (she has been here before as a visiting professor at Pannasastra University).

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OPINION: UN Rights Office Comments Grossly Misplaced

AKP Phnom Penh, July 30, 2015 – Laws and rules are extremely necessary in a society. This is because laws and rules define what is right and what is wrong. These rules and laws protect and also endorse the rights of individuals. Utter chaos would prevail if no rules or laws were enacted.

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OPINION: The Ambassador for Selected War Crimes

AKP Phnom Penh, July 14, 2015 – The official title of Stephen Rapp is US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes. A more accurate title would be US Ambassador for Some Other Countries’ War Crimes. The US government has always been willing to overlook war crimes by its friends, and it certainly doesn’t want anyone [...]

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COMMENTARY: How Cambodia Can Help the USA

AKP Phnom Penh, June 29, 2015 – Dear Mr William Heidt: Congratulations on your nomination to be the new US ambassador to Cambodia. I was interested to read in press accounts of your interview by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that you said your “priority” as ambassador would be to “strengthen Cambodia’s democratic institutions”

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OPINION: Regulating NGOs: how another country does it

AKP Phnom Penh, June 22, 2015 – The discussion about the government’s legislation on non-government organisations naturally raises the question: how do other countries regulate NGOs?

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COMMENTARY: The Rule of Law – But Not for Everyone

AKP Phnom Penh, June 05, 2015 – A persistent theme of many governments and many non-government organisations involved with Cambodia is “strengthening the rule of law”. Since at least the time of the UNTAC-organised election 22 years ago, there has been ongoing pressure on the government to fill the numerous legal gaps left by the [...]

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OPINION: Why Such Virulent Resistance to NGO Law?

AKP Phnom Penh, June 05, 2015 – The draft law on “the governing of the Association and NGOs” has been under attacks from national and foreign NGOs in the country.

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OPINION: “The Culture of Dialogue”: It will be the same success as the Win-Win strategy.

AKP Phnom Penh, May 08, 2015 – The Cambodian people in general benefit from the “culture of dialogue” between Samdech Techo Hun Sen, the leader of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia on one side and on the other side, Mr. Sam Rainsy, the leader of the [...]

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ANALYSIS: NGOs Get It Wrong, Again

AKP Phnom Penh, March 16, 2015 – When the governing and opposition parties agreed on the text of a new election law at the end of February, most Cambodians probably felt relief that the long-running disagreements over electoral procedures appeared to be at an end. But not everyone.

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OPINION: HRW Takes a Hatchet to History

AKP Phnom Penh, January 19, 2015 – Just before the 30th anniversary of Hun Sen’s first becoming prime minister of Cambodia, Human Rights Watch produced a 75-page attack on him. Perhaps the strangest thing about the HRW document was the amount of attention it received in the English-language media.

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OPINION: UN Special Rapporteur Surya P. Subedi, His moment to take final credit on his job, His swan song to Cambodians

AKP Phnom Penh, January 16, 2015 – Unsurprisingly, Prof. Surya Subedi will take credit of “the progress achieved towards making state institutions independent, with particular reference to legal and judicial reform.” He would certainly imply that without his voice, Cambodia would not have moved to reform the legal and judicial system. Will he stop right [...]

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OPINION: The Asia Foundation, Surveys and Media Blindness

AKP Phnom Penh, January 05, 2015 – In early December, the Asia Foundation released the results of a survey of Cambodian public opinion indicating that “Most see Kingdom on wrong path”, as the Phnom Penh Postheadline put it.

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COMMENTARY: Appreciation Reward from ADB to Cambodia

AKP Phnom Penh, December 18, 2014 – Recently, the Asian Development Bank approved $800 million in occasional loan to Cambodia over 5 years under the new Cambodia Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for 2014-2018. This is a positive reflection from the appreciation of the right leadership of the current government.

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COMMENTARY: CNRP’s Hand Visible in ICC Complaints

AKP Phnom Penh, October 27, 2014 – A complaint alleging “crimes against humanity” was filed with the International Criminal Court on Oct. 7 against unnamed persons in Cambodia. My previous article (http://letters2pppapers.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/a-very-strange-complaint-to-the-icc/) examined the content of the complaint, to the limited extent it has been made public. In this article, I will look at where [...]

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