It's started

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Duncan
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Re: It's started

Post by Duncan » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:20 am

Abc123 wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:42 am
Good article

EU pulls NEC support, saying elections ‘cannot be seen as legitimate’ after CNRP dissolution.

http://m.phnompenhpost.com/national-pol ... after-cnrp


But HE says Cambodia does not need the money, we have plenty of our own.

If that does not happen then no elections will be blamed on lack of fund from EU who dont want elections to be held ,
Cambodia,,,, Don't fall in love with her.
Like the spoilt child she is, she will not be happy till she destroys herself from within and breaks your heart.
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Re: It's started

Post by Abc123 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:38 am

It seems likely that they withdrew funding as they consider the coming election to be illigitmate. If there is an election, the outcome will supposedly be that the EU and the US will not recognize the winning party. Also that it would lead to not recognising the CPP as legitimate in all cases.
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Duncan
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Re: It's started

Post by Duncan » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:45 am

Abc123 wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:38 am
It seems likely that they withdrew funding as they consider the coming election to be illigitmate. If there is an election, the outcome will supposedly be that the EU and the US will not recognize the winning party. Also that it would lead to not recognising the CPP as legitimate in all cases.



And that could raise problems in doing everything from trade , USA $ money supply and ???
Cambodia,,,, Don't fall in love with her.
Like the spoilt child she is, she will not be happy till she destroys herself from within and breaks your heart.
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Re: It's started

Post by Kentish Man » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:35 pm

Duncan wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:45 am
Abc123 wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:38 am
It seems likely that they withdrew funding as they consider the coming election to be illigitmate. If there is an election, the outcome will supposedly be that the EU and the US will not recognize the winning party. Also that it would lead to not recognising the CPP as legitimate in all cases.



And that could raise problems in doing everything from trade , USA $ money supply and ???

The hypocrisy of the US and the EU amazes me.
'It seems likely that they withdrew funding as they consider the coming election to be illigitmate.'

So, when are the EU and the US going to stop trading with China and Saudi Arabia? After all, there have never been democratic elections in either of those countries but you don't here the US or the EU planning sanctions against either of those two countries or the many other undemocratic countries that they happily trade with because it benefits them.
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Re: It's started

Post by Anchor Moy » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:37 pm

Kentish Man wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:35 pm


So, when are the EU and the US going to stop trading with China and Saudi Arabia? After all, there have never been democratic elections in either of those countries but you don't here the US or the EU planning sanctions against either of those two countries or the many other undemocratic countries that they happily trade with because it benefits them.
The EU will have to start funding elections in China and SA before they can stop funding them.
There was a deal where they would give money to help Cambodia run "free and fair" elections. If they think conditions of the agreement have changed then they have every right not to pay.
This won't change anything anyway.
[Added edit]
Paying for elections to be held doesn't turn a country into a democracy.
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Re: It's started

Post by Abc123 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:36 pm

2018 election result does not need international recognition, says Cambodian PM

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo HE reiterated Wednesday that the 2018 national election result does not need recognition from the international community to be valid.
"Under the Cambodian Constitution, it (the election result) does not require endorsement from presidents of other countries or from the United Nations secretary general to be legitimate," he said in a speech during a get-together with some 15,000 garment factory workers in northern Phnom Penh suburb.
The prime minister said the election result would be legitimate when it is recognized by the National Election Committee, the Constitutional Council and Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni.
HE also reiterated that the national election would be held as scheduled on July 29, 2018.
"Now, people are ready to cast their ballots and the government also has enough budget to support the electoral process," he said.
His remarks came a day after the European Union (EU) announced that it had suspended its assistance to the country's National Election Committee after the Supreme Court dissolved the main opposition party last month. The EU said the upcoming election in which the main opposition party has been arbitrarily excluded cannot be seen as legitimate.

...
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017- ... 823071.htm
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Re: It's started

Post by Abc123 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:44 am

US Lawmakers Call For Sanctions List, Review of Trade With Cambodia Amid Crackdown

http://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodi ... 61354.html

The Committee on Foreign Affairs for the U.S. House of Representatives has called for a list of individuals and businesses in Cambodia who should be subject to sanctions and plans to review trade agreements with the country as part of a bid to pressure its government to reverse restrictions on democracy ahead of a general election next year.

At a subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, lawmakers heard testimony concerning policies to support democracy and human rights in Cambodia from Kem Monovithya, the daughter of the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) chief Kem Sokha, who was arrested in September for allegedly collaborating with the U.S. to overthrow Prime Minister HE’s government.

...

By placing Cambodian officials on the SDN list, the U.S. State Department and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) under the Treasury Department would block their assets and prevent U.S. nationals from doing business with them.

The Magnitsky act, passed by Congress in 2012, was initially intended to punish Russian officials responsible for the death of Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow prison in 2009 by prohibiting their entrance to the U.S. and their use of its banking system, but the scope of the act was expanded in 2016 to allow sanctions for foreign government officials implicated in human rights abuses throughout the globe.
...

“The current oppression, if allowed to continue, will generate political instability as repressed dissent boils over; this will eventually trigger economic instability that will take the country backwards,” Kem Monovithya said.

...

Lawmakers respond

Following Kem Monovithya’s testimony, Subcommittee Chairman Ted Yoho noted that the European Union, the U.S., Canada, and Japan account for more than 70 percent of Cambodia’s exports, and suggested that the countries could work together to pressure HE to end restrictions on democracy.

“We’ll also send the information to the Cambodian government that you either choose to do business with the United States of America following these principles that we’ve all signed on to [as Paris Peace Accord signatories], or you do business with somebody else,” he said.

The Florida congressman noted that HE had recently been courting Chinese aid and investment, which Beijing generally offers without prerequisites, saying “I think it’s time we start playing that hand because we see the hand that China is forcing and it’s not in the favor of democracy.”

After the hearing was adjourned, California Congressman Alan Lowenthal told RFA’s Khmer Service that the recent actions of Cambodia’s government were seen as “very troubling.”

“The situation is deteriorating rapidly and there must be responses now to HE or else democracy will be lost in Cambodia,” he said.

“I think that out of today's hearing we will begin that discussion about what ... kinds of sanctions we can put on Cambodia. We need to talk to our friends in both Europe and also in Asia to see whether we can all work together. It’s not just the United States, but we’ve seen that when sanctions have worked … it was because the world all spoke with one voice.”

...

“We must work with other nations to support the reestablishment of the opposition party, and we must send [election] observers, and we must hold HE’s feet to the fire that he agreed to free and fair elections, and now he doesn’t want to hold [them],” he said.

“What happens in Cambodia must be decided by the Cambodian people and … right now the Cambodian people are being held hostage by the prime minister and the world must speak out.”
....

On Wednesday, Patrick Murphy, deputy assistant secretary of state for Southeast Asia, told reporters in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh that the U.S. is “advising that these steps that have taken place here that have backtracked on democracy could be reversed,” according to a report by Reuters news agency.

The most senior U.S. official to visit since the CNRP was dissolved warned that Cambodia still had time before next year’s election to “conduct an electoral process that is legitimate.”

During his visit, Murphy met senior officials but no government ministers. He also met civil society groups.

Rejecting recognition

Also on Wednesday, HE maintained that he does not need the international community to recognize the results of next year’s election, while delivering a speech to more than 10,000 garment workers in Phnom Penh.

“Whether we have the opposition party or not, the next election will proceed as planned,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said, democracy and the principle of pluralism in Cambodia “must not be held hostage by anyone.”

“Be aware that there is no mention in Cambodian laws, including the Constitution, that election results need to be recognized by any president of any foreign country or the Secretary General of the United Nations,” he said.

“Our election is simply enough and legitimate, as long as Cambodian voters turn out to the polling stations and cast their votes.”

Last week, HE maintained that his country is governed by a multi-party democracy and said elections scheduled for next year would go on as planned, despite the recent dissolution of the only opposition party that posed a serious challenge to his rule.

In addition to HE’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the now-defunct CNRP, around 15 minor political parties are actively registered to participate in the country’s elections, but none have attracted a comparable number of supporters.

...

Responding to HE’s speech on Wednesday, Kan Savang, coordinator of election observers for the Committee on Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (Comfrel), said that while a ballot without the main opposition party can proceed, it will lack legitimacy.

“International sanctions have been mounted not only against the government but also the National Election Committee after the U.S. and EU cut assistance to this electoral body,” he said.

“Japan, which is a key donor, I believe will reconsider its assistance as well. Any election conducted under the current political oppression will not be seen as free and fair, nor legitimate in the eyes of the international community.”

Reported by RFA’s Khmer Service. Translated by Nareth Muong. Written in English by Joshua Lipes
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Re: It's started

Post by Abc123 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:47 pm

Good overview.

https://thinkprogress.org/u-s-cambodia- ... -steps-in/

U.S.-Cambodia relations at their ‘worst point,’ as China steps in to fill the void

"There are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests."

PETER FORD
DEC 14, 2017, 8:00 AM

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Southeast Asia Patrick Murphy, left, and U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia William Heidt, right, at a press conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. (CREDIT: AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
U.S. DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR SOUTHEAST ASIA PATRICK MURPHY, LEFT, AND U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CAMBODIA WILLIAM HEIDT, RIGHT, AT A PRESS CONFERENCE IN PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA, WEDNESDAY, DEC. 13, 2017. (CREDIT: AP PHOTO/HENG SINITH)
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA — The months-long battle of words and actions between the United States and Cambodia has grown significantly worse, as the Southeast Asian country continues its assault on democracy and U.S. influence in the region dwindles.

At a press conference Wednesday, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Patrick Murphy lamented Cambodia’s “backtrack” on democracy and urged the government to return its deteriorating political situation to normal, Reuters reported. Murphy’s comments come on the heels of last week’s announcement by the State Department to impose travel restrictions against Cambodian government officials and their families. The announcement appeared to be a long time coming. The White House ended support for Cambodia’s National Election Committee last month over doubts of the veracity of next year’s planned national elections. The European Union later followed suit.


All the while, the United States appears to be losing its sway in the region. Early this year, as part of his “America First” agenda, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), leaving behind a political vacuum for China to fill. Cambodian Prime Minister HE praised Trump’s decision, telling the World Economic Forum in March that he wants TPP “to die is because it has the potential to break up [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries].”

Trump’s apparent plans to pivot away from the Obama-era focus on Asia as an area of strategic interest has heightened U.S.-Cambodian tensions at a critical time. Cambodia’s months of attacks on democracy have included the government’s removal of the National Democratic Institute; the silencing of Radio Free Asia and Voice of America; attempts to drive the Cambodia Daily newspaper out of business with a punitive $6.3 million tax bill; the imprisonment of opposition party leader Kem Sokha and the dissolving of Sokha’s Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP); and the harassment of journalists, activists, government critics, civil society organisations, and NGOs.

“Certainly [Trump] isn’t helping. He’s made a mess of things such that when Phnom Penh looks for a reason for some cockamamie logic, it need look no further than to quote or cite Trump for why they’re cracking down on the media etc.,” Sophal Ear, associate professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College, told ThinkProgress in an email.

HE has cited Trump when defending anti-democratic actions that have drawn criticism.

Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan, himself a U.S. citizen after living in the country during the 1980s, told Reuters that the U.S. decision to impose visa restrictions over what he called the legal actions taken to close the country’s major opposition party, Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), before elections next year “shows that the United States is destroying democracy.”


“The CNRP are not politicians, they are rebels and terrorists,” he said, repeating government efforts to discredit the legal position of the opposition.

U.S. embassy spokesman David Josar said the names of those affected by the ban were confidential, but stressed that the consular section was processing requests as normal “with the exception of those affected by these new entry restrictions.”

The State Department statement warned of further action “as necessary” before praising the United States’ “close and enduring ties” with the Cambodian government. Throughout the present situation, the U.S. embassy has continued to announce funding for various projects in the country, from supporting the curation of artifacts from Khmer Rouge torture, to $350,000 for the conservation of 10th‐century Phnom Bakheng temple near Angkor Wat.

HE vowed in September to stay in power for 10 more years, extending his reign over the Southeast Asian country to more than 40 years and, since then, he has taken a series of steps to ensure the accuracy of his prediction — at the expense of what stood for Cambodia’s democratic and legal institutions.

These actions were in apparent response to the large election gains in June by the CNRP, which took 43 percent of the votes in local elections and prompted a rattled HE to launch a campaign against the CNRP and institutions seen as supporting or aiding efforts to replace him and the CPP.


Given the public demonstration of falling support for the CPP, HE’s sabre-rattling is to be expected. Over the decades he has been in power, he has built up a system of patronage and support amid the country’s civilian and military elite that has guaranteed fealty, if not loyalty. The country of 15 million people has an estimated 3,000 military generals, a fact rooted in HE’s need to appease, rather than for any military purpose.

Decades of U.S. distrust facilitate Cambodia’s pivot to China
Rising anti-American rhetoric from HE, senior government officials, and government-aligned media has coincided with Cambodia’s continued movement towards China and away from the United States. The State Department action was long-expected, experts say.

Sebastian Strangio, author of HE’s Cambodia, said in an email interview that the increasingly strained relations between the United States and Cambodia was largely the responsibility of the Cambodian government.

“U.S.-Cambodia relations are at their worst point since July 1997, when Washington froze aid to the Cambodian government after HE’s bloody factional coup de force,” Strangio told ThinkProgress.

That coup saw HE oust political rival Prince Ranariddh and his royalist FUNCIPEC party. The party, which won no seats in the recent local elections compared to the CNRP’s 489 seats, has just been handed 41 of their seats in the National Assembly, after swearing fealty to the CPP.


Through HE’s frequent speeches — which now include weekly events at garment factories whose workers are associated with labor unions and the CNRP — and the CPP’s near total control of media channels, a long-active propaganda machine has been able to operate domestically that is virtually unopposed.

CPP-aligned TV channels have daily carried the same government-produced video, purporting to prove the CNRP was a puppet of the U.S government, and linking the CNRP and the United States to political protests in Europe and the Middle East — grouped together as “color revolutions.” Throughout, the video seeks to align Cambodian democracy with far more established examples, and claims tacit U.S. support in undermining such legitimate democracies across the world, including Cambodia’s.

This claim of a U.S. assault on Cambodian democracy is important for the CPP, as allegations that the party rigged the 2013 general election linger in the minds of opposition voters.

t’s important to remember that Cambodian democracy has only ever existed in the most superficial sense; elections have been held, but they have been successfully manipulated by the CPP,” said Strangio.

For former Khmer Rouge soldiers — which include HE and a number of senior government officials — America’s wartime action 40 years ago appears fresh in their minds. Unexploded ordnance from the U.S. bombing of suspected North Vietnamese camps in eastern Cambodia continue to be unearthed, and the issue of unpaid Cambodian debt from the era remains a contentious topic.

The Cambodian government’s actions in recent months have been emboldened by the continued support from China — through direct loans, a flood of foreign direct investment, and public approval of the actions. This has allowed Cambodia to shrug off U.S funding and its linked development goals and human rights requirements without fear of a drop in cash.

“China has played a central role in recent events in Cambodia,” said Strangio. “What China has done is give HE’s government the political and economic cover to cast off the pretense of democracy and rule in a more openly authoritarian way.”

The Chinese support is not new. China offered direct material support to Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge period of 1975 to 1979, building an airport and renovating the railway line, in exchange for material goods such as rice and rubber. Cold-war politics in the 1980s saw China continue support for the Khmer Rouge, alongside the United States and ASEAN countries, against Vietnam-controlled Cambodia.

These days, Chinese altruism comes in exchange for Cambodian support of its claims in the South China Sea, and as an ally of ASEAN countries.

Yet the decision by the State Department, at least, has been met with applause by some. Deputy President of the CNRP Mu Sochua, who fled Cambodia to avoid threats of arrest, told the Phnom Penh Post that the U.S. move was “very significant.”

“The U.S.A. has heard the call from the 3 million voters who voted for positive change. High ranking officials and their family members travel regularly to western countries. They will feel the pressure, in particular those with assets and children going to universities [in] the USA.”

As Cambodia gears up for the July national elections that are almost certain to keep HE in power through a ballot box neither free nor fair, the discord between Cambodia and concerned countries is bound to heat up.

What is uncertain, however, is exactly what role China will play, or how the diplomatic situation will escalate.

Sophal Ear remains philosophical on the topic. “One must remember, there are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests.”
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Re: It's started

Post by Abc123 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:39 am

And for an opposing view.

EU funding for Cambodia’s election betrays democracy
By Ai Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/13 22:43:40

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1080184.shtml

A very weak piece of writing. Maybe those that agree with him on this board can add some weight to the piece.
Days after the dissolution, which was announced on November 16, the situation in Phnom Penh was quite peaceful with no sign of turmoil
.

Yes, that often happens when you threaten to smash people's teeth in, and put them in their coffins. But how long before the youth say enough is enough?
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Re: It's started

Post by Abc123 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:12 pm

EU parliament resolution calls for Cambodia sanctions

16th Dec 2017

Following the ongoing crackdown in Cambodia on the opposition and civil society, the European Union Parliament has passed a resolution calling for imposition of visa restrictions on Cambodian officials and freezing their assets, and reviewing the Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement’s human rights clauses for a potential temporary suspension.

After highlighting their concerns over the prevailing political situation in the country, EU parliamentarians urged the European Commission to review Cambodia’s obligations under conventions in Article 19 of the EBA regulation and withdraw tariff concessions if the country is acting in violation of its obligation, according to Cambodian media reports.

The EBA covers Cambodian garments as well. This is the fifth resolution on Cambodia adopted by the European Parliament in its legislative term since 2014.

European Commission representative Karmenu Vella said the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the commission are monitoring the situation and checking whether conditions were fulfilled for a potential temporary withdrawal.

The United States has already imposed visa restrictions on officials involved in undermining democracy, and both the EU and US have withdrawn funding for the National Election Committee in Cambodia. (DS)

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