Paris Peace Accords 23 Oct. 1991

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

[Vietnamization: Elections] Cambodia Orders Expulsion of Foreign Staff Members With American Nonprofit

Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia during a factory visit in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. Cambodia Orders

Expulsion of Foreign Staff Members With American Nonprofit

New York Times | 23 August 2017

BANGKOK —Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday ordered foreign staff members of an American nonprofit that receives support from the United States government to leave the country within a week, part of an apparent attempt to silence opposition voices in the lead-up to national elections next year.

Cambodia is ruled by one of the world’s longest-serving leaders, Prime Minister Hun Sen, whose Cambodian People’s Party received a strong challenge from the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party in local elections in June.

The American nonprofit, the National Democratic Institute, is loosely affiliated with the United States’ Democratic Party, and has provided training to various Cambodian political parties, including those from the opposition. Local news media organizations with ties to the ruling party have accused the organization of conspiring against Mr. Hun Sen.

On the Cambodia page of its website, the National Democratic Institute includes a critical description of the grip Mr. Hun Sen’s party has on the country.

“The governing Cambodian People’s Party continues to dominate after 30 years under the same leader,” the site says. “Citizens are limited in their engagement of elected officials, and mistrust between civil society and government impedes a fully inclusive and participatory democracy."

In a statement, Cambodia’s Foreign Ministry blamed the nonprofit for operating “with total contempt” while its application to comply with a law requiring registration of such groups was pending. The statement also referred to the nation’s tax code without specifying what the organization may have done to run afoul of tax regulations.

The action against the organization drew a sharp rebuke from critics of the government.

“There have been multilevel efforts by the government and government institutions to restrict and repress the opposition party, civil society and the media,” said Naly Pilorge, deputy director of advocacy at Licadho, a Cambodian human-rights organization.

Voting during local elections in Phnom Penh in June. The ruling Cambodian People’s Party received a strong challenge from the opposition in those elections. CreditSamrang Pring/Reuters

“Whether it’s the courts or the tax department or new legislation, all these mechanisms are being used by the government to crack down on its critics,” she said.

Also facing a tight deadline is The Cambodia Daily, an independent newspaper that has served as a training ground for local reporters and budding foreign correspondents alike.

The newspaper has been issued with a tax bill of more than $6 million, which it contests. On Tuesday, while at an environmental event in the capital, Phnom Penh, Mr. Hun Sen implied that the newspaper, which was founded by an American journalist, was a “thief” and said it needed to “pack up and leave” if it failed to pay back taxes. The deadline to pay is Sept. 4.

The action has alarmed free-speech advocates, who say the paper has aggressively pursued worthwhile topics.

“The Cambodia Daily has tried to apply international standards of news writing in Cambodia, and it has aggressively covered sensitive issues, like corruption, land-grabbing and illegal logging,” said Moeun Chhean Nariddh, director of the Cambodia Institute of Media Studies. “But unfortunately Cambodian democracy is very young. Press freedom is still fragile.”

At least a dozen Cambodian journalists have been murdered since the early 1990s. Human-rights activists have been fatally shot in broad daylight. In recent days, other news media organizations that have aired views critical of the government have been threatened.

The Cambodian Ministry of Economy and Finance has also raised questions about the legal and tax status of Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, which both receive United States government funding. Local radio stations supportive of the opposition have been silenced.

“Every day that we get to put out a newspaper is a good day for us,” said Jodie DeJonge, the editor in chief of The Cambodia Daily, which has clashed for decades with government officials and tycoons over its investigative pieces. “There is still a free press in Cambodia, and we are going to rely on that until they come and put yellow tape around the building.”


  1. Anonymous3:20 AM

    Can the CIA take care of this beast/monster? That would make millions of Cambodians very happy.

    1. Anonymous7:27 AM

      There will never ever be any happiness for the Cambodian people from this point of history forward. And, there will not be necessary for the "Third hand" either. The Chinky and the Vietcong, between themselves, will take care of Hun Sen and his dynasty accordingly. Just watch...

  2. Anonymous8:05 AM

    If Cambodia keeps siding with China, USA will authorize Vietnam to do a "change of regime". All USA has to do is to ask Sam Rainsy, "Do you want to serve as Mr. President?" I am certain Sam Rainsy will say yes and endorses mass bombing against Phnom Penh to pave the way.

    It works before in El Salvador. American banana plantations in that country got into the tax and labor conflict with the local government. They call the American embassy. American ambassador called the American state. They sent in the US marines and found someone on the street, "¿Quieres ser el señor presidente?" All the guy had to do was to reply, "Si, si, si."

    1. Anonymous8:57 AM

      Won't ever work like that again...

  3. Anonymous8:48 PM

    ប្រយ័ត្ន ឆ្លងជំងឺ ច្កែ បែកពពុះ ទឹកមាត់ ។

    1. Anonymous12:18 AM

      Putting it through Google translate, and -

      braytn chhlang chomngu chke bekappouh tukmeat

      Be careful to spread spastic saliva

      So what does it mean?

    2. Anonymous6:25 AM

      Not sure also, of what 8:48 PM meant !
      I guess he warned those women of some strain of infectious viruses they might get from the PM. Rabies Virus perhaps !!!