Cambodia Files Lawsuit Against Opposition

Cambodia’s government is moving to dissolve the main opposition party.

An interior ministry spokesman says the ruling Cambodian People’s Party has filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court with the goal of dissolving the Cambodia National Rescue Party. The ruling party claims CNRP has been involved in a plot to topple the government.

Half of the opposition lawmakers have already fled the country after their leader Kem Sokha was arrested last month and charged with treason. Sokha’s arrest was carried out amid a massive government crackdown against independent news outlets and human rights groups.

Cambodia Rebukes U.N. In Geneva Over Crackdown Criticism

Cambodia’s mission to the United Nations has rejected criticism by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) of Phnom Penh’s moves against media outlets and the closure of a U.S.-funded democracy promotion outfit.

In a statement on Monday, it said the comments from OHCHR were politically motivated and defended Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government.

“When law and regulations are violated, actions taken by the authorities to prevent the violations should not be explained as a threat or associated with the upcoming national election,” it reads.

Cambodian Media Crackdown Seen as Key Step by Government Ahead of 2018 Elections

Recent moves by the Cambodian government to crackdown on independent media – including broadcasters and newspapers – is seen by analysts and activists as a key step by the government to consolidate control ahead of national elections in 2018.

The tougher approach by the Cambodian government led by Prime Minister Hun Sen – in power for over three decades – comes against a backdrop of growing opposition support, especially among younger voters.

Allegations of a government campaign against human rights

Rights activists also point to a broad strategy by the government against both the media and rights activists.

Cambodian-Americans Say Election Results a ‘Positive Sign for Democracy’

Cambodian-American community activists and analysts have said that the recent local elections that saw the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party win a large share of the vote was a positive development for Cambodian democracy.

The commune elections on June 4 saw an estimated 90 percent of the electorate cast a ballot, with the CNRP increasing the number of commune councils under their control from 40 to more than 400.

Official results of the election will be announced by the National Election Committee towards the end of the month.

U.S. Must Actively Engage with Cambodia to Influence Future Path: Ambassador

The U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia has told a gathering of Cambodian-Americans that the United States should become more active in engaging with Phnom Penh as the country is undergoing a period of rapid change.

Speaking at the meeting in Maryland on Sunday, Ambassador William A. Heidt said the U.S. should not “sit on the sidelines” as developments in Cambodia brought change.

“My message to [Cambodian-Americans] is that Cambodia is changing. It is time for the United States to lean forward and to engage. This is not the time to stand on the sidelines,” he said.

Breast Milk Substitutes Under the Spotlight

The illegal promotion of breast milk substitutes in Phnom Penh is leading to negative health effects, according to a report by Hellen Keller International.

Labeling and point-of-sale restrictions are being ignored, the group said in its report Maternal and Child Nutrition.

It goes on to say that companies are in breach of Sub-Decree 133, which regulates the marketing of the products and requires Ministry of Health permission to promote the products at point-of-sale.

At Screening of ‘Angkor Awakens’, Hopes for Reflection and Progress

By Nem Sopheakpanha

As a Holocaust survivor with a deep interest in Southeast Asia, Robert H. Lieberman has striven to bring the tragedy of Cambodia’s past to the next generation.

The physicist with a passion for the arts has recently released a new documentary, “Angkor Awakens: A Portrait of Cambodia”, which premiered in Washington, D.C., on May 7.

The packed screening received a positive reception and Lieberman hopes it will spur further discussion of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.

Joint Effort in Rescuing Elephants Trapped in Mud Hole in Cambodia

11 Elephants are stuck in a mud hole at the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, Mondulkiri province, Cambodia, March 24th, 2017 before being rescued. (Photo from Wildlife Conservation Society)

Hey, guys. My apology that this story is a bit outdated. I wrote this report on the rescue of a group of elephants trapped in a giant mud hole in Cambodia. What I want to stress here is the joint effort among NGO, government and local community without which it would be hard or impossible to bring about a successful rescue. Here is my report on the elephant rescue: