April 25, 2018

King Norodom Sihamoni welcomes new Senate, urges respect for human rights

King Norodom Sihamoni arrives at the opening session of the newly convened Senate in Phnom Penh on Monday. Heng Chivoan

Ben Sokhean and Erin Handley | The Phnom Penh Post
Publication date 23 April 2018 | 12:00 ICT

King Norodom Sihamoni, in an opening speech on Monday to Cambodia’s newly minted Senate, urged the legislative body to uphold human rights and justice.

King Sihamoni warmly congratulated the 62-member Senate on its new mandate following almost a year of what observers have described as political turmoil and a clampdown on the free press and civil society.

“The Senate of the Kingdom of Cambodia walks on the path of peace and development under the constitutional monarchy regime, and liberal multiparty democracy is going smoothly,” the King said.

“Political parties, media and civil society have more opportunity to express or reflect their opinion openly . . . The Senate must ensure it protects justice and respects human rights in order to create long term harmony in our society.”

Former Senate President Say Chhum was re-elected unopposed as president in a unanimous vote, as were Senate deputy presidents Nai Pena and Tep Ngon. Chhum thanked the new senators for his re-election and said the body would “work hard in strengthening and building our Cambodian rule of law, in an atmosphere of friendship and solidarity”.

King Sihamoni went on to say that the Senate – which has been described by analysts as a “rubber stamp” body to approve problematic legislation – has cooperated with the National Assembly “to build better laws in order to respond only to the requirements of the people and our whole nation”.

Last year, the Senate swiftly passed amendments to the Law on Political Parties that sidelined the opposition and made it possible to dissolve the Cambodia National Rescue Party before the upcoming election in July.

The Kingdom also recently passed contentious lèse majesté laws, making it a criminal offence to insult the King with a penalty of three to five years in prison.

The long-ruling Cambodian People’s Party made a clean sweep of all 58 elected Senate seats in a February election that excluded the former CNRP – which had been the only viable competitor to the CPP. Two royalist Funcinpec members were appointed by the National Assembly, along with two royal picks by the King.

Former CNRP leader Sam Rainsy said the formation of the new Senate was part of the “destruction of democracy in Cambodia, with the country painfully returning to a one-party system”.

Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch said “anyone wanting justice and human rights from this Senate is going to be sorely disappointed”.

“The reality is under PM Hun Sen’s rule, the Senate has become a legislative joke, full of political cronies who can be counted on to vote any way the government wants, and receive an honorific title and nice salary for doing little or no work,” he said in an email.

Despite the King’s call for “unity”, CPP spokesman and new Senator Sok Eysan said on Monday that he would not cooperate with “prisoners” – an apparent reference to the CNRP – and shrugged off criticisms of the Senate.

“It’s like in the Khmer proverb: the dogs are barking, but people keep walking,” he said.


Kim Ea said...

Did it make any sense of humor in this incompetent parrot speech ? He seem to forget that this chamber body consist with stolen chair from CNRP to complete the quorum ?That was a real violation of human right and dignity of this senate chamber.This full corroborated chamber include some of none elected (stealing)or illegitimacy members and flagrantly promoted as members . Did this pinhead did not smell dead rat in this chamber ?

Justic Justice said...

Son of a king Dumb Sihanouk killer should be persecuted for committing treason with communists, like father like son. Left alone allowing him to continue to be King of Cambodia. What a shame! Right now, he is being used by the communists (Chinese and VC Vietnamese) to do as being told to do e.g to sign away Cambodia land sea or to sign this or that, for them to look real, legal or legitimacy etc, but not. Because Cambodia is finished. All are fake! fake government, fake ruler Hun Sen etc. Hun Sen once said no one wants to lose their land and sea but because he is under their controlled and that there are over 100,000 armed forces working inside the system.

Everyone knows this, but no one seems to care. Why? Because no one wants you to grow but to fall apart. Why? Because war means profits e.g. how both Chinese and VC Vietnamese sucked up everything of her since 1979, tones of gold and other mineral like iron oar, timbers, National heritage sites been leased of for 99 years. When those things could enrich itself forever, but not.

What to do?
Only if international community step in, to point fingers are communists to back off and to leave Cambodia alone. Sadly, today communists Russian, Chinese and vc Vietnamese are set to continue to repeat its way of life. To do as much damage to those weaker nations as much as possible. There principles are based on rust kills steal, by consuming everything in their path. Because they can not survive well without doing that bad deeds.

Communists verses Democratic society of the West (Liberalism). Communists are killers verse life saver always. Evil vs God. In the end, all are doomed since nothing last forever, but what you do, good or bad is up to you. One thing people should know that is truth no outsiders but your good intentions of ruling to love her and not to hurt her.

But if your intention is to harm her, then you better do yourself a favour, to kill yourselves to save million others. Doing so you will gain enlightenment in the after life. Look at Jesus, Lord Buddha, Etc. They gave up their wealth and livelihood to do good, to be humble, to love one another and focus on eternal life. Instead of this mortal life, where nothing is permanent, or nothing last forever.

Chun Sokha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chun Sokha said...

To be legit every senate has to be elected by the people but some of those senate CPP stole from CNRP haven't been elected by the people , they have been appointed by Hun Sen and legitimized by the King himself . Where is justice for the voters and the senate who have been elected and have been dissolved by Hun Sen's court ? I am not a high educated person like the King but I think it's not legal to legitimize the senates that have not been elected by the people.

hak um said...

ព្រឹទ្ធសភាចោរ បានមកដោយចោរ កើតឡើងដោយចោរ ក្នុងប្រទេសមួយពោរពេញដោយចោរ គ្រប់គ្រងដោយចោរ...៕