Columns

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PAKISTAN: Skewed land holding and denial of right to shelter

Imbibed in the colonial policies of British Raj prior the partition of India, 1947, whereby, in response to their support to British to suppress and rule the people; the local landlords, Pirs and Mirs, Chaudharis, Sardars and Maliks, were awarded large chunks of land and their fiefdoms were patronized by the British in today’s Pakistan. […]

INDONESIA: MIFEE: The stealthy face of conflict in West Papua

West Papua, the easternmost island under Indonesia’s control, is a land beset by troubles. Rarely a week goes by without news of some new tragedy in a relentless conflict that has endured and evolved over fifty years. Last June has been a particularly bloody one: troops have gone on the rampage in Wamena, burning houses […]

CAMBODIA: The Emperor wears no clothes

It was not in my schedule to write an article for publication today. But I sensed anticipation by some readers – and perhaps by the Phnom Penh regime itself. To Cambodians cowed by authorities, this article stands to remind that rights and justice are worth fighting for, and dictators must know it is human nature […]

PAKISTAN: Girls with deformity or disability are among the most marginalized group of children

In a horrifying case, which has recently been displayed widely in national and international newspapers and TV channels, a new born girl buried alive by her father in the city of Khanewal in province of Punjab, Pakistan. The local police have arrested the father accused of burying his daughter. It was informed that due to […]

CAMBODIA: People in my village work as unskilled laborers abroad

An article by Ou Ritthy published by the Asian Human Rights Commission Ou Ritthy At first, I could not recognize the group of noisy skinny youths, about 20 in all, with dyed hair, ragged jeans and colorful shirts, drinking beer in this remote village in Pursat where I live. Their clothes and behaviors tell me […]

CAMBODIA: Respect ideals and concepts, not arbitrary leaders

An article by Dr. Gaffar Peang-Meth published by the Asian Human Rights Commission The West and the East historically have differed in their traditional perspectives on how best to order society. The fundamental Western philosophy prioritizes the inviolability of individual freedom and rights; essential Eastern values favor societal stability and security above all. Over time, […]

CAMBODIA: Democrats must become a credible alternative to stop Hun Sen and the CPP

An article by Dr. Gaffar Peang-Meth published by the Asian Human Rights Commission Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party’s victories in local elections were pre-ordained. Hun Sen rode to power under the guns of some 200,000 Vietnamese troops who crossed the border with Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1978, captured Phnom Penh in January […]

CAMBODIA: We should heed Roosevelt’s advice — “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” not later, now!

An article by Dr. Gaffar Peang-Meth published by the Asian Human Rights Commission Driving through America’s southern countryside of green fields and wild flowers, a flurry of thoughts overwhelm me as the words of a song reach my ears: “The banker man grows fatter, the working man grows thin; It’s all happened before and it’ll […]

CAMBODIA: Prime Minister Hun Sen is not blind to what goes on around him

An article by Dr. Gaffar Peang-Meth published by the Asian Human Rights Commission We may never know what really happened when Cambodia’s eminent environmental activist Chut Wutty (46), father of two, head of the Natural Resource Protection Group, a Cambodian non-governmental organization fighting Cambodia’s deforestation, was shot and killed on April 26 at Veal Bei […]

CAMBODIA: Opposition leader Mu Sochua — “It’s morally wrong to stay complicit” with an oppressor

An article by Dr. Gaffar Peang-Meth published by the Asian Human Rights Commission I wrote in my last article in this space of the accumulating circumstances that compel a change in the current leadership of Cambodia. In Cambodia, the rich are getting richer while one-third of the population lives on less than US$0.61 per day. […]

CAMBODIA: Khmer Buddhist New Year 2556 is time for Cambodians to spark effective change

An article by Dr. Gaffar Peang-Meth published by the Asian Human Rights Commission Talking about the need for political change in Cambodia gets “old.” I write aplenty in this space and elsewhere on the topic, yet Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ruling Cambodian People’s Party persists and keeps piling on more reasons why change […]

CAMBODIA: A survival recipe — attitude change, practice Buddha’s teaching, engage in nonviolent action

My article last month in this space brought comforting and kind words in e-mails from some Cambodian and non-Cambodian readers, to whom I am grateful. It’s they who encourage me to have hope in Cambodians’ abilities to find ways to effect change. I continue to receive requests from readers in Cambodia to provide translations from […]

NEPAL: Corruption in Nepal – Curse or Crime?

An article by Om Prakash Sen Thakuri published by the Asian Human Rights Commission “Ghus linya ra dinya dubai deshka thula satruhun” “Both bribe takers and givers are the worst enemies of the nation”. King Prithivi Narayan Shah This stringent attitude towards corruption was expressed by late King Prithivi Narayan Shah, founder of new Nepal […]

PAKISTAN: Power crisis in Karachi — an offshoot of privatization

An article by Lateef Mughal published by the Asian Human Rights Commission It is a fact that uninterrupted supply of electricity is the responsibility of a power utility, mostly owned by the governments across the world, but unfortunately in 2005 the previous government of Pervez Musharraf handed over the management of one of the major […]

CAMBODIA: “O Khmer euy Khmer, chous ach knong srae”

An article by Dr. Gaffar Peang-Meth published by the Asian Human Rights Commission Something is changing within the Khmer nation. Those storied Khmer characteristics – the broad smile; the gentle, peaceful compassionate nature – and the centuries-old traditions of “korup, bamreur, karpier, smoh trang” — “respect, serve, defend, be loyal (to leaders)” — passed down […]

PAKISTAN: Female child–victim of gender based violence and discrimination

On February 17, a Karachi based charity ambulance service informed that the bodies of five newborn female children were discovered on a deserted place in Korangi, a densely populated squatter settlement in Karachi. The discovery of newborn dead bodies has been a common happening in Pakistan and such occurrence never received any specific attention from […]

PAKISTAN: Honour Killings — Reckless Practice of the Culture

Honour killings locally known as karo-kari are completely against the concept of Islam. The root of honour killings is centuries old and it is a practice followed before the Islamic era called Jahiliyah, the time of ignorance before the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Although such kind of practices are strictly forbidden in Islam it has still […]

HONG KONG: Racial discrimination is alive and well and living in Hong Kong

An article by Stewart Sloan published by the Asian Human Rights Commission Racial discrimination is alive and well and living in Hong Kong, thank you very much. Although westerners might find this hard to believe, ask any Filipino, Thai, Indonesian or any other member of a minority group. Any one of these people will tell […]

CAMBODIA: Toppling dictators is not impossible if we think smart and act smart

An article by Dr. Gaffar Peang-Meth published by the Asian Human Rights Commission My grandson, 12, a seventh grader, read “The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror” (2004), a bestseller by a former Soviet prisoner, Natan Sharansky. He passed the book to me, saying I might be interested in […]

PAKISTAN: Urgent need to enact food security law in Pakistan

An article by Muhammad Boota Sarwar published by the Asian Human Rights Commission Food for All is the main theme of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) but the people living below poverty line are increasing day by day due to price hike and rising un-employment and estimated to cross 40% of the population, majority living […]