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CAMBODIA: Activists need foreign support, but they themselves must end autocratic rule

Contributors: Dr. Gaffar Peang-Meth In my adult life, even as a political scientist conscious of the use petitions as a method of nonviolent action and persuasion, I have signed only three. I signed a first petition a few years ago. The text comprised opposition to land grabbing in Cambodia. In the second and third, I […]

CAMBODIA: The country’s contradictory development policy

In “The Lost Generation,” Columbia University’s Earth Institute Director, Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, economist, posited: “A country’s economic success depends on the education, skills, and health of its population. When its young people are healthy and well educated, they can find gainful employment, achieve dignity, and succeed in adjusting to the fluctuations of the global […]

CAMBODIA: Cambodian activists must believe in individuals’ capacity to accomplish the impossible

Initially, I planned to write about US President Barack Obama’s visit to Cambodia, during which he reportedly spoke forcefully to Cambodian premier Hun Sen regarding the administration’s abysmal record of human rights violations. But e-mails from Cambodians in the country and abroad reoriented my focus, hence, today’s article. Don’t like to read Last week, a […]

CAMBODIA: ‘Aide-Toi, Le Ciel T’Aidera’

An article by Dr. Gaffar Peang-Meth published by the Asian Human Rights Commission It’s useful once in a while to recall that I am not a politician and have no desire to be one. I am not here to tell people what they like to hear nor to disparage. I believe in the principles and […]

CAMBODIA: The country must pick up and go on, without the King Father

November 1, 2012 On October 15, an e-mail from a ranking member of Cambodia’s royal family, a good friend from 1970, landed in my box: “Dear Gaffar, I am very sad to inform you that former King Norodom Sihanouk had just passed away on early Monday morning, 15 October 2012 at 1:30am in Beijing. He […]

INDIA: Bailed by court but detained by police

An article by Mahtab Alam published by the Asian Human Rights Commission The court granted bail to Dayamani Barla, the journalist turned anti-displacement, tribal, woman activist from Jharkhand, on Thursday afternoon. Her friends and colleagues, however, were in for a rude shock when they reached Jail to receive Barla, better known as the Iron lady […]

PAKISTAN: International Rural Women Day-Vulnerability of rural women to environmental issues

October 17, 2012 An article by Tahir Hasnain published by the Asian Human Rights Commission Rural women are affected differently, and often more severely than men, by polluted environment and modern agricultural technologies. Factors that increase the intensity of vulnerability of rural women to environmental issues are gender-based discrimination against women; unequal power relations between […]

CAMBODIA: The Citizens must help themselves

An article by Dr. Gaffar Peang-Meth published by the Asian Human Rights Commission Two days ago, I gave an address to the Cambodian National Conference in Arlington, Virginia, on the topic of Cambodians Must Help Themselves, a topic assigned by the Conference organizers. Today’s article is an adaptation of that speech. I was born to a […]

CAMBODIA: Khmer diplomat dubs Hun Sen a fabricator of Khmer history

Contributors: Dr. Gaffar Peang-Meth An article by Dr. Gaffar Peang-Meth published by the Asian Human Rights Commission A Khmer proverb, Chaul stung tarm bawt, says if you travel a river you must follow its bend. In contemporary Cambodia, the behavior represented in the ancient proverb is cast aside in favor of conduct expressed through a saying, Thveu […]

CAMBODIA: “Failure is not an option” – A story for Cambodian civil rights fighters

Contributors: Dr. Gaffar Peang-Meth Memories, emotions, and inspiration followed my every step as I walked through the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida last month – “a place where dreams do come true,” to quote American Astronaut Robert Crippen. This article is about how Americans have made those dreams come true for their nation. […]

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. […]