Where I go for AGGREGATED news on Cambodia, plus...   . . .           On Dec 26-29, 1979 [by now, Cambodia under one full year of Vietnamese occupation], the musician Paul McCartney and Kurt Waldheim, the Secre [ ... ]


Has Science Discovered God?     Click to watch this FASCINATING, MIND-BLOGGING video with breathtaking images and you learn science in the process!   Read transcript             God in the Cosmos
Veritas Forum at Yale University  [ ... ]

Cambodia, in the mind of almost all foreigners, exists or suffers only starting on the morning of 17 April 1975 and ending on 7 Jan. 1979 -- the eras before and the 1980s prior to UNTAC do not exist or exist only as an inconsequential blur.  To foreigners, Cambodian life only exists again only after UNTAC, the existence contingent on their direct, personal memory.  Thus, it is rare, courageous and honorable that defense lawyer Michiel Pestman highlights the suffering and mass crimes (of a lesser scope, but only in terms of figures and not suffering) of the 1980s under occupation. 

Thank you, Michiel and Andy, for not forgetting the victims of other mass crimes against humanity, in particular against voiceless Cambodians!



The Bamboo Wall or the K5 Plan


From 1984 to 1988 the pro-Vietnamese authorities implemented a deadly plan called "K5". This more recent bloody chapter of the history of Cambodia is opened in doctor Esmeralda Luciolli's book "Le Mur de Bambou - Le Cambodge après Pol Pot" (The Bamboo Wall: Cambodia after Pol Pot) published in 1988 by Regine Deforges Edition - Medecins sans Frontières (Distributed by Albin Michel).


The K5 plan killed tens or hundreds of thousands of victims. Cambodians sent into forced labor died of starvation, exhaustion, disease (particularly malaria) and lost their limbs and lives to the antipersonnel mines scattered on the sites where they were sent. Many of these laborers were executed for trying to escape.


. . .


Image of Theary C. Seng by Chantha Kong and Tim Robertson

FILLING THE NEGATIVE SPACE Mixed Media Reflections on heroism By Chantha Kong and Tim Robertson. We are interested in Heroism – both the public perception and the less tangible impact on broader society – to explore this we chose to portray eleven well-known Cambodians who inspire us. We portrayed them in the empty spaces of everyday scenes – outside their specific field of work and influence because we believe that through their words, actions, lives, these people have not only contributed and inspired within those spheres but have changed the fabric of society and the historical atmosphere in the which we live, while paying homage to them. We also hope to move the viewer toward considering the questions. What lasting reverberations can an individual’s passions can have. What voids or negative spaces do heroes fill in the context of contemporary life. How does this alter the landscape the next generation will inhabit. Materials – photography, laser jet prints, acrylic color and Charcoal.

Photo Exhibition at EQUINOX, Sunday, 22 July 2012.


Coverage in:

Radio France Internationale

Le Petit Journal

. . .



Executive Summary


We interviewed 133 Cambodian men who had bought sex from adult women in prostitution, with 37% also acknowledging having bought sex from minor girls. Almost all (95%) of the men interviewed for this study stated that children were available for paid sexual abuse in brothels, bars, and massage parlors in Phnom Penh. In order to measure the men's attitudes and behavior, we used previously validated and standardized questionnaires, and a structured interview, yielding both quantitative and qualitative data. Conducted by a specially trained team of 8 interviewers, the interviews each lasted about 2-3 hours. Most of the men said that they had a wife or girlfriend when they used a woman in prostitution. They reported having many sex partners throughout their lifetime (21% had 21-50 sex partners and 35% had 50 or more sex partners). Prostitution was the first sexual experience of most interviewees, many of them having responded to peer pressure and the need to prove their manhood by using a woman in prostitution. Almost all of the men bought sex once a month or more often. Like men in other countries, they bought sex both indoors and on the street. Almost all the men bought women in brothels where they reported observing extreme violence, coercion and threats - evidence that may indicate sex trafficking. Thirty-nine percent of the interviewees described having seen trafficking of women and children. Almost all had bought sex from a woman who was controlled by a pimp. Most frequently the pimps were women but sometimes they were men.


In these interviews, the men dehumanized women in prostitution, seeing them as inferior to other women. They tended to blame prostituted women for the spread of HIV. The sex buyers believe that prostitution prevents rape, although there is no empirical evidence for that. In fact the opposite is more likely to be true: men's prostitution activity is associated with an increased incidence of rape. The men who most strongly supported the institution of prostitution were also those men who had a hostile masculine self-identity. Such men think that dominance is important in love relationships and see relationships with women in adversarial terms. Those men with hostile masculine identities also tended to believe rape myths (for example they believed that women say no to sex when they mean yes, and women who dress provocatively are seeking to be raped).


The study found that men who bought women for sex generally lacked empathy for the women, failing to grasp the extremely negative feelings that the women say that they feel during prostitution. Most of the men in the study told us that in addition to acts of violence against the women they bought for use in prostitution, they had also committed sexually aggressive acts against their non-prostituted partners.


Pornography was used by almost all sex buyers. The men who watched the most pornography bought sex most often. The men who watched more violent pornography reported more frequent incidences of sexually coercive behaviors against both prostituted women and non-prostituted women. Most of the men explained that they copied what they saw in pornography with the prostituted women they bought.


An important component of this research study was the development of a greater understanding of gang rape/bauk prostitution, assumed by some to be a uniquely Cambodian form of gender based violence. From the men's narrative responses to the structured interview and also from statistical analyses, it is clear that viewing gang rape pornography from other cultures (especially western/Caucasian, Japanese, Chinese, and Thai) has a strong effect on some men's decision to perpetrate gang rape against women in prostitution. Many Khmer men reported that they watched gang rape pornography from other cultures and imitated what they saw when they perpetrated bauk against prostituted and non-prostituted women.


The sex buyers indicated that effective deterrents to prostitution would include greater criminal penalty and public exposure. Recommendations based on this research include enforcement of existing laws on prostitution and trafficking against buyers while at the same time decriminalizing women in prostitution, educational programs about the toxic influence of pornography in Khmer culture, and education and prevention programs for youth that challenge the notion that buying sex enhances masculinity.

See full report.

In KI-Media.

See LOVE FOR SALE, my column in The Phnom Penh Post



I Corinthians 13



My godparents Marge and Wally Boelkins


A beautiful love poetry - Song of Songs



. . .

Cambodia: After US, ASEAN Leave, Media Critic Jailed

Rights Issues Neglected at Regional Summit


In KI-Media

(New York) – The Cambodian government should release and drop all charges against Mam Sonando, the owner of Cambodia’s main politically independent radio station and prominent critic of Prime Minister Hun Sen. The authorities arrested Mom Sanando at his home on the morning of July 15, 2012, and charged him under six sections of the penal code, which could result in a prison sentence of up to 30 years.


Hun Sen publicly called for Sonando’s arrest on June 26, when Sonando was out of the country and the Cambodian government was preparing to host the Regional Forum of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which was held last week in Phnom Penh and included the participation of non-ASEAN members – the United States, Japan, Australia, and China. The forum also serves as a precursor for the larger East Asia Summit, which takes place in November. Sonando returned to Cambodia during the ASEAN meeting, but the authorities did not arrest him until the ASEAN meeting was finished and most international media had departed. Sonando’s arrest came two days after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s departure from the country.


“Sonando’s arrest on the heels of Clinton’s visit is a brazen signal that Hun Sen thinks that the US wants his cooperation on other matters so much that he isn’t afraid to lower the boom on his critics,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “He may have gotten that impression after the US and other delegations neglected to publicly comment on the country’s rapidly deteriorating human rights situation. The US now needs to take strong and public steps to pick up the pieces.”


During Clinton’s visit, the US and other ASEAN nations focused on regional security and economic issues, largely ignoring rights issues. Sonando’s arrest suggests that Hun Sen concluded that increasing international engagement with Cambodia and its accelerating integration into the regional and world economies means that human rights issues will continue to be relegated to a minor place in the context of Cambodia’s international relations.


Sonando is a veteran critic of Hun Sen and his rule who has been arrested twice before for non-violent political activities. He owns Beehive Radio, the most outspoken and politically independent radio station in Cambodia. Electronic media in Cambodia are almost entirely controlled by the government, such as Apsara TV and Bayon TV, the latter being under the control of Hun Sen’s daughter. Sonando is also the president of the Association of Democrats, a small nongovernmental organization that promotes human rights and democracy education.


Hun Sen’s original public statement alleged that as president of the Association of Democrats, Sonando was linked to a supposed secessionist movement based in Prama village in Kratie province, where people have protested against what they allege is land-grabbing by a rubber company. From May 15 to May 17, Prama village was the target of a military-style siege and attack, during which a 14-year-old girl, Heng Chantha, was shot to death by security forces. No one has been arrested for the girl’s killing, and it appears that no investigation is taking place. However, Hun Sen has directly involved himself in legal proceedings against five villagers accused of being the local leaders of the movement to create a state-within-a-state, said by Hun Sen to be backed by Sonando. The Association of Democrats and the five accused deny involvement in any plot to conduct an uprising to establish a miniscule “autonomous zone” in Kratie.


“Instead of holding the soldier and his superiors responsible for killing a 14-year-old girl, Hun Sen has instead come up with a bizarre claim that a poor, rural village was attempting to secede from Cambodia and the country’s most important media critic was somehow part of this conspiracy,” Adams said. “The narrative would be laughable if the consequences weren’t so tragic.”


Wild assertions against critics have been the stock-in-trade of Hun Sen’s intelligence and propaganda agencies for decades. They have been repeatedly used to justify acts of violent repression and the wrongful imprisonment of protesters, critics, and opposition politicians. Responding to these most recent accusations, the 72-year-old head of the Kratie branch of the Association of Democrats, Vich Kimchoan, said the group worked only to “educate the people about human rights, freedom and democracy.”


Sonando’s arrest is also an attack on Beehive Radio, which is a key platform for promotion of human rights and democracy in Cambodia. The station provides air time for all points of view, including Cambodian civil society, the fight against HIV/AIDS, maternal mortality and human trafficking, campaigns for women’s rights and gender equality, political and economic transparency, equitable and sustainable development, labor rights, environmental protection, the rule of law, and electoral education and election monitoring.


The arrest was carried out amidst reports that the government-dominated National Election Committee may soon attempt to prevent opposition party leader Sam Rainsy, earlier forced into exile after being sentenced in absentia to 12 years’ imprisonment on trumped-up charges, from campaigning from abroad on behalf of his Sam Rainsy Party in the 2013 national elections. This has prompted fears that the government may be about to take legal action against Kem Sokha, the leader of an opposition party that has been negotiating a merger with the Sam Rainsy Party, and to prosecute the activist Buddhist monk Luon Sovat, who was briefly and arbitrarily detained on May 24 after being secretly charged on frivolous grounds.


Human Rights Watch criticized ASEAN and East Asia Summit members for their silence during the recent meetings in Phnom Penh.


“In the past three months a prominent environmentalist has been killed, a young girl was killed in a military siege, an activist Buddhist monk was threatened with arrest, the political opposition leader kept in forced exile, and a crucial media figure was accused of a preposterous crime,” Adams said. “Yet Clinton and regional leaders swept in and out of Cambodia without even addressing the situation. It is time to wake up and stop pretending that more economic and military engagement will magically turn things around.”

Free the Bee!  Stop the Violence!

. . .


An autocratic regime

of former Khmer Rouge cadres

shows its ugly face...



Sponsor: International Community, your money in the billions of dollars, Euros, Yens!


Mam Sonando arriving in Phnom Penh, 12 July 2012 (Photo: RFA)

Mam Sonando Arrested by Phnom Penh Regime

15 July 2012

By Vichey Anand Radio Free Asia

Translated from Khmer by KI-Media

Mam Sonando, president of the Democrat Association and director of the Beehive 105 FM radio station, was arrested by the cops on 15 July at about 9AM.

Mrs. Din Phanara, Mam Sonando’s wife, indicated that about 20 cops – some in civilian and some in police uniforms – entered the Beehive office located in Thnot Chrum village, Boeung Tumpun commune, Meanchey district, Phnom Penh city and they proceeded to arrest her husband.


. . .

Sea Dispute Rocks ASEAN

The Southeast Asian group enters unchartered waters as it grapples with a dispute with Beijing over territorial claims in the South China Sea.


An analysis by Parameswaran Ponnudurai

RFA, 13 July 2012


In one of the most embarrassing moments in its four-decade history, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ended its annual talks in Cambodia this week without issuing its traditional joint statement due to deep divisions over a South China Sea territorial dispute with China.




. . .

Reconciliation as Process and Practice

Sando, Sweden this October 2012

Theary Seng is one of the facilitators for the 25 participants, her 3rd year with FBA.

Application deadline 16 August 2012

Many violent conflicts reoccur within a decade after the adoption of a peace agreement. From a conflict prevention perspective, it is therefore essential to work on the building of peaceful relations in societies formerly divided by conflict. In many of today’s internal conflicts, former enemies need to live and work side by side after the end of hostilities, reinforcing the need for restoration of peaceful relations between individuals in a society. Consequently, the work of reconciliation involves broad layers of the population with the objective of moving from a divided past to a shared future.


The purpose of this course is to develop capacities to support the rapprochement of former enemies and the building of peaceful relations in divided societies. Participants are invited to a holistic exploration of reconciliation, involving the role of justice and how trauma impact reconciliation work, together with the use of dialogue, the role of economic development and understanding origins of violence in the rebuilding of a peaceful society. The course will be highly interactive with a focus on skills-building, discussions and exercises. The course will focus on reconciliation from a conflict prevention perspective.

. . .


Courage Without Borders

(Robert F. Kennedy Center's Speak Truth To Power)

Intangean Papoda, Kampong Som, Sunday, 8 July 2012

In KI-Media

Theary Seng listening to teacher read for the group the "Chronology of Human Rights" (Kampong Som pagoda, 8 July 2012)

100+ teachers and provincial authority at Kampong Som training (Intangean Pagoda, Sunday, 8 July 2012)

Theary Seng with provincial chief of Ministry of Cult and Religion and teacher-facilitators

Continuing on with work immediately after the COURAGE training in my temporary Kampong Som office

"I always closed the COURAGE training with a story about my maternal grandmother YI Hao emphasizing her two most salient traits in nurturing me--SACRIFICE and LOVE.


"A woman, who to her dying days at the age of 84 in the US, couldn't even sign her name but with an 'X'.  Nonetheless, she had all her 8 sons and daughters (including a younger brother whom she raised as a son) educated with at least a college degree in Cambodia, the US and France (if a luxury now, how much more so then for an impoverished, illiterate descendant of Chinese refugees!), and who adopted her orphaned grandchildren as her children and uncompromisingly took them away from the desolate Svay Rieng farm to Phnom Penh, across landmines to the Thai refugee camps and on to the United States in order they may have an education.

"Now most of her grandchildren have advanced degrees, with great-grandchildren living the fruits of a great-grandmother they hardly had time to know. Not bad for a woman born into stricken poverty, abused by her husband, marginalized by a deeply class-conscious society where only pedigrees matter, endured a genocide. My grandmother was certainly illiterate, hardly a learned person by any stretch of the imagination, but she was full of wisdom and vision.

"Society needs you. Our young people need you. Wherever I turned in my extensive travels, I see our young people lost, in need of direction. They need you. You to be their teacher, to be sure. But more than that, they need you first and foremost to be their mother, their father.

"Our generation should have been the generation of sacrifice. We have failed our young people miserably. But it is not too late. The young people--your students, your sons, your daughters, they need your COURAGE, SACRIFICE and LOVE. More than ever, these are what our young people need most especially!"

-  Theary C. Seng, Kampong Som, 8 July 2012


More info and photos...


. . .


Poetic Justice

and Civil Party Withdrawal

in the News

Nov. 2011

Ex-leader: Khmer Rouge atrocities are 'fairy tale'

AP Newswire, 23 Nov. 2011

"I'm not surprised that Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary continue to deny their crimes as the charges against them of genocide, war crimes are very serious," said Theary Seng, a Cambodian lawyer and human rights activist who lost family members under their regime.

"Even if I am not surprised, I am however disgusted by their lack of remorse for the suffering they caused. They are delusional in their denial in light of the weight of evidence against them - the mounds of skulls and bones, the horrific testimonies from every survivor of cruelty, the magnitude and scope of evil unleashed by them across the whole of Cambodia."


. . .


"Khmer Rouge trial is failing Cambodian

victims of Pol Pot's regime"

Human Rights Watch Brad Adams' editorial

The Guardian, 26 Nov. 2011

. . .

"Justice Denied"

Douglas Gillison, Foreign Policy Magazine, 23 Nov. 2011

. . .

Deputy President of Victims Association, a Civil Party of the Orphans Class, Mr. CHEY Theara, Withdraws Civil Party Status, Denounces ECCC as Political Farce





Full statement in both Khmer and English in KI-Media.

Here, if ISP censors in Cambodia.


. . . . .


Khmer Rouge Trial Missing a Marquee Defendant

Wall Street Journal, 21 Nov. 2011

“The release of Ieng Thirith is only one reflection of how incredibly late these trials are coming into place,” said Theary Seng, founder of the Cambodian Center for Justice and Reconciliation and herself, too, a victim of the Khmer Rouge regime, having lost her parents and spent five months in prison. She has withdrawn from the tribunal process, and instead put her energy into organizing public games of darts featuring the faces of the Khmer Rouge leaders along Phnom Penh’s riverfront – a “way of release” following victims’ frustrations with the trial process, mixed with “dark humor,” she said.


Theary Seng BBC News filming, Nov. 2011

Watch the BBC News coverage

But the trial - a joint enterprise between the UN and Cambodia - has been heavily criticised. Theary Seng, whose parents were killed by the Khmer Rouge, said putting three people on trial for the deaths of 1.7 million simply wasn't enough. (BBC News, 21 Nov. 2011)

Poetic Justice German Filming, 18 Nov. 2011
Filming for German DW-Global with Bastian and Sarin, 18 Nov. 2011. More photos...

Filming by BBC with Guy DeLauney, 17 Nov. 2011. More photos...

Khmer Rouge Trial: Cambodia Awaits Answers

BBC News, 21 Nov. 2011


. . .

Crying for Justice

AFP, 21 Nov. 2011

Khmer Rouge survivor Theary Seng told AFP she was "frustrated beyond words" that only Khieu Samphan looked likely to shed light on what happened. "The people want to know who is behind the Khmer Rouge, we want to see and understand the larger picture and we're not going to get that," she said.

From Tragedy to Sham in Cambodia

Asia Times Online, 19 Nov. 2011

In KI-Media

Others have gone further, arguing that the time might be ripe for the UN to pull the plug on the controversy-plagued court altogether. Last week, Theary Seng, a Cambodian-American survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime and a prominent advocate for victims' rights, withdrew her status as a civil party to the court, describing the proceedings as a "complete sham".

She said the UN should threaten to withdraw after setting some clear conditions for its continued participation. By pressing ahead, Seng said, the world body runs the risk of rubber-stamping a flawed process and further embedding cynicism in the Cambodian population.

"I understand the unwieldiness of any large bureaucracy, but at the end of the day it comes down to personalities, and there have been extremely weak personalities," she said. "In this regard, the UN is complicit."



In the End, Loss of Faith in Tribunal: Former Complainant

Hello VOA Special with Theary Seng, 16 Nov. 2011

Khmer Rouge Victim Quits Tribunal Saying UN-backed Court is a Sham

DPA, 15 Nov. 2011


Prominent Victims' Advocate Quits Khmer Rouge Tribunal

VOA International/English, 15 Nov. 2011

KRT Critic Offers 'Poetic Justice'

The Phnom Penh Post, 16 Nov. 2011

Theary Seng Denounces Tribunal; Introduces Dartboard Scheme

The Cambodia Daily, 16 Nov. 2011


Theary Seng's Press Conference, 15 Nov. 2011
More photos from Poetic Justice/ECCC Withdrawal Press Conference, 15 Nov. 2011

Poetic Justice
Front pages of The Cambodia Daily and The Phnom Penh Post, 16 Nov. 2011


. . .

Click here to read the full press release...


More information at "ECCC Civil Party"

More information at Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia

In KI-Media

Theary Seng Criticizes KRT

as "Political Farce"

The Phnom Penh Post, 10 Nov. 2011


Radio Free Asia (both AM and PM broadcasts on 10 Nov. 2011)


Cambodian-American Lawyer Withdraws her Civil Party Status

Voice of America Khmer Service, 10 Nov. 2011








* * * * * *


Previous Blog ** All Past BLOGs ** All RANDOM Entries









Theary's BLOG

Caroline Kennedy Delegation to Palace; Love; I support CNRM; New Year Video Message; Challenges are Opportunities; Free James!; Proportionality; Wolves in Sheep's Clothing; Entrapment; Prince Sirivudh

Kennedy-Niinami Delegation to Khemarin Palace 11 February 2018   Click to watch TVK clip of royal audience with the King and Queen Mother     Prime Minister Son Sann, Jacqueline Kennedy, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, Princess Norodom Mo [ ... ]

January 7; Kramanation; 47; Kampot Vegetable Sellers; No more selfies; Facebook Profile Name Change

Theary C. Seng, 11 January 2012
Chaktomuk Theatre, Phnom Penh, January 2010

January 7 is indeed a significant day for survivors of the Khmer Rouge. It arrested the macabre convulsions that would have swallowed all of us into a hellish hole if the [ ... ]


English Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Armenian Azerbaijani Basque Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Croatian Czech Danish Dutch Estonian Filipino Finnish French Galician Georgian German Greek Haitian Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Spanish Swahili Swedish Thai Turkish Ukrainian Urdu Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish