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  [ ... ]

Rainsy's Reasoning Questioned

The Phnom Penh Post | 10 Oct. 2013


Rainsy, whose party has boycotted the National Assembly citing unaddressed electoral complaints, references Article 76 of the Cambodian Constitution, which states: “The National Assembly consists of at least 120 members”.


He also references a Constitutional Council decision from 2003 that clarified Article 76 and another article in response to a request from lawmakers regarding the death, removal or incapacity of assembly members.


In the letter, Rainsy says the decision “specifies that the first meeting of the Assembly following any parliamentary elections must gather at least 120 members in order to be valid”.


He adds that only 68 ruling party lawmakers attended the inaugural session on September 23.


But lawyers yesterday expressed doubts that either the Constitution or the Constitutional Council’s 2003 decision could be interpreted in such a way.


* * *

Theary: I am now drafting a response to The Phnom Penh Post to this gross misinterpretation by the "experts". (Oct. 10 Phnom Penh morning).


The Constitutional Council 2003's decision is UNAMBIGUOUS about the need for 120 members to form the National Assembly.


(Read the complete decision, only 4-pages long in English on its website.  The translation is VERY ACCURATE.)

1. The paragraph 1 of the article 76 of the Constitution


The paragraph 1 of the article 76 of the Constitution stipulates: “The National Assembly is composed of at least 120 deputies”. This means that there shall be at least 120 deputies to be able to form the National Assembly at every legislature. Electoral law cannot limit the number of parliamentarians to less than 120. This paragraph 1 is a necessary condition for the formation of a National Assembly but not for its functioning.

(Complete decision of Constitutional Council in Khmer, July 2003, on its website)


. . .


Interview for documentary film on the Cambodia garment industry (Phnom Penh, 3 Oct. 2013)


. . .


I am a great fan of KI-Media and appreciate that Heng Soy, Socheata, KI Media, and Khmer Democrat regularly post my works and writings.  I am however a bit concerned by a certain post recently where whoever Khmerican is associated me as part of this KI-Media team -- a pure guess and erroneous.


- Theary, Phnom Penh, 2 October 2013

* * *

Generally, we steer clear of any interpretation that would create an absurd result which the original drafters/lawmakers did not intend. Or, what one of my law professors posits: “Does it pass the laugh test?”


With the present political impasse, the issue is whether the sole presence of the CPP satisfy the Constitutional intent of “a multi-party liberal democratic regime guaranteeing human rights and the respect of law” (Preamble) and the answer is a resounding NO!.

Here, the establishment of the National Assembly and of the Government expressly failed both the “plain language/letter of the law” as well as the “spirit of the law” tests.

. . .

(Photo: ស្រលាញ់ យុត្តិធម៌'s Facebook, 27 Sept. 2013)

(Photo: I Love Cambodia Hot News's Facebook, 27 Sept. 2013)


Hun Sen Expediting His Demise into Club of Tinpot Dictators


War on the people! This Friday morning, hundreds of workers (mostly young women from the provinces) from SL Garment Factory protested by marching in the direction of Hun Sen's house.  The armed forces blocked their freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom of assemly.


This is the beginning of the end of Hun Sen, if he continues to grasp onto power. The window of opportunity for him to remove himself from the Club of Tinpot Dictators is closing fast.


The alternative is this continuing warfare with the people, who will not back down. If we did not back down by the violence and crackdown over the years, why would we back down now, exponentially empowered and connected?

- Theary, Phnom Penh, 27 Sept. 2013


. . .



Hun Sen Faces Bumpy Road Ahead

as He Begins New 5-Year Term


Kyodo News | Puy Kea | 26 Sept. 2013

On the other hand, pro-democracy activist Seng Theary suggested it would be in Hun Sen's long-term personal interest, if he wants to preserve his legacy, to remove himself from the "ignominious club of dictators" and enter the "rarefied club of statesmen" who voluntarily relinquished power in order to facilitate a peaceful transition of government.

She suggested he could chose Sar Kheng, a moderate political figure who is Hun Sen's deputy prime minister and minister of interior, as his successor.

"I really do pray Hun Sen will act with wisdom. I really believe he has the potential to do so and awe us and secure himself a legacy of statesmanship," she said.

These Commentaries on election-related issues are garnering a lot of attention, with the most recent article HONORABLE EXIT STRATEGY FOR HUN SEN averaging 13,000 hits per day the last few days, now at 106,000+ (photo taken at 9 A.M. Friday, 27 Sept. 2013).

. . .


Brainstorming for my next Commentary for CIVICUS Cambodia

Facts (what we know), undisputed:

1. Cambodian eligible voters were cheated en masse of their legitimate votes (see Election Irregularities, Anatomy of Fraud) on 28 July 2013.

2. National Election Committee committed massive electoral fraud.

3. NEC is a political tool of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

4. CPP, NEC and other institutions are the same, not the Cambodian people nor the democratic union that is the Cambodian National Rescue Party (see Cambodia Spring).

5. Each Cambodian (mainly poor, long-suffering, oppressed) invested a lot—in terms of time, energy, money, and risk to personal security—for their vote.

6. Both CPP and CNRP claim electoral victory.

7. CNRP demands independent joint commission to investigate.

8. CPP adamantly, unreasonably continues to refuse independent joint commission.

9. CPP-aligned NEC violated due process in its rush to push the election irregularity matter to Constitutional Council.

10. The Constitutional Council, like the NEC and the rest of the Judiciary, is a rubber stamp institution of CPP.

11. Cambodian Constitution Article 76: "The National Assembly consists of at least 120 members."

12. The 1st Session of September 23 was attended by only 68 members of the CPP, and these members’ seats are highly contested; all the elected 63 members of the CNRP boycotted it.

13. The fact that the King presided at this highly-contested 1st session of NA does not annul the Constitutional mandate “of at least 120 members”.

14. The 1st session and subsequent meeting and decisions from these NA meetings are unconstitutional; the presence of the king and diplomats cannot change the Constitutional provision.

15. CNRP has called the establishment of the new NA and the new Government a “Constitutional coup” which is exactly what it is – no “ands, ifs, or buts” about it. Thus, the issues before us are not legal but practical and political ones: We are in a constitutional coup, undisputed.

How do we practical, politically resolve the political deadlock?


1. Scenario One:

- CPP heads Government with Hun Sen continuing as Prime Minister (with ministries shared between CPP and CNRP)

- CNRP heads NA with Sam Rainsy as President (with commissions shared between CNRP and CPP)

- Judiciary reformed for independence.

2. Scenario Two:

- CPP heads the Government but with Sar Kheng replacing Hun Sen as Prime Minister (with Ministries shared between them but with Finance and Justice to CNRP)

- Hun Sen as president of National Assembly with Sam Rainsy as 1st vice-president and Kem Sokha as 2nd vice-president and the commissions shared between CPP and CNRP.

- Judiciary reformed for independence.

3. Scenario Three: Honorable Exit Strategy for Hun Sen

4. Scenario Four: Hun Sen will be pushed out of power in this political war of attrition, if no real reform, no guarantees of checks-and-balances that the CNRP and people can have confidence in.



1. Ability of CNRP to keep the mass mobilized over the long haul.

2. Ability of CPP to rally western countries to accept the Constitutional coup, particularly the reaction of the US Government, Senate and House of Representatives.

3. Health of economy, mainly tourism and garment industry.

4. If CPP will risk mass violence, thus also risk International Criminal Court.

- Theary C. Seng, 25 Sept. 2013

. . .


Cambodian Constitution Article 76: "The National Assembly consists of at least 120 members."


Sixty-eight (68) members of the CPP, elected under highly suspicious circumstances of fraud showed up to open the first session of the National Assembly, while 63 elected members of the CNRP boycotted it.


Consequently, the 1st session and the subsequent meeting designating the new government are unconstitutional, failing to fulfill the basic condition that the National Assembly must "consist of at least 120 members."


- Theary, Phnom Penh, 24 Sept. 2013

Parliamentary Farce at its 2nd meeting after Sept. 23 unconstitutional 1st session

សភា អេតចាយ!!





. . .


Dissent Emerges in Cambodia

Cambodia’s Opposition Party Insists on Election Investigation

Kremena Krumova | Epoch Times | 16 Sept. 2013


“Cambodia is undergoing a major phenomenon never seen in our history, a Cambodia flourishing, if you will,” said Theary C. Seng, founder of the Cambodian Center for Justice and Reconciliation, based in the capital Phnom Penh.

She witnessed a budding new season for the country, she said, when she rode on the back of the pickup truck taking opposition party leader Sam Rainsy from the airport to Democracy Square upon his return from exile on July 19.

Crowds in the hundreds of thousands openly, fearlessly convulsed onto the truck and stage, demanding change. Their passion, palpably pulsating and electrifying the Cambodia air, acts to diminish the prior existing fear,” Seng said.


Go, Surya!  UN Envoy for Human Rights Surya Subedi joining the demonstrators in Geneva demanding justice for Cambodian voters, 24 Sept. 2013

. . .


Photo: Broney Pit's Facebook

Some LEVITY to the political heaviness (and CREATIVE TENSION that I believe will result in seismic, positive changes for our society!)


* * *


Photo: Sophon Heng's Facebook


A "Constitutional Coup"

The political stalemate is turning into a war of attrition.  And I am confident the people, represented by the CNRP, will prevail.  Because truth is on their side.  Hun Sen would be wise in this yet-open window of opportunity to make the honorable exit.

Despite the sporadic violence and intimidation, the people continue to be fearless, defiant, embracing the moment and riding the wave of change with at-once hopeful, grim determination.  I only wish the foreign press can fully feel the passion, the fearlessness, the determination, the sophisticated articulation of these protesters, who sold their chickens and other livestock to come to Phnom Penh for the mass 3-day protest, coming on faith that food, shelter and water will be provided for.  (They were.)


Now back in their remote villages, the local authority are intimidating them -- "If only I was ordered to shoot, I'd shoot" -- the reaction almost universally is the same refrain -- "When is the next mass protest; we are ready to go again!"

Meanwhile, the CPP has lost completely its sense of balance and proportion (if it ever had it): hundreds of darkly armored troop against a group of 30 meditating monks and another group of 60 youths in light blue, peace-symbol T-shirts s, divided by razor sharp barbed wiring coiling the main thoroughfares of the tourist district.  In full war gear, the troops grimaced against the marching monks in flying bright saffron robes and peace-uniformed youths, peacefully meditating, praying, attempting to present their petition--boxes of them carried in medieval rickshaws, which was only gathered in a matter of hours--some 260,000+ signatures.

Theary Seng and Khieu Lay (an activist made by her eviction from Borei Keila and whom security forces had assaulted often at demonstrations, losing her glass eye which she had no money to replace, and who was part of the handful of women on the hunger strike when thugs and police cracked down on them Sunday night), 23 Sept. 2013, Wat Phnom.

The night of the same day (Sunday, Sept. 22), gangsters and thugs working in cahoots with the CPP security forces violently cracked down on a handful of women (evictees of the Boeung Kak Lake and Borei Keila neighborhoods) and monks who were on a hunger strike protesting the King's presence to open the National Assembly the next morning.  The thugs and gangsters with security forces looking on also attacked human rights monitors and the press.


One does not have to be a professional photographer to understand the media moment.  And that proves to be the case; the citizens took out their iPhones and plastered Facebook with these almost surreal scenes, as if from a movie set from the Medieval period -- overwhelming force barricading the iconic palace grounds, as rows of monks and youths chant and pray for peace, encircling the palace.  All the while, the people and the press wonder the ration of house arrest to freedom for the handsome former ballet King.


The violence at Wat Phnom Penh took place under the cover of darkness, not only it was night, but a couple of hours before the crackdown, the electricity around Wat Phnom were turned off.

The Cambodia Daily

Of the hundreds of "advisers" the CPP employs, what do they do?!  Does not even one of them have the gut to say, "Dude, this is not cool.  Cut it out!"


The CPP overplayed its hand in the deployment of troops, if only for intimidation, which has no (or little) effect anymore.  And the thuggery of Sunday night only further emboldened the people and now the press against them.


Outright mass violence?  It cannot, for reasons I've already expounded elsewhere.  Mainly, they cannot limit its scope; and if mass violence, the International Criminal Court looms.


It is UNTENABLE for Hun Sen to be Prime Minister.  The CPP needs a more acceptable face to replace Hun Sen; it is Sar Kheng.


CNRP Sam Rainsy stated, "It is a Constitutional coup," the opening session of the National Assembly with ONLY the Cambodian People's Party presence as the CNRP boycotted it.


I agree with the recommendation put forth by CNRP Sam Rainsy:  Since both parties claim victory, it is reasonable that both parties share power in this interim period, until an independent joint commission is established and makes its determination on the election irregularities.  The interim power-sharing would have the CPP head the government and the CNRP head the National Assembly.  The judiciary--the 3rd branch--would be reformed for independence.

- Theary, Phnom Penh, 22 Sept. 2013, updated Sept. 24



* * *


World Vision Cambodia Day of Prayer

Chaktomuk Theatre, 20 Sept. 2013

Photo: Jojo Pastores

Some 1,200 World Vision Cambodia staff.


The CPP celebrating International Peace Day this Saturday, Sept. 21

(Photo: Phanith Nay's Facebook)

The palace is heavily armed and barricaded all around to keep dangerous elements -- meditating monks and youths -- away this Saturday, Sept. 21.


"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal." - Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Giving an on-camera film interview on the Exit Strategy for Hun Sen commentary (Phnom Penh, 18 Sept. 2013)


* * *

In light of the comments to this commentary, I'd like to emphasize several points:

1.  The exit strategy is premised on rare wisdom and rare courage and clarity of thinking, "enlightenment" if you will.


Thus, the difficulty of transforming from the ignominious Club of tinpot Dictators into the elite "Club" of Statesmen.

2.  The exit strategy is to the benefit of Hun Sen (and his family, future generation), first and foremost.


3.  The exit strategy is premised on the twin ideas of "surprise" of ANYONE to soar to honor, even if based on personal interests, and of patriotism (here, if deeply buried since his youth).


4.  The exit strategy is premised on the idea of redemption, that no one is beyond turning around.

- Theary, Phnom Penh, 21 Sept. 2013


* * *


Honorable Exit Strategy


for Hun Sen

I am banking on an enlightened moment of wisdom for Hun Sen: he acts proactively and steps down “voluntarily”. Just think of the consequences which we know would naturally flow: in one deft, difficult, surprise move, Hun Sen instantly transforms himself into a statesman, an icon. In the annals of world history. The front page headlines of every newspaper in the world would herald the transformation: Former Khmer Rouge, Cambodia Strongman Steps Down as Statesman.

All notable great leaders and statesmen act with an element of surprise when greatly tested.

This is Hun Sen’s test. This is Hun Sen’s moment:


* * *


You crazy people ; ) !! Still obsessed with election-related issues ; ) !!


In 4 one-half days, 46,200 previews/downloads for Exit Strategy for Hun Sen. Not including the readings from KI-Media and 2,000 emails we sent out.

Other commentaries have leveled off:

- Reasonableness Standard, Due Process: 115,600+

- Anatomy of Fraud: 100,700

- Cambodia Spring: 45,500+ (not including The Post, KI-Media, 2,000 emails)

- Election Irregularities: 117,500+


Theary, Phnom Penh, 22 Sept. 2013


* * *


3-day Mass Protests

Sunday, 15 Sept. 2013

KI-Media 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Go to Facebook pages for captions/narratives.

The "umbrella shading sun" (thgnai bang chhat) appeared twice yesterday morning, first at around 10:15 for at least half an hour, and then again at 11:55 a.m. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the rainbow is the sign of God's PROMISE.


I have seen "umbrella shading sun" but never one with a perfect rainbow encircling it.

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. - Genesis 9


Cambodia Protest Clashes Leave One Dead, Several Wounded

AFP, 16 Sept. 2013

Photo: Theary Seng, Sunday evening (15 Sept. 2013)

Where I wanted to go last night but the roads were blocked, or I would have to walk for a good half a mile at night alone.


It sounded like there were provocateurs in the Sisowath Quay (riverside) clashes, in violation of the Code of Ethics emphasizing NON-VIOLENCE the CNRP took care to inform the demonstrators at every occasion. The fatal event last night is interesting in terms of timing, that the authority should choose the COVER OF NIGHT to injure and kill -- IMMEDIATELY BEFORE ANOTHER MEETING OF THE TOP LEADERS OF BOTH PARTIES at the National Assembly this Monday AND AT A LOCATION not part of the main demonstration site, just on the outskirts of the city center.


My heart and prayers goto the family of the murdered, and to the injured and their families.


- Theary, Phnom Penh, 16 Sept. 2013


Mass Protest Day 2:

KI-Media 1 | 2

BBC interview of Theary, here background filming (2nd day of mass protest, 16 Sept. 2013)


. . .


More Protests Promised

The Phnom Penh Post | 9 Sept. 2013


Theary Seng giving an on-camera interview on the political development in Cambodia. Theary: "The protest tomorrow is part of the creative tension that brings about genuine change. I really believe the CNRP won and Sam Rainsy will become the Prime Minister within this election cycle; we don't have to wait another 5 years."

Theary Seng at Democracy Square for the Mass Protest / Peace Vigil on Saturday, 7 Sept. 2013 (Photo: Robert Carmichael)

With Chea Mony (president of Free Trade Union where Theary Seng is the senior advisor), his wife and another senior Free Trade Union leader

Theary Seng with CNRP youth activist Thy Sovantha (photo: Kon Khmer)

Board of Trustees Meeting

Ms. Theary C. Seng attending as Board President

Tagaytay, The Philippines | 2 Sept. 2013


A View from the Inside:

A Forum on the 2013

Cambodian National Elections

Keynote speaker Theary C. Seng is a Cambodian lawyer and noted human rights activist. She is the President of the Board of Trustees of the ANSA-EAP Foundation, Inc.

This forum is brought to you by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP Foundation, Inc.), and the Ateneo School of Government (Manila, The Philippines).

. . .

Anatomy of Fraud

3rd in Series on Election Irregularities of the Cambodia Spring

1st – How to Understand and Resolve Technical Issues of Election Irregularities

2nd – NEC Must Adhere to Standard of Reasonableness, Respect Due Process

Theary C. Seng, CIVCUS Cambodia Founding President

Phnom Penh, 25 August 2013


National Election Committee Must Adhere

to Standard of Reasonableness,

Respect Due Process


How to Understand and Resolve

Technical Issues of Election Irregularities


Theary Seng with a national hero, Mrs. Srey Meas, who was imprisoned for pulling border posts illegally placed there by Vietnam one hectare into her rice fields in Svay Rieng Province


See more photos at KI-Media


. . .


Look for my commentary about

The Cambodia Spring

in the Editorial Page of The Phnom Penh Post

(entitled "Cambodia's Tipping Point")

on Wednesday, 14 Aug. 2013


Grand Plans for $80-Billion Capital City Fit for a Techo

The Cambodia Daily | 9 August 2013


Our Megalomaniac Selves

A Reflection by Theary C. Seng


This story reported in The Cambodia Daily reminds me of a thought I often have, particularly when I am sitting in the window seat looking out, while ascending from or descending into Phnom Penh -- or at the other end of the spectrum, into a large cosmopolitan city like NYC or London or Paris -- and I think of all the megalomaniacs who strut around these cities with their hangers-on, their bling-bling, their women, and their big boys' toys.


I think of their megalomaniac language, their megalomaniac demeanor, their megalomaniac membranes' outgrowth in their megalomaniac mind. I think of how they must think they are so invincible and so unique and so special, divinely appointed, mystically anointed [...]


. . .


Sam Rainsy Returns

to a Rapturous


Hero's Welcome


Photos: Theary C. Seng, 19 July 2013

(Airport VIP Lounge, and from the back of the Pick-up Truck carrying Sam Rainsy from airport to Democracy Square in city center)

More images taken by me from the truck carrying Sam Rainsy at my Facebook accounts and in KI-Media 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Sam Rainsy flashing CNRP no. 7 in the back of the pick up truck carrying him from airport to Democracy Square (19 July 2013)

I'm at the back of the truck where Sam Rainsy is standing on a raised platform, supported by bodyguards and his CNRP officials. The security surrounding his truck were amazing in protecting the truck from being flanked by frenzied supporters all the way from airport to Democracy Square, over 10 kilometers.

Tens of thousands waited and greeted Sam Rainsy at Democracy Square in the city center, here we are on stage after having arrived 5 hours later from the airport due to the throngs of supporters all along the way.

MORE PHOTOS and narratives



. . .

Why I believe in only CNRP Sam Rainsy

(or, his equally formidable, brilliant wife CNRP Saumura Tioulong)

as Prime Minister of Cambodia


A Living Essay by Theary C. Seng


It has been said that Cambodia's problems of the past and present can be summed up in the weaknesses of its leaders. It has been and is currently said that we Khmers deserve the leaders we have.


Rather than react defensively, meditate on whatever degree of truth is in these statements and do something about it.

This leads me to why I believe only in CNRP president Sam Rainsy (or, his equally formidable, brilliant wife CNRP Saumura Tioulong) as the Prime Minister of Cambodia.



First, the reason is one of education. Education provides "the basic mental ingredients" to lead. Individuals who lack quality education tend to have an intellectual deficit, lacking the "mental equipment to govern".


What David Brooks writes of the radical political Islam is also true of many Cambodian politicians and leaders, in that "once in office, they are always going to centralize power and undermine democracy that elevated them." Oftentimes, the intellectual DNA is missing in Cambodian leaders, certainly true of the current ruling regime, the CPP.


Here's the basic outline in terms of names and degrees for Sam Rainsy:



. . .


Global Convening to End Mass Atrocities

Istanbul (16-21 June 2013)

Istanbul, Turkey's largest city at 15 to 17 million people, is magical, as exquisitely stunning as one can imagine it to be and more (!!). Also known as Constantinople, named after the Roman Emperor Constantine who converted to Christianity in 4th century, it has now only one percent Christian out of 55 Million population.

Theary's presentation, during exchange with participants


I'm presenting on 19 June 2013 "Reconciling Peace with Justice in Cambodia: the Limitations of Tribunals to Address Mass Crimes"



Theary Seng near Taksim Square on Istiklal Blvd. in front of the graffitied French Consulate (around noon-ish after service at Union Church in the vicinity, 16 June 2013)


Click here to read narratives and see more photos, or go to Ms. Seng's Facebook accounts


. . .



Theary C. Seng and the Road Ahead in Cambodia

By Michelle Phipps-Evans

Asian Fortune News, 3 Feb. 2013

Theary C. Seng (Photo: Roland Neveu, Dec. 2009)

The name Theary Chan Seng generates a fervor approaching reverence in the Cambodian community here and abroad. She is the Cambodian-born, American-educated lawyer and civil rights activist who founded the Cambodian Center for Justice & Reconciliation. It is a major component of another organization she serves as founding president, CIVICUS: Center for Cambodian Civic Education. This nonprofit group is dedicated to promoting an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles. It is actively engaged in the practice of democracy and reconciliation in Cambodia and the larger, globalized world.

So who really is Seng, the person? She is a survivor of the Khmer Rouge (KR) regime, and has spent almost two decades advocating for its victims, many of whom were orphaned, widowed, abused or molested—victims who were like Seng herself.

Read full article

In KI-Media


. . .

Obama, in Cambodia for a Meeting,

Sidesteps the Ghosts of History


International Herald Tribune (Peter Baker, November 20, 2012)

Theary Seng, president of the Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia, said, “President Obama should have met with the human rights community and activists challenging the Hun Sen regime, and while then and there, offer a public apology to the Cambodian people for the illegal U.S. bombings, which took the lives of half a million Cambodians and created the conditions for the Khmer Rouge genocide.”


Click here to read this complete news analysis


. . .


Kissinger in Cambodia:

Protests Greet Obama's Visit

International Herald Tribune / New York Times

PHNOM PENH — Theary Seng was taking aim with precision and anger. The 41-year-old U.S.-trained lawyer and a regular on Cambodia’s crowded protest circuit was about to throw a dart at a poster of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Kissinger is one of 13 politicians and senior Khmer Rouge leaders in a dart game created by Poetic Justice, a nongovernmental organization run by Theary Seng that highlights deficiencies of the special U.N.-backed tribunal judging the Khmer Rouge’s crimes. Each player gets five throws. A bull’s-eye is worth seven points. The highest score wins.

Last Sunday afternoon, Theary Seng and three members of her staff were playing on Phnom Penh’s riverfront opposite the storied Foreign Correspondents’ Club. On this occasion — the fourth time the game has been staged in public — the point was to draw attention to the narrow scope of the Khmer Rouge tribunal ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit for a summit meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Click here to read full article.


. . .


Interview by Mike McRoberts of TV3, New Zealand standing on what was formerly the capital's largest natural lake, place of violent forced evictions (Phnom Penh, 20 Nov. 2012). Theary: "The international community gives muscles to this dictatorial regime to repress its own people. Before the government represses with Cambodian riels; now it's empowered and given muscles with NZ dollars, US dollars, Euros..."

Watch the TV3 New Zealand broadcast

with Mike McRoberts (aired 21 Nov. 2012)

At ASEAN summit, trade overshadows human rights

In solidarity with courageous protestors of Boeung Kak Lake, here sitting on what was formerly the capital's largest natural lake, with Council of Ministers facing it, with Bopha's mom and son (Phnom Penh, 20 Nov. 2012)


. . .


Open Letter

to U.S. President Barack Obama

Published in The Phnom Penh Post, 20 November 2012

Read letter in KI-Media


. . .


CJOReillyGlobal: #Theary Seng being questioned by Police of her possessions ahead arrival of #Obama. If only they knew her rights. Nov 19, 2012, 10:23 UTCMs.

Theary Seng and some 30 security (plus more embedded in Wat Phnom Penh and Sunway Hotel)

Narrative of harassment and images of

Ms. Theary C. Seng's stand-off

with at least 30 big bulky, heavily armed security

in front of US Embassy Phnom Penh

(Tuesday, 19 Nov. 2012)


Theary Seng (reddish-orange blouse to right) and 30+ security next to US Embassy Phnom Penh, 19 Nov. 2012

. . .


Emotional Violence of Past Poetic Justice Dart Games

flared into Physical Assault on Ms. Theary C. Seng

and those around her

along the Riverfront, Sunday, 18 Nov. 2012

A plain-clothes Cambodian police officer, left, pushes away Theary Seng, center, an organizer who was about to stage a protest in Phnom Penh, Cambodia Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. Cambodia broke up a protest organized by her Sunday that was meant to highlight the alleged oppression of Cambodia's people by political figures, including former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the late despot Pol Pot (AP Photo).

See more photos

See film of violence

See Opinion by Heng Soy on the vulgarity attempting to undermine Ms. Seng and the global attention on the Poetic Justice dart games

Theary Seng and Poetic Justice dart game (Photo: John Vink / Magnum Photos, 18 Nov. 2012)


. . .


Spirit of Humanity Forum


Reykjavik, Iceland


4.15 - 5.45 pm Led by Miriam Subirana, Foundation for a Culture of Peace

The session includes:

Theary C. Seng, Founder, Centre for Justice and Reconciliation, Cambodia

Theary Seng with Princess Martha Louise (only daughter of Norwegian King and Queen), a genuine "people's princess" full of warmth and personality (Reykjavik, 15 Sept. 2012)


. . .



"Take that, Kissinger!" Poetic Justice dart games filming for ABC News.

More at Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia...

"Cambodia's Khmer Rouge Court 'Dying'

ABC News film, aired 16 Oct. 2012


. . .


Khmer Rouge defendant Ieng Thirith ruled unfit for Cambodian genocide trial due to dementia

The Washington Post, 13 Sept. 2012

Of course if she is seriously ill with Alzheimer’s, she should be released. There is no point in trying an incapacitated person,” said Theary Seng, a human rights advocate representing some victims who are allowed a role in the proceedings. “The point is the (tribunal) is so late in coming. The political foot-dragging and inertia has caused this travesty of justice.”



. . .


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








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