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  [ ... ]



CNRP Vice Presidency Up for Grabs

Steering committee sends ranked deputies to a vote

New CNRP Leadership Set to Be Approved at Party Congress

The formula to defeat Hun Sen/CPP


I'm deeply troubled by the extremely rushed, expedited, opaque process of choosing the new CNRP leadership, WITHOUT CONSULTATION AND DÉCISION of the assembled delegates tomorrow.


What is the point of their presence besides using them to formalize their new head without their input or decision?


If the CNRP wins, it will be IN SPITE OF Kem Sokha as president, because of the pure revulsion for Hun Sen and thé CPP.


Maybe I will elaborate later.

- Theary C. Seng, 1 March 2017





The Formula to defeat Hun Sen / CPP








ត្រូវ ជំនួស «បក្ខពួកនិយម»

ដោយ «សមត្ថភាពនិយម»


as opposed to

nepotism, cronyism and venality

ការផ្លាស់ប្តូរ ក្នុងសង្គម កើតចេញ ពីការ ផ្លាស់ប្តូរ ក្នុងផ្នត់គំនិត របស់ ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ។ ក្នុងការ ផ្លាស់ប្កូរ ផ្នត់គំនិត ដើម្បី ឲ្យប្រទេសយើង ឈានទៅមុខ ឲ្យទាន់ អរិយ្យ ប្រទេស ក្នុងពិភពលោក, យើង ត្រូវ បញ្ចូលពាក្យ ថ្មីមួយ ក្នុងវាក្យសព្ទ (បញ្ជីពាក្យ ដែលយើង ប្រើប្រាស់), គឺ ពាក្យ ជាភាសា អង់គ្លេស ហៅថា «meritocracy»។

ពាក្យនេះ សំដៅ ទៅទម្លាប់ ក្នុងសង្គម ជឿនលឿន ដែលគេ ផ្តល់តម្លៃ, តួនាទី, ការងារ, និងមុខតំណែង ឲ្យទៅ បុគ្គល ម្នាក់ៗ ដោយសំ អាងតែ លើចំណេះដឹង, សមត្ថភាព, និងស្នាដៃ របស់ បុគ្គលនោះ។

«Merit» មានន័យ ថា «អ្វី ដែលយើង បានធ្វើ ឬចេះធ្វើ ដ៏ល្អប្រសើរ», ហើយ «cracy» មានន័យ ថា «ធិបតេយ្យ» ឬ «អធិបតី» ដូចក្នុងពាក្យ «democracy» ឬ «ប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ»។

«Meritocracy» បកប្រែសង្ខេប ថា «សមត្ថភាពនិយម» គឺ ផ្ទុយស្រឡះ ពី «គ្រួសារនិយម», «វង្សត្រកូលនិយម», «បក្ខពួកនិយម», «ខ្សែនិយម», និងការទិញដូរ តំណែង ដោយអំពើ ពុករលួយ ព្រមទាំង ការឡើង សក្តិយស ដោយប្រើ ទឹកលុយ ដូចនៅ ប្រទេស កម្ពុជា សព្វថ្ងៃ។ យើង ត្រូវ កម្ចាត់ទម្លាប់ អាក្រក់ បែបនេះ, ហើយ ត្រូវ ជំនួសវា ដោយវប្បធម៌ ថ្មីមួយ ដែលឆ្លុះបញ្ចាំង គំនិត «សមត្ថភាពនិយម»។

The word "meritocracy" is to be invented in Khmer language. It reflects a new culture and a new practice in a modern Cambodia where nepotism, cronyism and venality will be eradicated.

សម រង្ស៊ី / Sam Rainsy





SAM Rainsy is the only person

Hun Sen and Vietnam fear.

As reflected in the extraordinary measures Hun Sen's CPP took in amending the Law on Political Parties that forced the opposition leader Sam Rainsy to resign and paved the way for the dissolution of the opposition party. evidently belongs to the Vietnamese military.

Metfone the largest (?) service provider in Cambodia whose parent company is Viettel of the Vietnamese military has an obsession with Rainsy Sam, it appears.

Metfone jumped the queue bypassing the Ministry of Telecommunications altogether when it established operations some years ago here. See Vietnamization: Metfone

- Theary, 21 Feb. 2017







Cambodia changes political rules


in 'triumph of dictatorship',


critics say


ABC (Australia)


"This day will be remembered for the triumph of dictatorship over the dream of the Paris Peace Accords for a rights-respecting, multi-party democracy,"

- Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.


The amendments outlaw foreign donations which will starve the opposition party of money from the diaspora...





Party-Busting Bill Passed


in ‘Final Blow’ to Democracy


The Cambodia Daily | 21 February 2017

...the most significant threats to democracy that Cambodia has faced in a generation...

"This law is not just about us. It’s unconstitutional…. It violates the rights of the people,” CNRP lawmaker Mu Sochua said afterward. “Democracy as a whole is being attacked.”

Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said the amendments extinguished any hope of the free and fair multiparty democracy promised by the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, which helped drag Cambodia out of decades of war.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that these amendments are like a gun aimed straight at the heart of the opposition CNRP, leaving only the question of when and on what grounds this political execution will take place.”

He said they were the culmination of Mr. Hun Sen’s efforts to consolidate absolute power, tipping the country distinctly toward one-party states like Vietnam.

“The CPP’s lesson from its failures in the 2013 election appear to be that if the people don’t like Hun Sen, well then offer them no real alternative. Cambodia will become a sham democracy going forward, perhaps a bit better than Vietnam but not by much, with laws enforced by lap dog courts under the control of the CPP,” he said. “Hun Sen has chipped away at the foundation of democracy in Cambodia for years, and today he struck the final blow.”





Sam Rainsy has been Hun Sen's main political rival for two decades


Cambodia MPs back law

barring PM Hun Sen's long-time rival


BBC News | 20 February 2017


Cambodia's parliament has approved legal changes that will effectively bar Prime Minister Hun Sen's main rival from participating in politics.

Sam Rainsy now lives in exile due to what he says is a politically motivated defamation conviction.

The amended legislation bars political leaders with convictions from running for office.

It also allows the Supreme Court to dissolve political parties whose leaders have criminal convictions.





Cambodia lawmakers approve bill


threatening opposition party


AP / Boston Globe | 20 February 2017


‘‘Hun Sen’s election strategy is clear: bulldoze what’s left of Cambodia’s democratic institutions by using laws like this one, while simultaneously intimidating civil society into silence with arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders and threats to deregister troublesome [non-government organizations],’’

- Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of New York-based Human Rights Watch



Cambodia passes law


enabling dissolution of political parties


Western critics see existential threat to already weak multiparty system

Nikkei Asian Review | 21 Feb. 2017

"The silence of foreign governments and aid donors to this move has been profoundly disheartening, reflecting a failure to stand up for democratic principles and human rights when facing a determined, dictatorial plan."

- Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of U.S.-based Human Rights Watch







Want to Make a Lie Seem True?

Say It Again. And Again. And Again

Wired | 11 February 2017


...“illusory truth effect,” a glitch in the human psyche that equates repetition with truth

“Repetition makes things seem more plausible,”... “And the effect is likely more powerful when people are tired or distracted by other information." [as in, the sea of human rights abuses by the CPP; the KR genocide and its un-dealt with consequences]...

It’s also a staple of political propaganda....

The effect works because when people attempt to assess truth they rely on two things: whether the information jibes with their understanding, and whether it feels familiar. The first condition is logical: People compare new information with what they already know to be true and consider the credibility of both sources. But researchers have found that familiarity can trump rationality—so much so that hearing over and over again that a certain fact is wrong can have a paradoxical effect. It’s so familiar that it starts to feel right....

Your busy brain is often more comfortable running on feeling....

Data be damned.

As with any cognitive bias, the best way not to fall prey to it is to know it exists.


As the article relates to Cambodia:

"...Yuon, a term for Vietnamese most consider derogatory" -- despite the fact:

(1) the term is neutral;

(2) has only been propagandized to be "racist" during the Vietnamese occupation;

(3) many Cambodian scholars and leaders have formally responded to its neutral meaning, reminding us all the distinction between what is "politically correct" and what is "offensive" (derogatory);

(4) it is the same term Yuon / Yuan that the Thai have for Vietnamese but it's a non-issue there as it should be a non-issue anywhere;

(5) only written "most consider derogatory" a stock phrase in the English-language papers -- mainly written, all edited by non-Cambodians AFTER OCCUPATION; the use of the term was never or rarely called out as "derogatory" prior to occupation; and

(6) whereas "most" Cambodians do not consider it derogatory, save the CPP for obvious reasons and the one or two non-CPP loners because they want to be politically correct with their foreign friends and interviewers.

All speak to foreign hubris, particularly this last one dismissing the bulk of the Cambodian population and giving credence only to themselves the guests







Sam Rainsy Resigns


The rare and noble Statesman

who resigned "for the sake of the party".

The Most Excellent Sam Rainsy


១២ កុម្ភៈ ២០១៧ / 12 February 2017

ដកស្រង់ ពីសារព័ត៌មាន អន្តរជាតិ Reuters ថ្ងៃសៅរ៍ ១១ កុម្ភៈ ២០១៧ | Excerpts from Reuters, Saturday, 11 Feb. 2017

សម រង្ស៊ី បានលាលែង ពីតំណែង ប្រធាន គណបក្សប្រឆាំង ដ៏ធំ ជាងគេ ក្នុងប្រទេស កម្ពុជា នៅថ្ងៃសៅរ៍នេះ មិនយូរ ប៉ុន្មាន ក្រោយ ពីនាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី ហ៊ុន សែន បានគំរាម ថា នឹងធ្វើ ការកែច្បាប់ មួយចំនួន ដែលហាក់ដូច ជាសំដៅទៅ គូប្រកួត ដ៏សំខាន់ ជាងគេរបស់គាត់ ក្នុងការបោះឆ្នោត ខាងមុខ។

Sam Rainsy resigned from the presidency of Cambodia's leading opposition party on Saturday, shortly after Prime Minister Hun Sen threatened legal changes that appeared to target his main opponent ahead of polls.

សំណើ របស់ ហ៊ុន សែន ឲ្យកែច្បាប់ ឆ្នាំ ១៩៩៨ ស្តីពី គណបក្ស នយោបាយ អាច នឹងបើកផ្លូវ ផងដែរ ឲ្យរំលាយ គណបក្ស នយោបាយណា ដែលមាន មេដឹកនាំ ដែលតុលាការ បានផ្តន្ទាទោស ជាទម្ងន់។

Hun Sen's proposed changes to a 1998 law would also open up the possibility of political parties being dissolved if a leader is convicted of a serious crime.

សម រង្ស៊ី បានថ្លែង ថា, ការលាលែង របស់ គាត់នេះ បណ្តាលមក ពីមូលហេតុ ផ្ទាល់ខ្លួន, ហើយ គាត់ មិនបានភ្ជាប់ ការលាលែងនេះ ទៅនឹងសំណើ កែច្បាប់ ខាងលើនោះទេ។ តែ គាត់ បានបញ្ជាក់ លើបណ្តាញ សង្គម ថា៖ «ខ្ញុំ លាលែង ពីតំណែង ប្រធាន គណបក្ស សង្គ្រោះជាតិ គឺ ដើម្បី ផលប្រយោជន៍ គណបក្ស។» តែ គាត់ បានបញ្ជាក់ លើបណ្តាញ សង្គម ថា៖ «គ្រប់កាលៈទេសៈ ខ្ញុំ នៅតែ រក្សាឧត្តមគតិ សង្គ្រោះជាតិ ជានិច្ច ក្នុងបេះដូង របស់ខ្ញុំ។»

Sam Rainsy said he was quitting for "personal reasons" and did not directly link his resignation to the proposed legal amendments. "I resign as CNRP leader for the sake of the party," he said on Twitter. "In all circumstances, I cherish and uphold the CNRP's ideals in my heart," he added.

អ្នកស្រាវជ្រាវ នយោបាយ ជាជនជាតិ អូស្ត្រាលី មួយរូប ឈ្មោះ Lee Morgenbesser បានប្រាប់ សារព័ត៌មាន Reuters ថា, ទោះជាយើង មិន ទាន់យល់ ពេញលេញ អំពី អត្ថន័យ នៃការលាលែង របស់ មេបក្សប្រឆាំងនេះ ក៏ដោយ, តែ ការសម្រេច ចិត្តនេះ អាចធ្វើ ឲ្យគណបក្ស ប្រជាជន កម្ពុជា របស់លោក ហ៊ុន សែន មានការ ស្រឡាំងកាំង។

Lee Morgenbesser, a research fellow at Australia's Griffith University, told Reuters that while it was not yet entirely clear what the movement meant for the opposition, it may have caught Hun Sen's ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) off-guard.

«យើង អាចកោតសរសើរ ចំពោះ ការលះបង់ របស់ សម រង្ស៊ី ដែលមិនគិត ពីផលប្រយោជន៍ ផ្ទាល់ខ្លួន របស់គាត់, តែ យើង ត្រូវការ ពេលវេលា ថែមទៀត ដើម្បី វិនិច្ឆ័យ អំពី លទ្ធផលវែងឆ្ងាយ នៃការ លាលែងនេះ សម្រាប់ ចលនាប្រឆាំង នៅប្រទេស កម្ពុជា។»

"The selflessness of Rainsy's actions should certainly be applauded, but more time is required to gauge the full effect of his resignation on the opposition movement."




AP / New York Times, 11 Feb. 2017 (excerpts):

Sam Rainsy is the opposition's most dynamic and popular figure, and virtually embodies the opposition in challenging Hun Sen for more than two decades.

"The rubber-stamp National Assembly under the control of the CPP is preparing a new 'law' to expediently dissolve the CNRP by pointing at me as the pretext," Sam Rainsy said on Facebook. "This law aimed to institutionalize a one-party system is being tailor-made for me — in my capacity as CNRP president — since the CNRP is the only opposition party represented at the National Assembly and the only party that can defeat the CPP."

"But this anti-Sam Rainsy law will have little impact on Cambodian politics: Whatever my position in the party, I remain the symbol and embody the spirit of resistance to the autocratic and corrupt Hun Sen regime, and this is what matters in the minds of the Khmer people,"





បណ្តាំ លោកប្រធាន សម រង្សុី ល្ងាចថ្ងៃ ១២ កុម្ភះ ២០១៧

«សុខចិត្ត បាត់ ដំណែង, កុំ ឲ្យ បាត់បក្ស។

សុខចិត្ត ស្លាប់ខ្លួន, កុំ ឲ្យ ស្លាប់ជាតិ។»










Genocide under the Cover of Genocide





Read excerpts translated from French







K5 Genocide

Ethnic Cleansing,


Crimes against Humanity

and other Mass Crimes

during the 10 Dark Years


of the Vietnamese Occupation, 1979-89


Theary C. Seng, 3 Feb. 2017


Re: សម រង្ស៊ី / Sam Rainsy: ផែនការ ក៥ ក្នុងទស្សវត្សរ៍ ឆ្នាំ១៩៨០ | Building of the K5 Wall

Le Duc Tho*, Vietnam's highest ranking official overseeing the occupation in Cambodia first approached Pen Sovann, Vietnam's 1st appointed Khmer prime minister in 1981 re the K5 Plan; Vietnam imprisoned him in Hanoï for 10 years (longer if it hadn't been for the Paris Peace Agreements) when he refused  It is noteworthy that this is around the same time that Vietnam became a party to the Genocide Convention, June 1981.  I guess, it had GENOCIDE on its mind!

(*Yes, the same Le Duc Tho who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize -- along with Kissinger! -- and turned it down.)

Vietnam replaced Pen Sovann with then-Defense Minister Chan Si as new PM; had him killed in Dec. 1984 while in office when he refused to go further in implementing the K5 Plan once he realized Vietnam's intention behind the Plan: GENOCIDE (acts + intention to destroy a people).

Vietnam filled the empty PM seat with then-Foreign Minister Hun Sen, and the rest is one massive bloody history.

The K5 Genocide went into full swing between 1984 till end of Vietnamese occupation. Vietnam conscripted over 1.5 million Cambodian men -- who barely survived the 4 years of the Khmer Rouge followed immediately by 2 years of famine -- between the ages of 18-50 from across Cambodia and forced them on foot to malaria-infested, mine-laden zones along Thai-Cambodian border to build bamboo walls.

ETHNIC CLEANSING, ETHNOCIDE, GENOCIDE, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY and other mass crimes during the Vietnamese occupation.







What is Genocide?

[Theary: My comments as the definition pertains to Cambodia, particularly during the 10 years of Vietnamese occupation, are in BLUE.]


This convention establishes genocide as an international crime, which signatory nations “undertake to prevent and punish.” It defines genocide as:


[A]ny of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

1. Killing members of the group;

2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

3. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

4. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.


The specific “intent to destroy” particular groups is unique to genocide. A closely related category of international law, crimes against humanity, is defined as widespread or systematic attacks against civilians.


The Genocide Convention in International Law


Law grows through the setting of precedents. Understanding the intricacies of the definition of genocide is just the first step to understanding the law, which evolves through legal judgments in cases before the tribunals and courts.

Outlined below, you will find the main definitional elements of the crime of genocide (in RED) and companion explanations on how significant aspects of the law have developed through recent cases.


Article I of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:

“The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and punish.”

[Theary: Cambodia became a party to the Genocide Convention in October 1950; Vietnam in June 1981, around the same time that Le Duc Tho approached Pen Sovann about the K5 Plan; I guess Vietnam had GENOCIDE on its mind!]


Significantly, Article 1 of the Convention establishes the crime of genocide in times of war or peace. In 1948, this definition differed considerably from that of crimes against humanity, which only concerned violations against civilians during war—a limitation on the definition that no longer applies.

A signature to the Convention confers upon the state certain duties: to enact national legislation that punishes genocide committed in its territory and that does not allow for the legal defense of acting in an official capacity; to take measures to reasonably ascertain the location of an accused individual within the state’s own borders and arrest him; to cooperate with extradition requests; and to send disputes between nations to the ICJ, individual criminal cases to a national or international tribunal, or to refer a case to the “competent organs of the United Nations.”

The 2007 ICJ decision in the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro—which found that Serbia violated its responsibility to prevent and punish genocide at Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina—clarified that a state’s prevention and punishment obligations extend beyond its own borders. The decision asserted that States are obliged to take “all means reasonably available to them, so as to prevent genocide so far as possible.” This obligation exists regardless of whether the state’s efforts to influence the perpetrators changes the outcome.

Article II:

“In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy...”

The definition of genocide requires that the perpetrator have a specific state of mind: the “intent to destroy” a group. The intent to destroy is distinct from a perpetrator’s particular motive for the crime, like counter-insurgency. In the absence of explicit evidence, intent can be inferred from facts and circumstances that take into account the general context of the crime, such as: preparation of other culpable acts systematically and exclusively directed against the same group; scale of atrocities committed; weapons employed; the extent of bodily injury; and/or the repetition of destructive and discriminatory acts.

While legal decisions have not generally required proof of agreements or plans in order to convict on genocide, the criminal cases at the ICTY and ICTR have set a high standard for assessing the perpetrator’s state of mind: genocidal intent must be the only reasonable inference based on the facts and circumstances.


[Theary: "In the absence of explicit evidence"... unfortunately, this is the case in Cambodia during the 10 years of Vietnamese occupation of 1979 to 1989, for “[m]any of the highest-level Party documents, in particular Politburo documents, are still inaccessible,” states the preface of Cambodia: After the Khmer Rouge by Evan Gottesman, for “Vietnamese authorities took many Cambodian Communist Party documents to Vietnam in 1989, when they withdrew from the country.”


In the same vein, the preface of Why Vietnam Invaded Cambodia by Prof. Stephen J. Morris cautions us that “some of the important primary sources are compromised” and those “made available have not come from free scholarly access to open archives but were released after careful scrutiny by Vietnamese communist leaders, who have a vital interest in the kind of history that will be written.”

In the absence of explicit evidence, the Vietnamese genocidal "intent to destroy", however, can be inferred from facts and circumstances of the K5 Plan that was hatched by Vietnam and first introduced in 1981 to Pen Sovann, Vietnam's first appointed Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Kampuchea (PRK).


-- the 3rd largest military in the world, Vietnam would have known of the wall's ineffectiveness.  Everyone everyone else did.


-- Vietnam should have known, would have known of the high death rates to result from the mandatory conscription and forced labor: (1) malaria-ridden areas, (2) dangerous work of planting mines, (3) forcing civilians into mine-laden areas, (4) an already physically weaken population who had barely survived the Khmer Rouge and just emerged from 2 years of famine, (5) to travel across the country, many on foot, (6) to do forced labor, (7) without any medical or housing infrastructure.


-- duration of at least 5 years, claiming the lives and health of over 1,500,000 Cambodian civilians -- mainly men, the strongest among a population who had just barely survived the Khmer Rouge and 2 years of famine.

-- According to one estimate, at least one million people participated in the labor from September 1984 to end of 1986. The ninth contingent left for the border in October 1986. Each contingent numbered an average of 120,000 persons. The mortality rate from malaria amounted to around 5%, so there would have been a minimum of 50,000 dead from malaria alone during this period.

-- Vietnam first blocked, then diverted international emergency aid for Cambodians to Vietnam during the 2 years of famine.


-- ethnocide, ethnic cleansing and other systematic, widespread destruction of Cambodia;


- History of Vietnamese aggression.

Important decisions that concern intent to destroy include the ICTY cases against Goran Jelisić, Mitar Vasiljević and Radoslav Brđanin, and the ICTR case against Sylvestre Gacumbitsi.

“ whole or in part...”

Legal decisions have not established a numeric threshold that a perpetrator must reach in order to possess the intent to commit genocide. They have, however, elaborated on the meaning of “in whole or in part” as a substantial part of the group relative to the total population of the group. Providing guidance on how to evaluate what constitutes “a substantial part,” the courts have issued decisions indicating that the number of individuals targeted should be evaluated in relation to the overall size of the entire group, their prominence within the group, and whether or not the part of the group is emblematic of the overall group or essential to its survival.

[Theary: Over 1,500,000 MEN (mostly) out of the surviving population no more than 4 Million -- from 4 years of Khmer Rouge, followed immediately by 2 years of famine -- effectively to their deaths. 

-- CAMBODIA'S CURSE (Joel Brinkley): "Human rights groups estimated that 650,000 more people had died in the year following the fall of the Khmer Rouge."


Thus, in 1979-1980, Cambodia had a population of less than 4 million (5 M survivors MINUS these 650,000 deaths MINUS another 500,00-plus refugees who went to Europe, US, Canada, Australia, NZ or were stuck in the Thai camps). Unknown hundreds of thousands died]


For example, the decision by the ICTY Appeals Chamber in the Krstić case reasoned that the population of Muslim men targeted in Srebrenica was important because of its “strategic importance to the Bosnian Serb leadership and because of its prominence in the eyes of the Bosnian Muslims and the international community, its fate was emblematic of that of all Bosnian Muslims.”

Important decisions that concern the group, in whole or in part, include the ICTY cases against Radislav Krstić and Duško Sikirica et al.

"...a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”

The Convention designates certain groups that accorded with the common understanding of “national minorities” at the time of the document’s drafting. In the first genocide conviction ever, the ICTR determined in the case against Jean-Paul Akayesu that all “stable and permanent groups” were protected by the Convention. In a later ruling, however, the ICTY argued that a persecuted group is often defined by the perpetrators based on perceived characteristics. The ICTY also asserted that a group cannot be defined negatively; the victims cannot be “non-Serbs,” for instance.

Important decisions that concern the designation of the group include the ICTR case against Jean-Paul Akayesu and the ICTY cases against Radoslav Brđanin and Milomir Stakić, among others.

Article II:

Acts of Genocide

The following acts can be considered genocide when (and only when) they are committed with the intent to destroy a group protected by the Convention: killing, causing serious bodily or mental harm; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Some of these acts are more clearly defined than others. For instance, the tribunals have elaborated on the act of “causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.” In the Akayesu case, the ICTR decided that the harm need not be permanent or irremediable and can include torture, be it “bodily or mental, inhumane or degrading treatment, persecution.” The judgment in this case allowed rape to be considered an act of genocide when committed with the intent to destroy a protected group. The tribunals further confirmed that the harm also includes sexual violence that falls short of killing.

Important decisions that concern the act of causing serious bodily or mental harm include the ICTR cases against Jean-Paul Akayesu and Laurent Semanza.


The decisions passed down by the international criminal tribunals and the ICJ have helped to clarify the definition of the crime of genocide. As these legal institutions hear more cases, our understanding of the crime will develop. One of the key questions for future legal forums is whether the Convention can be used effectively not only to punish acts that have already taken place, but also to prevent crimes and protect groups.







How to Build an Autocracy

The Atlantic | March 2017



“The benefit of controlling a modern state is less the power to persecute the innocent, more the power to protect the guilty.”...

If this were happening in Honduras, we’d know what to call it. It’s happening here instead, and so we are baffled....

A president determined to thwart the law to protect himself and those in his circle has many means to do so....

Civil unrest will not be a problem for the Trump presidency. It will be a resource. Trump will likely want to enflame more of it....

A would-be kleptocrat is better served by spreading cynicism than by deceiving followers....







Photo: Svay Rieng Girls - with Srey Meas, the heroine who was imprisoned because she protested with Sam Rainsy against illegal border posts placed by Vietnam one hectare into her rice fields in Svay Rieng (Photo: Chak Ang Re Loeu, Aug. 2013).


January 7 and the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

By Theary Seng, The Phnom Penh Post, 11 Jan. 2012


The rewriting of history in this manner by the current regime is fraught with danger for the longevity of Cambodian stability and peace.

Cycles of past grievances that touch on national identity and humiliation run deep in any society, and no less in Cambodia. Think of the Khmers Kampuchea Krom and their current suffering and struggles. Think of the underpinnings for the bloodletting in the former Yugoslavia.

It’s not only on January 7 that the regime is revising history to fit its narrow political agenda. The political interference in the Khmer Rouge tribunal speaks to the same dangers.

This regime never wanted the KRT, but once it was inevitable and the regime was confident of its control over the mechanisms of the process, it did everything to achieve and protect its twin goals: to go down in history as the government that put the Khmer Rouge on trial and, concurrently, to erase its own Khmer Rouge history and crimes.

With the United Nations’ stamp of approval, the CPP regime is achieving exactly that.

No counterbalancing, competing narratives are permitted or have the resources and official, institutional dissemination systems to match it.






Why Cambodia has cosied up to China

The Economist | 21 January 2017



To Cambodia’s west is Thailand, which has more than four times as many people; the two countries have a dormant but unsettled border dispute. To the east is Vietnam, nearly six times as populous, which invaded Cambodia in 1979 and occupied it for ten years. So Cambodia has done what small countries always do: it has found a protector....

But there are also two strategic benefits. First, Cambodia uses China as a counterweight to Vietnam. Among ordinary Cambodians, anti-Vietnamese sentiment runs deep. Many bitterly recall the Vietnamese occupation and some demand the return of “Kampuchea Krom”—the delta of the Mekong river, which today is part of Vietnam, but is home to many ethnic Cambodians and was for centuries part of the Khmer Empire. Since Vietnam harboured Mr Hun Sen, the opposition depicts him as a Vietnamese puppet. Closeness to China helps to defuse such claims.

Cambodia also uses China as a hedge against the West.




False Grand Narrative of Racism


The Vietnamization of Kampuchea:

A New Model of Colonialism

Indochina Report (October 1984)





Orwell’s “1984” and Trump’s America


New Yorker | 27 January 2017


And so, rereading Orwell, one is reminded of what Orwell got right about this kind of brute authoritarianism—and that was essentially that it rests on lies told so often, and so repeatedly, that fighting the lie becomes not simply more dangerous but more exhausting than repeating it. Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.




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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

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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 [ ... ]


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