John Heffernan, Senior Minister Om Yentieng, Kerry Kennedy, Theary Seng at lunch at La Residence before seminar, Wednesday, 23 Feb. 2011. In turn, HE Om Yentieng invited us to dinner at Topaz on Friday when he told us he wants to see Speak Truth To Power materials widely disseminated across Cambodia, including via his Cambodian Human Rights Committee.
Like all of you, I am following the fatal conflict over Preah Vihear with great apprehension for the further loss of lives and the potential out-of-control full-blown warfare, incredulity at the stupidity of politicians, and incredible sadness for the poor innocent civilians living on both sides of the border in the region. This should have been a non-issue with international law clearly siding with Cambodia, the most glaring being the decision of the International Court of Justice. We should have called it for what it is: the tail wagging the dog of Thai domestic politics, the farce of Prime Minister Abhisit in attempting to divert attention from his domestic imbroglio.
And as such, we, Cambodia, should have nipped the matter at the bud when it first surfaced in mid 2008 by bringing the conflict to regional and international bodies, such as ASEAN and the United Nations, as well as to the signatories of the Paris Peace Agreements, for which I and others had advocated.
Instead, we fell into Thailand’s trap of keeping the conflict a solely bilateral issue. Look now where it has landed us almost 3 years later? In a weaker, precarious position as we scramble to the United Nations for intervention.
This is when among the current existing CPP officials, I wish Hun Manet was the public face negotiating at the United Nations, rather than the current foreign minister Hor Namhong. Hor Namhong is too easy a target for Thai and international ridicule in light of the controversy surrounding his Khmer Rouge past. We have the law on our side, but we do not have the politics, as Thailand is exponentially more important than us in the political equation. And this is more a political game than a legal game, even if legal vocabulary and legal institutions are being cited by each side as its vindicator. The most ridiculous of the legalese and legal institutions being marshaled must be this bombastic call by Thai senators to try the Cambodian Prime Minister at the ICC for war crimes. It’s bombastic because it’s meaningless grandstanding to obfuscate in the international arena. If anything, the Burmese junta should be the first one to see the face of the ICC from this region.
Mind you, I believe our Prime Minister has crimes he needs to be held responsible for; this is not one of them.
- Theary C. Seng, Phnom Penh
. . . . .
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The ICC is based on a treaty, joined by 114 countries [including Cambodia, but not the United States].
The ICC is a court of last resort[principle of “complementarity”]. It will not act if a case is investigated or prosecuted by a national judicial systemunless the national proceedings are not genuine, for example if formal proceedings were undertaken solely to shield a person from criminal responsibility.
In addition, the ICC only tries those accused of the gravest crimes. In all of its activities, the ICC observes the highest standards of fairness and due process.
The jurisdiction and functioning of the ICC are governed by the Rome Statute.
Proceedings before the ICC may be initiated by a State Party, the Prosecutor[makes this individual very powerful which scares U.S. from ratifying] or the United Nations Security Council.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ)[which awarded Preah Vihear to Cambodia] does not have criminal jurisdiction to prosecute individuals. It is a civil tribunal that deals primarily with disputes between States. The ICJ is the principle judicial organ of the United Nations, whereas the ICC is independent of the UN.
Theary Seng in front of the Nobel Peace Center, here banner honoring Laureate Liu Xiaobo (Oslo, 1 Feb. 2011).
Theary Seng with Serbian filmmaker Natasa Muntean (and tour guide extraordinaire) inside Oslo City Hall where the annual Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony is held. 1 Feb. 2011.
Theary Seng at the Eternal Peace Flame by the sea (Oslo, 1 Feb. 2011).
Theary Seng with John Einar Sandvand of Aftenposten, the largest newspaper in Norway, here in its posh Boardroom (Oslo, 2 Feb. 2011).
Sarah Ramin Osmundsen, a talented slam poet who performed at the Human Rights Human Wrongs opening events at the packed Parkteatret (Oslo, 2 Feb., 2011).
Here's that amazing performance but at a different event! And she's only 19!
Nora Sveaass, Norway member of UN Committee Against Torture (Oslo, 2 Feb. 2011)
Director David Aronowitsch before the screening of Facing Genocide in front of trendy Parkteatret (Oslo, 3 Feb. 2011).
Director David Aronowitsch introducing the film Facing Genocide on Thursday at the trendy Parkteatret in Oslo, 3 Feb. 2011.
Screening of Facing Genocide at the packed trendy Parkteatret on Thursday in Oslo, 3 Feb. 2011.
Nora Sveaass, Theary Seng, Gunnar Ekelove-Slydal at panel discussion after screening of Facing Genocide (Oslo, 3 Feb. 2011).
A nice dinner in the trendy "SoHo" of Oslo after screening of Facing Genocide and the panel discussion - Prof. Nora Sveass, Dr. Evelin G. Linder, team of Facing Genocide, Theary Sen etc. (Oslo, 3 Feb. 2011).
Vietnamization: Pre-Khmer Rouge
The US-Vietnam War in Cambodia, a bloody sideshow
A South Vietnamese soldier keeps his finger on the trigger as he watches a Cambodian woman and baby emerge from bunker following airstrikes in the vicinity of a vil [ ... ]
Johnson: The story of pinyin
One country, two systems The coexistence of pinyin and Chinese characters highlights the role of emotion in language decisions
The Economist | January 2017
Pinyin has not, of course, replaced the [ ... ]