Press Release for June 27

For Immediate Release: The Cambodian Grassroots People’s Assemblies have come to a close with tentative results following the three events held throughout June across the Kingdom of Cambodia ahead of the national election. Planned as an expression of grassroots democratic engagement-, to get politicians of the three main political parties to listen to the needs of their constituents- the Cambodian Grassroots People’s Assembly (CGPA) became an exercise in demonstrating the democratic rights, freedoms and hopes guaranteed by the Cambodian Constitution. While the Assemblies were peaceful events that served no individual party political purpose, it proved very difficult in Kompong Chnang and Preah Sihanouk, and impossible in Siem Reap, to convince the authorities of the non-oppositional intentions of the Cambodian Cross Sector Network so that full cooperation and participation was ensured beforehand.

The three assemblies on June 14, 19 and 24 were held in public spaces in order to allow for an open, transparent atmosphere where participants as well as the general public could see and experience democracy in action. The authorities in Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Som proved to be more open to the events and after fulfilling the necessary procedure as well as engaging in negotiations before the event, both Assemblies unfolded successfully. In Siem Reap it proved to be a different affair, as the authorities never once engaged with CGPA organizers to ensure a smooth implementation.

“The presence and behavior of more than 300 police and military police was designed to be very intimidating, especially when they drove speeding up and down the road in the fire trucks while manning the water cannons. In the days before CGPA, when authorities in the other provinces respected the organizers by calling for negotiation meetings, the Siem Reap authorities simply remained silent, trying to ignore us. I guess they hoped that would make us afraid and doubt our legal rights to make our plan a reality. The more they ignored the people, the more determined we all became to exercise our democratic rights and show them they do not need to be afraid of us. Our event is about presenting our issues and solutions to our political representatives, nothing more. The strength and courage of the people finally brought the rightful respect from the authorities who did not use violence and from the CPP party who did come to the marching Assembly to accept and sign the People’s Statement” said Keo Sophy, a representative from Tapen land community, Banteay Srei district, Siem Reap province.

“Our will is strong because it is the will of all ordinary Cambodian people. We are doing nothing wrong. And politicians of every party are recognizing this fact,” said Teng Kao, a preventative from Sugar network, Koh Kong province. “We appreciate deeply that representatives of FUNCIPEC, the CNRP and the CPP attended our assemblies and signed the Joint People’s Statement. However, apart from in Preah Sihanouk, the CPP representatives did not participate willingly, only at the last moment when people were marching to their offices. Our intention throughout is to ask political leaders to respect the people. Eventually the people got that respect but they had to struggle under heat and rain, and facing a lot of military first. We hope authorities and political parties everywhere now understand who we are, we are their legitimate constituents. And we hope for better cooperation in the future.”  

The purpose of the Joint People’s Statement was to get the invited political parties to acknowledge the issues faced by people across the Kingdom and to commit to solutions which respond equitably and sustainably to the different needs of people in different sectors. Signing the statement is like recommitting to the very people of Cambodia, putting the people first. It’s a chance for all politicians, regardless of party, to display that they do have the best interests of their constituents in mind and are real legitimate representatives of their people.

“For us as citizens, we want our leaders to know our problems and solutions.  We are the constituents and must be part of solutions through democratized cooperation and actual representation of our needs, so that our problems can finally be solved. That is why we held the Cambodian Grassroots People’s Assembly – people need to be heard, their solutions need to be incorporated into the Kingdom’s future development.  As we have said we want leaders who are chosen by us, work for us and stay with us,” said Ly Pisey, a representative from Social Action for Change of cross sector network.

Cambodia’s upcoming parliamentary elections in July are a time for renewed commitments from the Kingdom’s elected officials to their people and their many needs across this country. Promises, pledges, assurances, agreements and statements sound good to the ear, but Cambodia needs real action to ensure a democratic, sustainable and equitable future for all. The Cambodian Cross-Sector Network and its allies will continue to push for the demands presented, because no solutions for what the Cambodian people need can be imposed – they must come from listening to and participating with the people.

“The Cambodian Grassroots People’s Assembly has had tentative successes that we hope will grow into sustained equitable development. We have been very respectful and reasonable at all times, and will continue to be so.  We will always remain peaceful because not to be would be against our values, our goals and our needs. With one month left before the election, we wish to stress again that we are too tired with the empty promises.  What we want now are real and lasting solutions with an equal partnership between us and our legitimate leaders, said Penh Ath, a representative from Phnom Kuk community, Kampong Chhnang province.

Press Invitation for June 27

Cambodian Grassroots People’s Assembly Press Conference

All members of the media are invited to attend a press conference by the Cambodian Cross-sector Network who recentlyheld the Cambodian Grassroots People’s Assembly (CGPA) in three different regions around Cambodia, where members of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) and FUNCIPEC all eventually signed the Joint People’s Statement (some under duress) . The press conference will share the results achieved by CGPA’s and the next steps to ensure that the politicians follow through with the Joint People’s Statement. It will take place at Meta House on Sothearos Blvd in Phnom Penh on Thursday 27th June 2013 at 10:00 AM.

The Cambodian Grassroots People’s Assembly is organized by the cross sector network, grassroots communities and networks around Cambodia. Each organization and its members face a number of grievances and challenges which they wish to get concrete resolutions for. Previously the Cambodian Grassroots Cross-sector Network has presented a statement to the Cambodian National Assembly under the auspices of the ASEAN Grassroots People’s Assembly (AGPA), held in November 2012 ahead of the 21st ASEAN Summit.

Since that time the National Assembly and the Royal Government of Cambodia have failed to respond to the statement and in some cases the issues presented have only worsened. The CGPA asked that politicians of the three main parties commit to solid, equitable and lasting solutions. To that point, the CGPA and its members have presented their causes and solutions along with the Joint People’s Statement, which members of participating political parties signed or signed under duress as people set out to march to their office.

People’s Statement for the Northwest Siem Reap, 24 June 2013

We, the Cambodian Grassroots People’s Assembly, are farmers, fisher-folk, forestry activists, land activists, indigenous people, feminists, labour activists, sex workers, youth activists, anti-eviction activists, anti-capitalism activists, LGBT activists, activists impacted by hydro-power dam projects, artists and singers. We are here with our grassroots brothers and sisters from Siem Reap, Kampong Thom, PreahVihear, Outdor Mean Chey, Kratie and other parts of Cambodia as part of the Northwest Region of the cross sector networks. We are not an anti-government Assembly and we are not involved in any political party. We are here as Cambodian grassroots people who love peace and are committed to active non-violence. We are here as Cambodian grassroots people who believe in people’s human rights, in human dignity and in democracy. That is why we have organized our Assembly.

 

Our Assembly is timed to raise the people’s voices and problems to existing Members of Parliament (MPs), MP candidates and all political leaders ahead of the National Election on 28 July. In recent years, we have experienced a model of development in Cambodia, which has made our lives more insecure and vulnerable. Our poverty has increased as our natural resources have been destroyed, diminished and expropriated. Instead of the political will of our leaders enacting laws and policies which guarantee peoples’ human needs and dignity, our leaders have excluded us, the people, and prioritized the interests of foreign investors and other powerful elites. When the people are excluded from the development model and approach, any development, which follows cannot and will not respond to the people’s needs.

 

If political leaders and Members of Parliament are to have legitimacy before us, then they must represent our voices and concerns and implement real lasting solutions to our problems. They must prioritise using and protecting the natural resources of our country in a sustainable way to benefit us all and serve our livelihoods as Cambodian people now and for future generations.

 

Political leaders must focus their political will on implementing an approach to sustainable development. This means, putting the peoples’ needs first, achieving meaningful equality, protecting the environment and achieving real democracy by all of us being part of a participatory decision-making process. When all Cambodians live a life with adequate income, a secure livelihood, secure land title, accessible and adequate healthcare and freedom to exercise all of their civic and political rights then we will say the political leaders have legitimacy before us.

 

  • Our Assembly proclaims the people’s right to space for true representation of our problems, solutions and visions for our future!
  • Our Assembly proclaims the people’s desire for a Cambodia for all Cambodians not just rich and powerful Cambodians!
  • Our Assembly proclaims the people’s belief in legitimate political leaders!
  • Our Assembly proclaims that the people have had enough empty promises already- we want action to bring real lasting solutions to our problems and we want it now on the following people’s demands!
  • Our Assembly proclaims that our leaders should be leaders by us, for us and with us!

OUR COMMON DEMANDS

The cross sector networks in its five regions of Cambodia share common strategic demands, born during its first People’s Assembly (AGPA November 2012). We re-state them here and will continue to struggle to achieve them.

 

  1. 1.      LAND SECTOR
  • We demand the government to assess and redress the negative impacts of economic land           concessions.
  • We demand government develops policy and laws related to mining and hydro-power dams which serve the interest of people.
  • We demand a transparent policy, mechanism and implementation of land distribution to the Cambodian people.
  • We demand that areas of rich biodiversity are protected.
  • We demand the release of human rights and land activists in prison.

 

  1. 2.      FOOD SECURITY and SOVEREIGNTY
  • We demand a fair market and a fair price for our products.
  • We demand micro credit from the government with 2% interest rate per year.
  • We demand agricultural technical support from government.
  • We reject any agricultural law which contradicts the Constitution and land law.
  • We demand agro-business laws to protect equal bargaining power between producers and buyers.

 

  1. 3.      TRADE and INVESTMENT
  • Trade and investment should firstly and foremost strengthen the local economy, production, human capacities and well-being of the Cambodian people. Profit of investors should come after.
  • We demand accessible and equitable healthcare for all Cambodian and for Cambodia to have the rights to produce its own generic medicine.
  • Trade and investment policies being implemented in Cambodia must promote food sovereignty, decent work, protection of natural resources and life with dignity for all Cambodian people.

 

  1. 4.      LABOUR SECTOR (formal, informal, migrant workers)
  • We demand labor law enforcement in Cambodia.
  • We demand the rights to freedom of association and assembly.
  • We demand a living wage regularly adjusted to inflation.
  • We demand effective and transparent public services in Cambodia.
  • We demand an end to fixed duration contract.
  • We demand investment, which enables informal sector workers to earn decent livelihood.
  • We demand recognition and respect for the negotiation rights of informal sector workers.
  • We demand a social security fund for informal sector workers.
  • We demand lower gasoline price in Cambodia as neighboring countries.
  • We demand that migrant workers have the rights to form and join unions.
  • We demand ASEAN government to recognize and ratify rights of migrant worker to receive adequate wage and public services as local migrant worker.
  • We must change laws and policies in Cambodia to protect the rights of sex workers- sex work is work.

 

  1. 5.      HUMAN RIGHTS and DEMOCRACY
  • We demand that Cambodia respect human rights, democracy and stop discriminating against the poor.
  • We demand an independent judiciary in Cambodia.
  • We demand an end to the manipulation of the judicial system and the violence which criminalizes human rights defenders and land activists.
  • We still reject the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration in its current form and demand consultation and transparency in the on-going process.

 

THE PARTICIPATING NETWORKS IMMEDIATE DEMANDS

Cambodian Food and Services Worker Federation (CFSWF) Beer promotion workers, massage workers, cleaners, karaoke workers, flight attendants and petrol station workers

  • We demand a wage increase to $150 per month.
  • We demand national and international holidays with regular pay.
  • We demand an annual bonus (thirteenth month salary) equal the last full-month wage.
  • We demand there must be a bilateral agreement between employer and employee/worker
  • We demand an 8 hour working day, or 48 hours per week. If working hours go over 8 hours workers must be entitled to overtime pay.
  • We demand that discrimination against members of trade union must stop.
  • We demand that employers are liable for work injury to workers.

 

Independent Democracy of Informal Economic Association (IDEA)

  • APSARA Authority must stop their plan to import electronic cars to Siem Reap.
  • The 5th mandate government must stop granting monopoly rights to electronic car companies and must stop monopolizing the parking at tourist areas in Siem Reap.
  • The 5th mandate government must stop charging parking fees at all tourist areas in Siem Reap.
  • The authorities should provide ID cards and uniform-vests to renovated tuk-tuks.
  • The authorities must take action to stop hotel owners who dismissing tuk-tuk drivers from where they are doing their business every Monday.
  • The authorities must make an intervention which prevents private business owners from renting vehicles to expatriate tourists.
  • The 5th mandate government must lower the road tax for tuk-tuk by charging a tax rate which is based on engine size.
  • The authorities should provide free mechanical check-up services to tuk-tuks to help support the informal economy.
  • The 5th mandate government must lower the gasoline price to be low like neighboring countries.
  • The 5th mandate government must allow renovated TukTuk to do business free of charge.

 

Angkor Thom Community

  • The 5th mandate government must intervene with APSARA Authority to implement a measure which admits newly-established families to construct houses on their residential land legally and without conditions.
  • The 5th mandate government must conduct a census with the remaining population in Angkor Thom district.

 

Tani Village, RuntaEk Community, BanteaySrei District Community

  • The 5th mandate government must provide social land concession of 158 hectares and issue land titles to 38 households in our community.

 

Tapein Community

  • We demand the provincial authorities must urgently return land of 183 hectares and issue land titles as agreed to 90 families in Tapein village that was occupied by Forestry Administration since 2003.
  • We demand the provincial authorities repair 4000m of roads in our community.

 

Skun Village, Banteay Srei Community

  • The 5th mandate government must issue land titles to 117 families in our community.
  • The court must stop condemning and arresting land activists.

 

Reul Community (Reul Commune, Pouk District)

  • The 5th mandate government must issue legal land titles to 12 families in our community who have been living there since 1999 and farming the land every year.

 

Tbaeng Lich

  • Fifth mandate government must provide farm land and issue legal land title 427 hectare to 105 families in community.

 

Chi Kraeng Community

  • The 5th mandate government and Siem Reap authority must solve and return 475 hectares of land to Chi Kraeng community.
  • The 5th mandate government and Siem Reap authority must stop accusing and arresting land activists.
  • The 5th mandate government must guarantee to have and independent and just judiciary.
  • The 5th mandate government and Siem Reap authority must stop using violence and armed force to crack down on land activists.

 

Sna Sangkream Community

  • The 5th mandate government must provide farm land of 254 hectares and issue legal land titles to 87 families in Sna Sangkream village, Balaing commune, Prasat Bakong district of Siem Reap province.

 

Women’s Network for Unity (WNU)

  • The 5th mandate government must recognize and grant rights to sex workers.
  • The 5th mandate government must provide Health Equity Fund to poor people so they can access quality healthcare.
  • The authorities must implement the law, respect human rights and protect sex workers.

 

Prey Lang Network

  • The 5th mandate government must take immediate measures to stop clearing the forest inside Prey Lang.
  • The 5th mandate government must stop granting Economic Land Concession inside Prey Lang area.
  • The 5th mandate government must grant Social Land Concession to communities.

 

Snoul Community Network, Kratie province

  • The 5th mandate government must review the illegal operations of companies and must completely stop all powerful officials who encroach and illegally own plots of land and the government has to prosecute them.
  • The 5th mandate government must withhold the land of BenPheouk I and BenPheouk II and return it to 400 families as their residential and farm land once again.

 

Farmers and Nature Network (FNN)

  • We demand the 5th mandate government to provide fair market and fair price.
  • We demand the 5th mandate government to provide credit at a 2% annual interest rate.
  • We reject the Law on Agriculture Land Use and Management which contradicts to the National Constitution Law and Land Law.
  • We demand the 5th mandate government to develop the Agricultural Law which grants equal bargaining power between the producers and buyers.

 

Beoung Pe Community Networkm Preah Vihear province

  • The authorities must take immediate measures to stop forest encroachment.
  • The 5th mandate government must abolish the Economic Land Concession granted to companies in Beoung Pe community.
  • The 5th mandate government must not grant mining concession to private companies in Roveang district, Preah Vihear province.
  • The 5th mandate government must abolish the Railway Construction project from Roveang district, Preah Vihear province to Koh Kong province.
  • The 5th mandate government must grant and recognize the community forests in Roveang district, Preah Vihear province.

 

Sugar Network, Oddar Meanchey province

  • The 5th mandate government must eliminate Economic Land Concession to companies and give back the land to 602 families.
  • Stop condemning and arresting land activists.
  • Before granting Economic Land Concession, the government must conduct community consultation with local people.

 

Tonle Sap Fishery Network (TSN)

  • Specialized Fishery department must strengthen and implement the laws effectively.
  • Government must provide and ensure the rights of fisher-folks to participate in the protection of natural resources and combat illegal fishing
  • The 5th mandate government must provide special university scholarships to the children of fisher-folk.
  • The 5th mandate government and authority must construct 6 kilometers of road; repair 4 kilometers length of stream in Kampong Tlok; and repair the 10 kilometers length stream in Kampong Khleang.
  • The 5th mandate government must reduce the price of gasoline to be the same price as neighbouring countries.
  • The 5th mandate government must provide credit to fisher-folk at a 2% annual interest rate.
  • The 5th mandate government must give social land concession to fisher-folk.
  • The 5th mandate government must provide alternative jobs possibilities to fisher-folk, besides fishing.
  • The 5th mandate government must provide free healthcare and education services to fisher-folk.

Press Release for June 23, 2013

Cambodian Grassroots People’s Assembly comes to Siem Reap province

For Immediate Release: The Cross-Sector Network will hold their third and final Cambodian Grassroots People’s Assembly (CGPA) tomorrow in Siem Reap, following last Wednesday’s successful and inspiring Assembly in Preah Sihanouk where approximately 1,300 grassroots people and all three invited political parties – Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), FUNCINPEC and Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP)- participated in the Assembly. The Siem Reap Assembly is set to take place in the public space of Angkor Pjongyn roundabout, Street 60, in Siem Reap from 8AM onwards. As happened at the Assemblies in Kompong Chnang and Preah Sihanouk, those attending will have an opportunity to voice the exploitation they face working in the tourism sector, land issues, harmful impacts of mining and on-going logging inside Prey Long forest. People will also recommend their solutions directly to representatives of CPP, FUNCINPEC and CNRP.

Independent Democracy of Informal Economic Association (IDEA), Skun & Tapaen communities, CFSWF, Prey Lang, Boeung Per Network, Rovieng Mining Network, and other communities in the Cambodian Cross-Sector Network are all working together to make the Assembly happen. People’s common purpose is to seek justice and fairness – they see Cambodia developing and getting richer for some and they just want a decent life which has livelihood security for themselves and their families.

Working in the tourism sector in Siem Reap sounds like it should be a good opportunity and a good job. But the reality is working conditions are very poor. Workers are not covered by social security or social services, are forced to work unpaid overtime and face wage cuts if they need to take time off when a family member gets sick.  Because most of the workers in this industry are employed as short-term (fixed duration contract) workers they face constant job insecurity. If they ask for better conditions then their contract will not be renewed. Because of this fear it is hard for them to demand better working conditions”, says Chheng Kimyan from Cambodia Food Service Worker Federation (CFSWF).

“Protecting the natural resources is the most important for us. Our lives depend on the forest- it gives us our food, it gives us our water, it gives us all the materials we need for our life. When companies get concessions in our forest, it threatens everything for us. When the mining companies started their operations, our water was poisoned- our cows died, people got sick and nobody will solve this problem. When illegal logging destroys our forest what will we live from? If we remain silent we will die and what will our future generation have?  So we choose to speak and we are happy that the Assembly gives us a chance to face future leaders with our daily struggle for life”, says Sing Sophearin from Bangken Phal village, Romtum commune, Rovieng district, Preah Vihear province.

Representatives are invited to attend the whole day event in order to listen to the people in the morning and speak to people’s problems and answer people’s questions in the afternoon. To signal their commitment to end empty promises and take real action to solve people’s problems, if elected, candidates will be asked to sign the CGPA People’s Statement (CGPA website). The Assembly will march to any candidate’s office or home if they fail to show up and receive the People’s Statement ahead of the election.

”We have been struggling for our land rights for many years already, some of us since 2004, some of us since 2009. We are tired of empty promises. We want a land title in our hands so that we know our land is safe now and forever. If people cannot get their land back then they need fair compensation. Land is life. Is our life worthless? If not why are our problems not getting solved? They come to measure our land and tell we may get the land title after the election. What does this really mean? We come to join the Assembly to demand our land title now, we are tired of waiting and do not trust in the time after the election” said Kun Eng from Tbaeng Khang Lech commune, Banteay Srey district, Siem Reap province.

As the third and last assembly before the national elections in July, the Cambodian Cross-Sector Network is hoping that this chance for a direct communication between future leaders and the people will result in real actions by all politicians who attend. The people involved are coming with solutions to their problems and are ready to work together with their leaders. The three CGPAs are an expression of real democratic processes in action in Cambodia- the people and the future leaders listening to each and pledging a commitment to take action together for real lasting solutions.

Cambodian Grassroots People’s Assembly People’s Statement

We, the Cambodian Grassroots People’s Assembly, are farmers, fisher-folk, forestry activists, land activists, indigenous people, feminists, labour activists, sex workers, youth activists, anti-eviction activists, anti-capitalism activists, LGBT activists, activists impacted by hydro-power dam projects, artists and singers. We are here with our grassroots brothers and sisters from Preah Sihanouk, Koh Kong, Kampot, Takeo, Kep, Kopmong Speu and other parts of Cambodia as part of the Southern Region of the cross sector networks. We are not an anti-government Assembly and we are not involved in any political party. We are here as Cambodian grassroots people who love peace and are committed to active non-violence. We are here as Cambodian grassroots people who believe in people’s human rights, in human dignity and in democracy. That is why we have organized our Assembly.

Our Assembly is timed to raise the people’s voices and problems to existing Members of Parliament (MPs), MP candidates and all political leaders ahead of the National Election on 28 July. In recent years, we have experienced a model of development in Cambodia which has made our lives more insecure and vulnerable. Our poverty has increased as our natural resources have been destroyed, diminished and expropriated. Instead of the political will of our leaders enacting laws and policies which guarantee peoples’ human needs and dignity, our leaders have excluded us, the people, and prioritized the interests of foreign investors and other powerful elites. When the people are excluded from the development model and approach, any development which follows cannot and will not respond to the people’s needs.

If political leaders and Members of Parliament are to have legitimacy before us, then they must represent our voices and concerns and implement real lasting solutions to our problems. They must prioritise using and protecting the natural resources of our country in a sustainable way to benefit us all and serve our livelihoods as Cambodian people now and for future generations.

Political leaders must focus their political will on implementing an approach to sustainable development. This means, putting the peoples’ needs first, achieving meaningful equality, protecting the environment and achieving real democracy by all of us being part of a participatory decision-making process. When all Cambodians live a life with adequate income, a secure livelihood, secure land title, accessible and adequate healthcare and freedom to exercise all of their civic and political rights then we will say the political leaders have legitimacy before us.

  • Our Assembly proclaims the people’s right to space for true representation of our problems, solutions and visions for our future!
  • Our Assembly proclaims the people’s desire for a Cambodia for all Cambodians not just rich and powerful Cambodians!
  • Our Assembly proclaims the people’s belief in legitimate political leaders!
  • Our Assembly proclaims that the people have had enough empty promises already- we want action to bring real lasting solutions to our problems and we want it now on the following people’s demands!
  • Our Assembly proclaims that our leaders should be leaders by us, for us and with us!

OUR COMMON DEMANDS

The cross sector networks in its five regions of Cambodia share common strategic demands, born during its first People’s Assembly (AGPA November 2012). We re-state them here and will continue to struggle to achieve them.

  1. 1.      LAND SECTOR
  • We demand the government to assess and redress the negative impacts of economic land           concessions to date and cancel the ELC policy from now on.
  • We demand government develops policy and laws related to mining and hydro-power dams which serve the interest of people.
  • We demand a transparent policy, mechanism and implementation of land distribution to the Cambodian people.
  • We demand that areas of rich biodiversity are protected.
  • We demand the release of human rights and land activists in prison.
  1. 2.      FOOD SECURITY and SOVEREIGNTY
  • We demand a fair market and a fair price for our products.
  • We demand micro credit from the government with 2% interest rate per year.
  • We demand agricultural technical support from government.
  • We reject any agricultural law which contradicts the Constitution and land law.
  • We demand agro-business laws to protect equal bargaining power between producers and buyers.
  1. 3.      TRADE and INVESTMENT
  • Trade and investment should firstly and foremost strengthen the local economy, production, human capacities and well-being of the Cambodian people. Profit of investors should come after.
  • We demand accessible and equitable healthcare for all Cambodian and for Cambodia to have the rights to produce its own generic medicine.
  • Trade and investment policies being implemented in Cambodia must promote food sovereignty, decent work, protection of natural resources and life with dignity for all Cambodian people.
  1. 4.      LABOUR SECTOR (formal, informal, migrant workers)
  • We demand labor law enforcement in Cambodia.
  • We demand the rights to freedom of association and assembly.
  • We demand a living wage regularly adjusted to inflation.
  • We demand effective and transparent public services in Cambodia.
  • We demand an end to fixed duration contract.
  • We demand investment which enables informal sector workers to earn decent livelihood.
  • We demand recognition and respect for the negotiation rights of informal sector workers.
  • We demand a social security fund for informal sector workers.
  • We demand lower gasoline price in Cambodia.
  • We demand that migrant workers have the rights to form and join unions.
  • We must change laws and policies in Cambodia to protect the rights of sex workers- sex work is work.
  1. 5.      HUMAN RIGHTS and DEMOCRACY
  • We demand that Cambodia respect human rights, democracy and stop discriminating against the poor.
  • We demand an independent judiciary in Cambodia.
  • We demand an end to the manipulation of the judicial system and the violence which criminalizes human rights defenders and land activists.
  • We still reject the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration in its current form and demand consultation and transparency in the on-going process.

THE PARTICIPATING NETWORKS IMMEDIATE DEMANDS

The Southern Region of cross sector networks have had enough empty promises- we want real and lasting solutions to our problems below.

 

  • C. E. 5 Community (126 families) 
    • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to measure our farm-land and house-land and grant the legal land title to all of us.
  • Anlung Trei Community
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to solve the land problem of 157 families whose 400hectares (farmland and house-land) was taken by the company and powerful people.
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to provide free quality education and healthcare for all of us.
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government reduce the gasoline and food prices.
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to stop making empty promise and tackle and solve our problems from the previous mandated government.
  • Prek Treng Community (92 families with 135 hectares of land problem)
  • We demand the provincial authority returns our land and grants legal land title according to the decision of the Ministry of Urban Planning and Land Management, Prime Minister and National Assembly.
  • We demand for the authorities at all levels to respect the rights to livelihood and access to free quality public services such as education and health.
  • The 5th mandate elected government has to stop forced eviction.
  • Every violation of people’s right must be address and gain sufficient compensation.
  • In the 5th mandate elected government MPs must be the real MPs and understand the real problems of the people.
  • Veal Shanthi Community (70 families with 125 hectares of farm and housing land)
  • Ream village, Ream commune, (Preah Sihanouk province) demands the Yischia company allow the people to re-build their house.
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to grant us back our farmland as it was in 2004 for us to use.
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to grant the farmland and house-land for 70 families.
  • Spean Chhes community (107 families)
    • We wish for the local authorities to measure the land for 107 families as soon as possible. If you don’t do so you must permit us all to go back to our old land.
    • We wish the provincial authority to grant land for sufficient housing, to grant legal land titles, provide stable jobs and provide re-location sites within 5 km of the city of Preah Sihanouk.
    • We request that the relevant authorities participate in negotiating and solving directly with the community representatives and the community committee.
  • Kampenh Chah community
  • 24 families demand the authorities to land and legal land titles to us.
  • Kanhpenh Thmey community  (137 families)
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to return our land to 137 families.
  • Koh Kchong village (152 families), Or Chrao commune, Preah Nouk district
  • We demand the government to stop intimidating the community by using the court to scare people.
  • We demand the government to use the court fairly and give justice to the land communities by giving the 152 families back their land.
  • K’bal Hong Toek village, Ream commune, Preah Nouk district
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to negotiate with the clean water company to return the land to 204 families who land has been taken.
  • Stung Hao, Preah Sihanouk province
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to stop selling electricity to private companies that charge prices which are too high.
  • Outres community, Village 6, Sangkat 4, Khan Mittapheap, Preah Sihanouk
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to support us to avoid the eviction from our community and grant us our full rights to re-build our homes.
  • Sugar Justice Network (Koh Kong, 200 families 1364.802hectares)
  • We demand 1)Thai KSL (Koh Kong Sugar Company Ltd and Koh Kong Sugar Plantation Ltd), 2)Okhna Ly Yon Phat, 3) Taiwan company give back the above amount of land to the people.
  • The companies  must be responsible and accountable before the law for whatever they have done wrong.
  • Authorities and relevant institutions at all levels must tackle the problem of land and return the land to the people.
  • We don’t need any more empty promises like the previous mandate. We demand the candidates for the 5th elected mandate must solve our land problems.
  • The government must grant the legal land title for the all the people.
  • We demand for all of our freedoms.
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to enable the poor to access real justice, to get our land back and for those perpetrators of violence against community activists to be prosecuted for their crimes.
  • Farmer Nature Network (FNN)
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to provide fair markets and fair prices.
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to provide microfinance that has 2% interest per year.
  • We object to agricultural laws that are against the constitutional law and land law.
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to ensure agricultural law that protects equal power of negotiation between producers and buyers.
  • Farmers for Peace and Development (FAPD)
    • We demand for the 5th mandate elected government to set the fair price for agricultural products in line with inflation.
    • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to stop accusing and discriminating against community labeling them opposition party when they are simply demanding for solutions to their problems.
    • We wish that MPs will respect all the freedoms of people (right of expression, right to access information, right to decent living).
    • We request the government to stop importing agricultural products from our neighbouring countries which are affecting our health and livelihood.
    • We demand for the newly-mandated government to develop the social security for the old people, orphans, widows and those who are jobless.
    • We request the new government to create jobs for youth and stop migration.
  • Cambodian Independent Civil Servants Association (CICA)
  • The 5th mandate elected government must raise salary for civil servants to at least 1,000,000riel/month and ensure quality and effective public services.
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to respect the rights to form and participate I trade unions without discrimination.
  • Fisheries Communities
  • The 5th mandate elected government must ensure the rights and role of fisher-folk in preventing and apprehending illegal fishing and protecting fishery resources.
  • The 5th mandate elected government must stop illegal fishing on the seaside.
  • The 5th mandate elected government must stop rich and powerful people from cutting flooded forest which destroys fish breeding grounds and must stop moving fishing breeding ground into private ownership.
  • The 5th mandate elected government must stop making empty promises.
  • We demand for a reduction in electricity price to 650riel/kw
  • Independent Democratic Economy Association (IDEA)
  • We demand mote rental to foreign tourists should be stopped.
  • We demand transportation service for passengers from the guesthouses be stopped.
  • We demand a reduction in the tax price of imported motos so that we can afford to buy motos to improve our livelihood.
  • We demand a reduction in the gasoline price to 4000riel per litre.
  • We demand that the police chief and military police effectively implement Letter Nr 17 dated December 2010 by the provincial governor’s house.
  • We demand the authorities stop accusing IDEA as being opposition party activists. Stop discrimination against us!
  • We demand the Tourist Police officers seriously implement the Traffic Law Article 35.
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to ensure a reduction in market prices in line with the income of informal sector workers.
  • We request the police to monitor trucks transporting loads from the Special Economic Zone which are overloaded and are not respecting the traffic law.
  • We request the Preah Sihanouk police to stop charging loading fees at the loading check point.
  • Women’s Network for Unity (WNU)  
  • We demand recognition that sex work is work so that we can support our family.
  • Stop discrimination against sex workers
  • We demand the promotion of quality and effective treatment for people living with HIV.
  • We demand legal protection for sex workers and entertainment workers.
  • We demand rights and justice for women.
  • We demand legal service for women, safe sex, a reduction in HIV infection and a reduction in human trafficking.
  • We demand the needs of people are always put before profit.
  • Worker’s Information Centre (WIC)
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to improve the working conditions in garment factories- to ensure proper medical treatment; proper safety standards and monitoring of factory buildings; hygiene and safety in the rentals; a reduction in the cost of monthly rentals and an increase in our wages to make it a living wage.
  • We demand factory owners respect and implement the Labour law of Cambodia.
  • CamASEAN
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to improve the quality of the education for students.
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to expand the work of the NGO sector and the private sector.
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to stop the advertising of alcohol on radio and TV as it is negatively impacting on our culture.
  • We demand the 5th mandate elected government to increase the precise understanding and meaning of politics among students and people generally.

Press Release: CGPA comes to Preah Sihanouk

For Immediate Release: The Cross-Sector Network and partners will hold their second of three Cambodian Grassroots People’s Assembly (CGPA) tomorrow in Preah Sihanouk, following last week’s successful and inspiring Assembly  in Kampong Chhnang where over 600 grassroots people participated. The event is set to take place in the public space in front of the Old Theatre in Preah Sihanouk from 8AM onwards, and will provide the organizers and those attending an opportunity to voice their many concerns and their solutions to representatives of the three political parties invited- CPP, FUNCINPEC and CNRP. Representative are invited to attend the whole day event- to listen to grassroots people in the morning and to speak to people’s problems and answer people’s questions in the afternoon. Finally MP candidates will be asked to sign the CGPA People’s Statement to signal their commitment to end empty promises and take real action to solve people’s problems, if elected.

Representatives from the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) and FUNCIPEC attended the June 13 CGPA in Kampong Chhnang where the Cross-Sector Network and its partners including Phnom Kuk, Cambodian Independent Civil-Servant Association (CICA), Independent Democracy for Informal Economic Association (IDEA), Tonle Sap Fisheries Network (TSN), Farmer Nature Network (FNN) and others presented their CGPA People’s Statement. KY Vandara, MP candidate for CNRP, and CHHIM Chhon, MP candidate for FUNCIPEC, both signed the statement. The final activity of the Assembly was a march to the MP Office of the CPP candidate as he did not attend and people wanted their CGPA Statement to be accepted and signed by the CPP candidate also. Having set out to march, people were faced off, after about 50 meters, by a line of soldiers and police blocking their route.  The leaders of the Assembly reiterated their purpose, to peacefully but surely see their Statement received by CPP. After a short time, an officer from Kg. Chnang CPP MP Office, Mr. VONG Vibol, came to meet the marchers on the street and signed and accepted a copy of the Statement.

 “We made excellent progress in Kampong Chhnang. Grassroots people spoke honestly and bravely about the daily struggle they face to survive in the face of many injustices. MP candidates’ commitment to the needs of everyone in Cambodia is for the moment giving us some hope and we thank them for signing the People’s Statement,” said Khat Vem, representative from Anlung Thre community. “We’re also thankful that the CPP, while they did not attend, took the time to come and meet us when we tried to march to their office They too have signed the People’s Statement, which is positive.”

This positive exercising of people’s democratic rights will continue in Preah Sihanouk where it is hoped the authorities will continue to strongly respect and cooperate with Cambodian citizens’ rights to assembly and freedom of speech which will show the real progress of democracy so far in Cambodia. “As with the ASEAN Grassroots People’s Assembly (AGPA) last November, the recent CGPA has proved once again our commitment to non-violent, peaceful actions. Our purpose is to seek solutions which have not yet come. We hope that our stance will be respected and that the CGPA will be able to go ahead unhindered without interference from anyone” added Mang Socheat (IDEA representative, Preah Sihanouk).

The Preah Sihanouk event will see approximately 1,500 grassroots people from Preah Sihanouk, Koh Kong, Kampot, Kep, Kg. Speu, and other parts of the country, gathering together in solidarity seeking solutions to their continuing problems. “The problems experienced in one province are also the problems of everyone’s province- we want all of our common problems to be heard and addressed, whether the problem happens in Koh Kong or Kep, Kampot or Preah Sihanouk. June 19 our Assembly happens in Preah Sihanouk but if we see no real action to solve our problems we will continue to do Assemblies in every province of Cambodia until we get the real and lasting response from our leaders” Teng Kao, Sugar Justice Network, Koh Kong. Members of IDEA, Spean Chheh Community, Anlung Thre Community, Farmer Association for Peace and Development (FAPD), Sugar Network for Justice and CICA will speak about their problems ranging land conflicts; moto rentals & tourism; farming, livelihoods & protection; the now famous Sugar plantation land concession in Koh Kong awarded to Senator Ly Yong Phat; and the livelihoods issues faced by civil servant. Each network and community will also present their solutions to the issues and ask the political party representatives in attendance to sign to People’s Statement and commit to real, equitable and sustainable solutions to the many problems faced by ordinary people across Cambodia.

For Press Enquires please contact:

HENG Socheat- Media Liaison KHMER
Tel: +855 (0) 12 390 229
Email: socheatheng2003@gmail.com

Gregory Pellechi – Media Liaison
Tel: +855 (0)976 978 064
Email: greg.pellechi@gmail.com

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