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
Gregory Pellechi – Media Liaison
Tel: +855 (0)976 978 064