There are foreigners, associated or not with foreign NGO’s who called on the Royal Government of Cambodia to immediately and unconditionally release all 13 women who were given sentences ranging from one to two-and-a-half years in prison, charged under Article 34/259 of the Land Law and Article 504 of the Penal Code by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
Their first mistake was to imply and, by this implication, to accuse indirectly that the Municipal Court of Phnom Penh is not independent from the government, and the latter can order the court as it pleases. In fact, they are not ignorant about the organization of the government and the system of separation of powers in Cambodia. It is insanity.
Their second mistake was to raise concerns about a small number of Boeung Kak Lake protesters simply for the purpose of inciting more people to carry out more protests, without putting resources where their mouth is. They have no dignity and courage to come to the assistance of those women with clear legal and financial resources to mount intelligent appeal in their defense. In Cambodia they should know that above the Municipal Court, there is the Court of Appeals and above the latter, there is the Supreme Court. It is shameful, as they are good only at inciting people and causing confrontation.
Their third mistake was to glorify protesters, any protesters against the national and municipal authorities and against a democratically elected government, as “human rights defenders,” or “champions for democracy” just by hearing from others, by reading what others wrote, by imagining that the government is an evil. Had they investigated the case of Boeung Kak Lake protesters thoroughly, had they heard and taken the testimony of many hundreds former Boeung Kak Lake Community residents who are very happy with the government policies, had they heard and understood the case made by the municipality of Phnom Penh, they would not have behaved so arrogantly. It is irresponsible.
Their fourth mistake was to ignore the facts from the beginning. Had they have done diligent inquiry and conducted fair and extensive investigation those foreigners would have come across the real cause of the on-and-off and sometimes violent protests organized and led by the women. As for the truth, many amongst those convicted protesters have already received their plot of land, but they kept on organizing and leading violent protests under the instigation of a small group of NGOs affiliated with opposition political parties. The NGOs and the invisible hands behind those NGOs falsely promise the women protesters that they would help them and their family getting political asylum, thus making way for them to leave Cambodia and to go and live abroad. Their strategy was to push the protesters to the limit of their violent actions, leaving the authorities no choice, but to take recourse to the existing rule of law. On the other hand, the NGOs and the invisible hands behind the NGOs intended to capture the images and the footage of these organized protests in order to request for more funding for future activities and for their own personal interests to make a good living on the back of the protesters.The truth will remain the truth.
We are not rich people, but we can make the sacrifice. We can foot the bills for hotel accommodation and meals for two nights and one day for those foreigners who wished to come to Phnom Penh to collect the facts and the truth about the case of Boeung Kak lake. We intended to remain anonymous. They may contact email@example.com for this purpose, the same way they sent their letter and we can assure that we will keep our words and the municipality of Phnom Penh will not involve.