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CIHR staff respond

Dear Editor,

Referring to the article "Fraud probe into human rights

group" by Robert Carmichael, (PPP Mar 15-18, 2002) we, the staff committee of

the Staff Association, would like to correct some points:

1. In the first column of page 2, the writer said that "CIHR staff had

established a committee to deal with the issue..." I would like to make clear

that our association has been created principally to serve moral, social,

internal political goals and to reinforce union between all staff members

through an open communication system to (promote) human rights, democracy and

good governance education throughout Cambodia in friendly co-operation with

governmental partners and all IO/NGOs.

The problem has happened before

our creation and (it is not in) our capability to solve it, because, at our

thought it has been related to administrative law, financial law, or country

common law and/or depending on CIHR board of directors and donor countries.

2. The writer has confirmed that: "the head of staff committee is Kassie's

personal secretary...", in the allusion that the association is under Kassie's

domination. We would like to inform you and the readers that Mrs Chhay Chhenmala

has been democratically elected by direct and secret votes of all staff members

in the presence of Mr Andrew Little, CIHR consultant. The total votes has been a

bit majority to her vice-chairperson, secretary, treasurer and liaison officer.

They work in a team, and all important decisions will always be made by common

decision of the staff meeting. All project managers, their assistants and other

people in high position have been prohibited from being candidates of the

leading committee to avoid influence upon the association activities. Therefore,

"the association did not create by organizing or by symbol from any

sources".

To avoid confusion in individuals minds by reading the

accusation against the Cambodian Institute of Human Rights, we, CIHR, would like

to ask all external investigators to complete their work and present the proof

and all facts found to (preserve the) integrity, prestige and reputation of the

CIHR.

Mrs Chhay Chhenmala, Chairperson CIHR

Mr Chhor Bunnaroth, Vice-chair

Mr

Lay Sovathara, Secretary

Mrs Mey Chann O'Saphear

Mr Chen Lam, Liaison

Officer

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