"Global Witness must be sent to court. They create disorder in society and they
are inciters. They only cause problems." Department of Forestry and Wildlife
head Ty Sokhun on the government's touchy relationship with the independent forestry
monitor, Global Witness.
"When I see the decision by the Supreme Court, [I ask] 'why do the wicked prosper?
Why are they not swiftly struck down for punishment?" Michael Collins, country
director of the United Methodist Church, on the court decision over the land battle
with 'renegade methodist', Pitou Lao.
"It's a bit of closure, and I think Sam Bith has a bit of guilt there, but I
don't think he's the main one." Peter Wilson, father of murdered Australian
backpacker David Wilson after Bith was convicted.
Wilson demanded that Khieu Samphan, the former head of state during the Khmer regime,
"We have to overcome greediness through charity, anger through loving kindness
and ignorance through wisdom." The Venerable Maha Ghosananda - known for leading
several Dhammayietras, or walks for peace, through Cambodia in the 1990s - on how
Cambodia can overcome the Pol Pot era.
"The government should ask [itself] how long the rest of the world will continue
to be so patient with a government that... has effectively licensed people smugglers,
drugs runners and weapons traders."
David Cockroft, International Transport Workers Federation general secretary, on
the awarding of the shipping registry contract to South Korean group, Cosmos.
"She isn't even worth a blade of grass at Angkor Wat." Prime Minister Hun
Sen lets his feelings about Thai actress Suwanan Kongying be known. Non-verified
comments from the actress said she would not come to Cambodia unless Angkor Wat was
"returned" to Thailand.
"This afternoon [Wednesday] I called everyone I know in the Cambodian Foreign
Ministry, the police, the defense minister, but they did not turn up soon enough."
Thai Ambassador Chatchawed Chartsuwan on his futile distress calls during the embassy
"Most objectionable was the fact that these life threatening acts and wanton
destruction were allowed to occur and continued despite repeated and constant direct
requests for protection from the Thai ambassador to the highest levels of the Royal
Cambodian Governement, who either professed helplessness or merely indicated seeming
indifference at the acute plight of our diplomatic mission." Official Thai statement
about the treatment of the ambassador during the January riots.
"The story said I was already dead, so I came back to show that I'm still alive."
Bou Meng, one of only seven survivors from the Tuol Sleng prison (S-21), surfaces
after reading of his demise in a Documentation Center of Cambodia magazine article.
Om Radsady's murder shocked the nation.
"It is very difficult to find an elephant on a big island." Chheang Dany
of the Wildlife Protection Office after 'Floaty' the elephant and her daughter escaped
from ranger custody and swam to Koh
Manoa Island 7km off the coast of Koh Kong province.
"A lot of these guys don't see [landmines and UXOs] as dangerous. Then they
pick up something and it goes bang." Ray Worner, project advisor of Handicap
International Belgium speaking after this year's rise in landmine/UXO victims.
"A few years ago Chea Sophara was not known. Now he speaks English, is learning
French, plays golf and wears Armani suits. He has a future," an un-named diplomat
said after Prime Minister Hun Sen - some say conveniently - posted Sophara, the city
governor, to Burma after the riots, a position he declined to accept.
"Among the people arrested and detained are the small and poor, whom I don't
believe are capable of preparing an operation to burn Thai properties to the ground."
King Norodom Sihanouk pleads with the government to release rioters linked with the
"We cannot accept that this crime was committed simply to steal one mobile phone...
This killing has disgraced the honor of Cambodia." Prince Norodom Ranariddh
dismissing the argument that the killing of Om Radsady was a simple robbery.
"It's hard to imagine a more unlikely target for an assassins' bullet... The
irony that someone as gentle and open to discussion as Radsady was silenced in such
a violent way is beyond contemplation." Ira Dassa, Keith Schulz, Evan Gottesman
and Brad Adams on the death of their well-respected colleague Om Radsady.
"Robberies do not affect the general environment. People should be more afraid
of those countries where planes are hijacked. In Cambodia, robberies take place with
only knives and guns - in other countries they use planes." Prime Minister Hun
Sen dismissing the killing of Om Radsady as simply an act of seemingly 'moderate'
"It means if the mosquito bites me, I don't need permission to kill the mosquito...
The violence depends on the protestors. The police have the right to use non-lethal
weapons, [but] if the mosquito bites... we can do anything." Ministry of Interior
spokesman Khieu Sopheak defending the additional 2000 national police and 300 military
police to be brought in before the elections.
"I'll say as soon as they start paying their workers five dollars a day and
providing healthcare, they will move onto the ethical list... If 20 percent of the
workforce are HIV positive, that is downright irresponsible." Ian Lubek on the
'they're not employees, they're promotional workers' stance of the major beer brands
"If we look at the poverty of Cambodia, I do not think we have the money to
pay for the damage, or any other means to solve the problem." Prince Norodom
Ranariddh on the seemingly questionable reparation plans for Thailand.
"People have learned to think, they have learned to be more critical, they have
learned to protest. I think this is the biggest contribution the SRP has helped to
bring to this country." Sam Rainsy, head of the opposition SRP party, when interviewed
by the Post.
"We met members across the country on March 21 and we found there were no problems
within Funcinpec. It is not broken, as the critics say; instead we are strong."
Prince Norodom Sirivudh on the Funcinpec breakaways.
"I don't like Saddam Hussein [because] he has a moustache and a big stomach".
A 22-year-old Phnom Penh waitress on the hard-to-find dictator.
"There are signs that economic growth... has not produced any significant poverty
reduction. Indeed, there are some signs that the situation is worsening. Even during
high-growth periods [over the last decade], poverty reduction either did not occur
or was minimal." A UNDP study on the lack of progress made on the poverty issue.
"During the war we were proud to fight for the nation - we were heroes - but
now they treat us as though we are not even equal to the dogs in their houses."
Chu Dim, a disabled former Khmer Rouge soldier, who feels he, and others, have been
"I support the [idea] of TV broadcasting information about the parties' activities.
Except for those which are doing nothing, because they will have no information to
report." Prime Minister Hun Sen on the supposedly equitable treatment for parties
in the lead-up to the elections.
"If I only thought about what benefited me, I would remain with Funcinpec and
keep quiet to please the prince, and be happy to make money by being corrupt."
Former Funcinpec MP Keo Remy on his defection to the Sam Rainsy party.
"I think there were some misunderstandings and those misunderstandings have
been cleared up. I'm glad to be back to finish my mission as ambassador and strengthen
ties between the two people." Thai Ambassador Chatchawed Chartsuwan tells of
his jovial return to office after 'misunderstandings' led to an escape over the back
fence in the January riots
"People have to worry about being like Chicken Little - that the sky has fallen
- but the sky hasn't fallen yet." Bill McGrath, the World Bank's resident forestry
expert on the ousting of Global Witness as the official forest monitor and the illegal
logging expected without a monitor in place.
"The football team, if it wins [the elections] will continue to play with Chea
Sim as trainer, Heng Samrin as goalkeeper and Hun Sen as the striker." Prime
Minister Hun Sen tells of the CPP's game plan before their meeting in Phnom Penh.
"So far the situation regarding political violence looks good so I am not yet
concerned. There have only been wars of words." Prince Norodom Ranariddh on
the pre-election violence.
"Wake up immediately and eat this or you will die!" A common request from
mung bean-laden friends and relatives after the humble vegetable was rumored to have
life-giving, SARS-beating properties.
"When we enter the WTO we are bound by transparency. We have to publish our
law. We are using this as a way to get the reforms going where we can bring the benefits
of globalization." Sok Siphana, Cambodia's lead WTO negotiator on the obvious
benefits available from playing with the other big kids in the trading sandbox.
"These days, I am writing a lot. It is not necessary to be astonished by it.
I feel that my death is coming soon. I must therefore, while the Buddha (or the good
God) leaves me life, write and write again...' King Norodom Sihanouk writes about
the proliferation of his published materials in the palace bulletin, BMD.
"To reject the Agreement because the court cannot do everything is equivalent
to saying that because all law-breakers cannot be captured and tried, none should
be." Dr Gregory H Stanton on the position of perfection taken by Amnesty International
and Human Rights Watch to the Khmer Rouge tribunal.
"I think you know the opposition never does good action... I think if someone
tries to oppose the Royal Government, they use Pol Pot's ideas." Supreme Patriarch
Tep Vong before the election.
"To have five-minutes on TV and radio each day is not enough for us - how can
we use only five minutes to explain our political platform so people can understand
it?" SRP Election spokesman Ou Bun Long, on the equitable media coverage set
in place for the election.
"...If they try to escape from this prison, we need to add more punishment to
them, like crawling on the ground and work in the prison like cutting the grass."
Battambang prison director Kong Saren. Saren also mentioned the recent 'rehabilitation'
of the 'Battambang Barbecuer'.
Sek Yi, who says he was 120 years old, wanted to see Angkor Wat before he died. Father time intervened. Yi passed away on October 19.
"I want to see Angkor Wat." Cambodia's oldest man, Sek Yi, at 120, and
his wife, 108-year-old Ouk, still hope to become belated tourists.
"A party cannot have a military, [and ] we certainly don't have one. The military
belongs to the people to protect the sovereignty of the country." Mu Sochua,
Funcinpec's Minister for Women's and Veteran's affairs on discussions about their
supposed military control.
"All of the problems that took place were of a personal nature or other reasons
that are not related to political issues." Chief of Police Hok Lundy on the
17 murders in the four months before elections.
"Secretary Powell should temper his comments praising the Cambodian Government
for cracking down on terrorism. The reason terrorists are on Cambodian soil is because
of the lawlessness perpetuated by the CPP." US Senator Mitch McConnell with
some friendly advice before Mr Powell's visit to Phnom Penh.
"I do not want to talk about conflict. It disappoints me when conflict is the
issue." Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a positive mindset at the
historic cabinet meeting of Cambodia and Thailand in Siem Reap.
"You put so much money into something that you can't back out. The World Bank
and the ADB have put so much money into EdC that they cannot let it fail." An
unnamed observer on the money pit that the continuing rural electricity scheme has
"People don't understand democracy. Democracy is not about killing, not violence."
Hang Puthea, executive director of election monitoring organisation, NICFEC, on the
report that in the week since election campaigning started, nine murders and 26 cases
of intimidation have been recorded.
"If you talk about stylish and trendy, in Cambodia anything goes." Funcinpec
parliamentarian Chhim Narith is confident his election T-shirts will be popular with
"I will buy animals and good rice for the people to improve their livelihoods
if I win." Cambodia Development Party president Mao Bora seems to have a winning
"Adults tell me they want to learn to read and write so that they won't get
cheated at the market when they are buying their fish. Some of them say they want
to learn so that they can write a love letter.
That's a popular one too." UNICEF education adviser Michael Sheppard explains
the popularity of Anlong Taour's new floating library.
"The future will show even more clearly that Pol Pot's Cambodia is alive and
well. It is immortal... And the 'Khmer Satan' was solely and is solely Sihanouk.
Go to Hell, Sihanouk!" King Norodom Sihanouk issues a statement on July 25,
the last day of election campaigns, asserting that the Khmer Rouge is still in power
within the government.
"We do not really know who we will vote for, we will just tick the box because
we cannot read or write." Tumpuan villager Yan Tuel explains that the elections
are meaningless for his village. Eighty percent of them are illiterate and none of
the parties have visited to explain their policies.
"Don't accuse me of loving power - the people gave it to me." Prime Minister
Hun Sen gets defensive on July 29.
"They're in a state of denial right now. They always have a tendency to criticize
everyone but themselves. Then when that denial period is over, they tend to point
the finger at each other." A senior diplomat explains Funcinpec's post-election
"The big fish still eats the small fish in Cambodia." Nhoung Seab, leader
of the Rice Party, on why his party received no seats in the election.
"I want the ballots produced in the United States next time. The CPP put a special
chemical into the ink so that when a voter checked the Hang Dara box, the mark went
into the CPP box." Hang Dara explains why his party received no seats in the
"In the past ten years of openness we've gone from ox-carts to Mercedes."
Sok Siphana, Cambodia's chief negotiator on the WTO entry, on why Cambodia is ready
to join the world trade club.
"On the night of the 29th at around 8:43, we did a phone-in show and one person
called in to say there were unconfirmed problems at the border because Thais bound
Cambodians' arms behind their backs and forced them to drink fish sauce. The Thai
Embassy had already been on fire for two or two and a half hours but they put me
in prison because of what that person said." Beehive FM owner Mam Sonando, on
his arrest for inciting violence in January.
"My Nokia suffered instead of me. I'm so happy, it's like I was born again."
Security guard Bou Pheap on why he has a lot to thank his phone for. Pheap was shot
in the chest during the Won Rex factory burglary on September 9, but the bullet hit
his mobile phone, sparing his life.
"Evidence suggests that lower-echelon cadre and 'veteran people' had great discretion
in deciding who to denounce and who to kill, and they often denounced and killed
in violation of central policy." American academic Steve Heder criticises the
Khmer Rouge Tribunal for merely targeting senior leaders.
"Criminal culpability and moral culpability are not the same thing... Those
'morally culpable' would number in the thousands... a complete accounting might go
into the low five-figures. As a practical matter, it is simply not feasible to try
thousands and thousands of people in Cambodia's circumstances. Cambodia does not
have enough lawyers, money or time to do it." Genocide researcher Craig Etcheson
on why the Khmer Rouge Tribunal must limit its scope.
"Yes, of course I am scared. I have a duty like every Cambodian citizen to vote.
But because I voted, I am made to feel unhappy and I am under pressure. We are all
under pressure." An anonymous Phnom Penh monk, who was threatened after he voted
for the Sam Rainsy Party in the last election.
"Normally other people look down on disabled people. Being on a national team,
people respect me." Yim Vanna, a member of the National Volleyball League team
who flew to Greece for the Volleyball World Cup in October.
"The big fish still eats the small fish in Cambodia."
"I do not know when I will see my parents again and I am very worried for the
others left behind in the forest." Ma Utt, a Montagnard who escaped Vietnam
and made it to Phnom Penh explains that, despite surviving the treacherous journey,
her troubles are not over.
"Leaders of political parties should control their broadcast media in order
to avoid the attacks on each other. [Insulting] is not good morality for educated
people." Prime Minister Hun Sen tells reporters on October 14, four days before
out-spoken Pro-Funcinpec journalist Chuor Chetharith is gunned down outside Ta Prohm
"Teachers don't talk about Cambodian politics. We do not give students a chance
to discuss Cambodian politics. This is the way it is and has always been." Ting
Leyheng, program co-ordinator at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, confirms that
politics are not taught in Cambodia.
"At some point everybody will be given the opportunity to either accept or reject
Jesus Christ as their savior. If they reject it, even if the work's been done in
the temple, it's of no value to them. We aren't changing them at all, their free
agency is still intact." David Towers, president of the Mormon mission in Cambodia,
denies that it is wrong to proselytize to Buddhists.
"It is troubling for the country when sons of high-ranking government officials
and the rich, particularly the nephews of Prime Minister Hun Sen, are free from punishment.
We have seen the law practiced only against the poor and weak." ADHOC official
on the failure to arrest Nhim Sophea.
"During the Water Festival and Independence Day, we will not fine any passengers
who drive their motorbikes or cars incorrectly." Traffic Police officer Sok
Hen explains that law enforcement will get in the spirit of celebration.
"Sok Yoeun's case is clearly highly political and normal judicial procedures
have apparently not been followed. This verdict is a rebuke to the UN and demonstrates
Thailand's disregard for decisions taken by UNHCR" An Amnesty International
statement condemns the decision to extradite Sok Yoeun, accused of trying to murder
Prime Minister Hun Sen.
"They are really poor and do not have the time to commit terrorism. They are
just trying to survive." Abdul Hamid Abas, from the Embassy of Brunei, on why
Cambodia's Cham Muslim community are unlikely to commit acts of terrorism.
"I rarely have sex without condoms. Only if the man is handsome will I not use
condoms. I will let him do whatever. Most of the time, handsome or not, they do not
want to use condoms." A homosexual sex worker gives insight into why the AIDS
epidemic is so difficult to quell.
"Before this place was a shit-jungle and there were no people walking through
it. Now, it's good for the person who has no job to be a vendor and live better than
before." No Vien, a fisherman in Chruoy Changvar, describing the government's
beautification programme of the peninsular.