Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Retired RCAF soldiers say pensions unpaid for 15 months: Adhoc

Retired RCAF soldiers say pensions unpaid for 15 months: Adhoc

Retired RCAF soldiers say pensions unpaid for 15 months: Adhoc

Ex-military personnel report living in poverty in Banteay Meanchey

province, claiming the govt no longer cares for them despite past

service.

MORE than 600 retired members of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) from Banteay Meanchey province have not received their pensions for more than 15 months, according to a complaint received by the rights group  Adhoc.

"I risked my life in war for them - for society - but now, they don't care about me," said Thach Chendathong, 50, who has been retired since 1996, adding that the Department of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation had asked him to stop coming to their building to request his money.

"I will try my best to get my salary, but if I cannot it is my bad luck," he added.

Banteay Meanchey province Governor Ung Oeun said he had not heard of the problem, but would make enquiries at the provincial Department of Social Affairs.

But the Adhoc coordinator in Banteay Meanchey, Soum Chankea, said that the government had forgotten about these people, and that by stopping payments it was putting their  families at risk.

"They [ministry officials] don't care about their difficulties, and they consider retired military people useless," he said.

"They are not ghosts that don't need to eat anything. ... They need to eat to live."

Sao Savon, 64, who retired from the military in 2008, is part of the group of former troops who lodged the complaint with Adhoc.

After repeatedly inquiring at the Department of Social Affairs, he said he did not expect the local government to be any more help to veterans

without the support of a rights group.

"Why don't they give us our salary? When I went to meet them to ask about my salary, they said, ‘We do not have it. Please go back to your home'.... I didn't want to complain to the provincial governor, because he would have the same answer," Sao Savon said.

"They don't care about what happens to us or about our difficulties. I have not received my salary more than a year, and I live a very difficult life with my children," he added.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia-Thailand rail reconnected after 45 years

    A railway reconnecting Cambodia and Thailand was officially inaugurated on Monday following a 45-year hiatus, with the two kingdoms’ prime ministers in attendance at the ceremony. On the occasion, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha travelled together from Thailand’s

  • Thousands attend CNRP-organised pro-democracy vigil in South Korea

    Thousands of supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Saturday gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to hold a candlelight demonstration calling for the “liberation” of democracy in Cambodia. Yim Sinorn, a CNRP member in South Korea, said on

  • US Embassy: Chinese trade does not help like the West’s

    The US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday said relations between China and Cambodia did not create jobs or help industry when compared to the trade between the Kingdom and the US. “About 87 per cent of trade [with China] are Chinese imports, which do not

  • New airport study set for 2019

    A feasibility study on the construction of a new airport in the Kingdom will be launched later this year, according to a Ministry of Tourism spokesman on Monday. The plan was approved last week in a meeting held by the Ministry of Economy and Finance