Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Svay Sitha picked for human rights forum hundred

Svay Sitha picked for human rights forum hundred

Svay Sitha picked for human rights forum hundred

SVAY Sitha, the Council of Ministers Undersecretary of State whose teenage mistress

was mutilated in a vicious acid attack allegedly perpetrated by his wife, has been

chosen by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an official Government observer to an

international human rights conference in New Zealand next week.

Marlene Alejos, Chief of the Cambodian Office of the United Nations High Commission

on Human Rights' (UNHCHR) Monitoring and Protection Unit, told the Post on Aug 3

that UNHCHR had received confirmation that Svay Sitha would be an official observer

at a meeting of the Aug 7-9 UN-sponsored Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights

Institutions in Rotorua, New Zealand.

According to Alejos, Sitha had been selected as an official observer following a

request made by Asia-Pacific Forum organizers to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

for suitable candidates.

Sitha gained notoriety with the Dec 5, 1999, acid attack on his 16-year-old mistress,

Tat Marina. Sitha's wife, Khoun Sophal, is alleged to have poured a five-liter can

of nitric acid over the head and shoulders of Marina, a former karaoke video performer,

in a brutal daylight attack.

Cambodian human rights workers expressed dismay at Sitha's selection.

"I'd prefer someone else [attend the conference]," said Dr Lao Mong Hay,

Director of the Khmer Institute for Democracy, when informed of Sitha's selection.

"...[Sitha] has his own problems in his own backyard, so someone else should

go."

Dr Kek Galabru, President of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of

Human Rights (Licadho) and the sole other Cambodian invited to the conference, told

the Post that she was "not satisfied" by the prospect of Sitha's participation.

Om Yen Tieng, President of the Cambodian Government's official Human Rights Committee,

told the Post that though Sitha had been selected as a conference observer, he would

be unable to attend because he lacked a visa for New Zealand.

The New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok said they were aware Sitha had been named to go

but had not received a visa application.

Tieng would not comment on the suitability of Sitha's selection.

"I don't think it matters who goes [to the conference]," he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Restrictions re-imposed in capital as Covid cases surge

    Amid the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has shown no sign of subsiding with 750 infections and 10 deaths reported on June 2 alone, the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has decided to re-impose the suspension of all occupations and business activities deemed as posing high risk of

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway 51% complete

    The construction of the nearly $2 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway is 51.35 per cent complete and is expected to be finished in 2023, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of state Vasim Sorya. Invested in by Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd, the first expressway in

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • US embassy guard gets Covid despite two doses of Pfizer jab

    The Covid-19 tracking commission on June 4 said a security guard at the US embassy in Phnom Penh had contracted the novel coronavirus, despite having received a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot two weeks ago. Embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier confirmed the SARS-CoV-2 infection to The

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of