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Obama, in Cambodia for a Meeting,

Sidesteps the Ghosts of History


THE NEW  YORK TIMES / International Herald Tribune

By PETER BAKER, November 20, 2012, NEWS ANALYSIS

President Obama’s visit to a country deeply scarred by its involvement with the United States did nothing to purge the ghosts or even address them. Mr. Obama made clear he came only because Cambodia happened to be the site for a summit meeting of Asian leaders, but given the current government’s human rights record, he was intent on avoiding much interaction with the host.

“How are you?” Mr. Obama asked Prime Minister Hun Sen when he showed up, unsmiling, for a meeting made necessary by protocol. “Good to see you.”

Those, as it turned out, were the only words he uttered publicly to or about Cambodia during his two days here. In private, aides said, Mr. Obama pressed Mr. Hun Sen about repression. While they usually characterize even the most hostile meeting in diplomatic terms, in this case they were eager to call the meeting “tense.”

But the president’s public silence disappointed human rights organizations that had called for a more explicit challenge to Mr. Hun Sen’s record of crushing opposition. And it left to another day any public examination of the United States’ role in the events of the 1970s that culminated in the infamous “killing fields” that wiped out a generation of Cambodians.

Theary Seng, president of the Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia, said, “President Obama should have met with the human rights community and activists challenging the Hun Sen regime, and while then and there, offer a public apology to the Cambodian people for the illegal U.S. bombings, which took the lives of half a million Cambodians and created the conditions for the Khmer Rouge genocide.”


Click here to read this complete news analysis


. . .



Kissinger in Cambodia:

Protests Greet Obama's Visit

International Herald Tribune / New York Times

Luke Hunt, 20 Nov. 2012

PHNOM PENH — Theary Seng was taking aim with precision and anger. The 41-year-old U.S.-trained lawyer and a regular on Cambodia’s crowded protest circuit was about to throw a dart at a poster of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Kissinger is one of 13 politicians and senior Khmer Rouge leaders in a dart game created by Poetic Justice, a nongovernmental organization run by Theary Seng that highlights deficiencies of the special U.N.-backed tribunal judging the Khmer Rouge’s crimes. Each player gets five throws. A bull’s-eye is worth seven points. The highest score wins.

Last Sunday afternoon, Theary Seng and three members of her staff were playing on Phnom Penh’s riverfront opposite the storied Foreign Correspondents’ Club. On this occasion — the fourth time the game has been staged in public — the point was to draw attention to the narrow scope of the Khmer Rouge tribunal ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit for a summit meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Click here to read full article.


. . .


Interview by Mike McRoberts of TV3, New Zealand standing on what was formerly the capital's largest natural lake, place of violent forced evictions (Phnom Penh, 20 Nov. 2012).  Theary: "The international community gives muscles to this dictatorial regime to repress its own people.  Before the government represses with Cambodian riels; now it's empowered and given muscles with NZ dollars, US dollars, Euros..."

Watch the TV3 New Zealand broadcast

with Mike McRoberts (aired 21 Nov. 2012)

At ASEAN summit, trade overshadows human rights

In solidarity with courageous protestors of Boeung Kak Lake, here sitting on what was formerly the capital's largest natural lake, with Council of Ministers facing it, with Bopha's mom and son (Phnom Penh, 20 Nov. 2012)

With the indomitable Tep Vanny, leader of the BKL protestors (Phnom Penh, 20 Nov. 2012)

We released the balloons at around 4:45 p.m. this Tuesday afternoon at BKL (Photo: Theary Seng; Phnom Penh, 20 Nov. 2012)


. . .


Open Letter

to U.S. President Barack Obama

Sent out as Press Release to 2,000 recipients

Published in The Phnom Penh Post, 20 November 2012

(2nd day of Pres. Obama's visit in Cambodia)

Read letter in KI-Media



. . .

Attempts of this Monday afternoon

in holding up 2 large banners of

War Criminal Henry Kissinger

and War Criminals Meas Muth / Im Chaem

of Cases 003/4 in front of US Embassy


CJOReillyGlobal: #Theary Seng being questioned by Police of her possessions ahead arrival of #Obama. If only they knew her rights. Nov 19, 2012, 10:23 UTCMs.

Theary Seng and some 30 security (plus more embedded in Wat Phnom Penh and Sunway Hotel)

Narrative of harassment and images of

Ms. Theary C. Seng's stand-off

with at least 30 big bulky, heavily armed security

in front of US Embassy Phnom Penh

(Tuesday, 19 Nov. 2012)


Theary Seng (reddish-orange blouse to right) and 30+ security next to US Embassy Phnom Penh, 19 Nov. 2012

. . .


Emotional Violence of Past Poetic Justice Dart Games

flared into Physical Assault on

Ms. Theary C. Seng

and those around her

along the Riverfront, Sunday, 18 Nov. 2012

A plain-clothes Cambodian police officer, left, pushes away Theary Seng, center, an organizer who was about to stage a protest in Phnom Penh, Cambodia Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. Cambodia broke up a protest organized by her Sunday that was meant to highlight the alleged oppression of Cambodia's people by political figures, including former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the late despot Pol Pot (AP Photo).

See more photos

See film of violence

See Opinion by Heng Soy on the vulgarity attempting to undermine Ms. Seng and the global attention on the Poetic Justice dart games

Theary Seng and Poetic Justice dart game (Photo: John Vink / Magnum Photos, 18 Nov. 2012)


. . .


Poetic Justice War Criminal Collection

Dart Games TODAY at 4 P.M.

On the RIVERFRONT, across from FCC.

Yes, TODAY!!

. . .




Quickly, we'd like to draw your attention to two urgent matters:

1.  Official apology for illegal U.S. bombings of Cambodia,

which created the conditions for the Khmer Rouge genocide;

2.  Extradite Henry Kissinger

to Eccc the Clown for war crimes.


Oh, yeah-- 3.  ECCC Cases 003 and 004 ! 



We also invite you to the POETIC Justice Dart Games on the Riverfront this Sunday, Nov. 18, at 4 P.M. should you arrive early into Cambodia.


Sending on behalf of Ms. Theary C. Seng, president of the Association of Khmer Rouge Victims in Cambodia. In addition to the names listed, many others whose names cannot be listed have confirmed their attendance.

To welcome U.S. President Barack Obama, the Poetic Justice Dart Games will prominently feature Henry Kissinger. A special Poetic Justice dart set will also be given to President Obama via the U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh.

States Ms. Theary C. Seng, “We see this unprecedented visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to Cambodia, on the heel of his exciting re-election, as a great occasion to offer a much glaringly, painfully delayed apology to Khmer victims for the destruction of Cambodia – the illegal U.S. bombings which gave rise to the diabolical reign of the Khmer Rouge.  The U.S. has a legal obligation.  It has a moral obligation.



Click here to see images of past POETIC Justice dart games along the riverfront.

All members of Poetic Justice WAR CRIMINAL Collection as of November 2012.

KI-Media announcement.


. . .



Old friends (Prince Sirivudh and Ms. Theary) meeting up at the CICP-ICRC one-day conference.


Following the Opening Remarks by H.R.H. Norodom Sirivudh (half-brother of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and chair of CICP), CIVICUS Cambodia president and international lawyer Ms. Theary C. Seng will make an intervention after ICRC's presentation of "An overview of IHL ratification and implementation of Cambodia" (Hotel Cambodiana Phnom Penh, 8 Nov. 2012)

Click here to see full program.

Mr. Andrea Acerbis (ICRC country representative, Ms. Malika Keo (personal assistant to H.R.H. Norodom Sirivudh), Ms. Theary C. Seng (founding president of CIVICUS Cambodia), H.R.H. Norodom Sirivudh (founding chair of CICP, half-brother of late King Father Norodom Sihanouk), H.E. Senior Minister Om Yentieng (who attended the launch of Speak Truth To Power (COURAGE, in Khmer) when Kerry Kennedy visited in Feb. 2011, and will send his personal assistant to discuss future collaboration of CIVICUS Cambodia's COURAGE  curriculum and his Cambodian Human Rights Commission for educators), HE Om Yentieng's assistants.  Lunch at Cambodiana Hotel, 8 Nov. 2012.



. . .



Spirit of Humanity Forum


Reykjavik, Iceland


4.15 - 5.45 pm Led by Miriam Subirana, Foundation for a Culture of Peace

The session includes:

Theary C. Seng, Founder, Centre for Justice and Reconciliation, Cambodia

Theary Seng with Princess Martha Louise (only daughter of Norwegian King and Queen), a genuine "people's princess" full of warmth and personality (Reykjavik, 15 Sept. 2012)


. . .



4-Part Series of Commentary to

The Phnom Penh Post

Re-posted on KI-Media and Facebook Accounts

Sent to 1,500 on Email List-serve


Part I


(edited version published in The Phnom Penh Post, 16 Aug. 2011)


Part II


The Written Khmer: The Problem

(edited version published in The Phnom Penh Post, 17 August 2012)



Part III


The Written Khmer: A Few Questions

(anecdotes of the problems on the ground posed in list of questions, forthcoming)



Part IV


The Written Khmer: A Few Recommendations

(a few initial recommendations of the way forward, forthcoming)



Venerable Chuon Nath's Dictionary

and other Authority

(the learned monk of the 20th century is the strongest authority on all things educated, in Khmer)

Venerable Chuon Nath with King Norodom Sihanouk



Language and National Identity

by Dr. Stephen Heder

(a chapter on Cambodia in a book published by Oxford University Press)



The Khmer Bible

Version with Proper Punctuations/Formatting

Theary Seng Version

As the Khmer Standard Version of the Bible, 2005 is extremely well translated in terms of word choice/vocabulary, and recently made available in electronic form on the internet, and because I am already very well familiar with the stories and books of the Bible (reading, re-reading them since I first became a Christian at the age of 9 years old--32 years ago!), I am editing the KSV 2005 with proper, consistent, and "new" punctuations as well as reformatting it for clarity and easier comprehension.

I am starting with books and portions of the Bible which contain ideas and concepts which are already familiar, even if the non-Christian Khmer reader may be surprised to find the source as the Bible, e.g. the Book of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Sermon on the Mount, Gospel of Luke and of John, Letter of James, etc.


Both Christian and non-Christian Cambodian readers will be able to appreciate these edited books of the Bible in Khmer, mainly because they rare reading materials available in the Khmer language that are clear and understandable. For the non-believing Khmer readers, take these edited books of the Bible as good literature, which they are (plus more, for the Khmer believers!).


I am currently having my staff at CIVICUS Cambodia typing two basic books on the history of Cambodia, already translated but lacking proper punctuations, so that I may edit them and make them freely available online for the public.


READING MUST BE TRIGGERED with INTERESTING MATERIALS, free of the burdens of having to fight the printed page and mangled language -- which allows for the beginning of effective DIALOGUE, of quality EDUCATION, of RECONCILIATION, of Cambodian FLOURISHING (PEACE with JUSTICE, or SHALOM).

* * *

Theary Seng Commentary, Phnom Penh Post, 16 Aug. 2011
Commentary by Ms. Theary C. Seng, The Phnom Penh Post, 16 Aug. 2011

Commentary by Ms. Theary C. Seng, The Phnom Penh Post, 17 Aug. 2012








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    You're already appropriating
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