Thursday, October 27, 2011

Serious lapses and incompetence

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal is fast becoming a laughing stock (if it wasn't so serious a subject) with almost daily revelations of serious professional lapses by seemingly all concerned, with international judges disagreeing wildly with national Cambodian judges, who hold numerical sway when it comes to majority decisions, civil party applications being denied and flimsy rejections not holding water, following closure of investigations without suspects being questioned or even named. The ongoing farce is doing serious damage to the perception of the court as we approach the opening stages of case 002 next month, where Ieng Sary, the former Khmer Rouge foreign minister has already said he will not testify, and where his wife, Ieng Thirith, is almost certainly going to be deemed unfit to stand trial. In another development, lawyers for Nuon Chea have filed a complaint accusing Cambodian PM Hun Sen and other leading government figures of interfering in the proceedings. Delays, bullshit and incompetence have plagued the trial from the very beginning and justice and closure remain a long way off for ordinary Cambodians at this point in time.

The flooding throughout Cambodia, and other neighboring countries has been bad enough, ruining crops and livelihoods across the region, but the loss of life has been hard to swallow as more than 800 people have perished across five countries, more than a quarter of them children, all of whom have drowned. Experts believe three-quarters of children across Asia never learn to swim, despite living in a tropical region crisscrossed by rivers and canals. Most of the deaths occur in children younger than 5 who are too small to swim. It takes just a few seconds for a child to lose their footing and slip into the murky waters.

On a more cheery note, the Cambodian Space Project rockers are back in the groove at Mao's riverfront bar in Phnom Penh on Saturday 19 November for another final fix before they jet off for more adventures around the globe, heading to Jakarta, Singapore and then onto Australia in December and January. So that's Dengue Fever in Phnom Penh on 12 and 18 November (the band, not the disease) and then CSP on 19. Sounds like a lot of fun is just around the corner. And I've just heard that CSP will be playing La Croisette and Gasolina on 3 and 4 November as well. It just gets better.

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Blogger SVV said...

Andy, I've loved reading about Cambodia on your site and will be there with a large group of 20 Semester at Sea students over the next three days. Keep an eye out and say hi to us! I might yell out if I see you on the road or something since your website has been such a help to sketch out details on our trip.

My wife and I run the travel blog

October 27, 2011 at 9:55 AM  

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