News

    Cambodia Ratifies Controversial Treaty with Vietnam

    The Cambodian parliament has ratified a controversial border agreement with Vietnam, following a government campaign to suppress dissent over the issue.

    All 97 lawmakers present at the National Assembly Friday voted to approve the contentious accord. However, 14 opposition party lawmakers earlier walked out of the chamber, to protest the treaty and the limited time they were given to ask questions.

    The three-part agreement is a supplement to a 1985 border treaty, and is seen to legitimize that earlier document.

    Border expert Sean Pengse, one of the treaty's critics, says Cambodia may not have entered the 1985 agreement voluntarily, since the treaty was signed while the country was under occupation by Vietnam. He says the treaty gives away land and maritime areas that have historically belonged to Cambodia.

    Vietnam occupied the country after the fall of the genocidal Khmer Rouge in 1979, and installed many of the leaders of the current government. Relations with Vietnam remain a sore point for many Cambodians.

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his deputy, Sok An, took up most of Friday morning speaking in favor of the treaty. Coalition lawmakers accused the opposition, including Sean Pengse, of opposing the treaty for their own political advantage.

    Following the vote, the prime minister called the passing of the treaty a historic mission to pave the way for peaceful and friendly relations with Vietnam.

    The prime minister said Cambodia will work to implement the treaty to demarcate the Cambodian-Vietnam border, and will continue negotiations on disputed land and maritime boundaries.

    Mr. Hun Sen returned from signing the treaty in Hanoi last month vowing to sue anyone who accused him of giving away Cambodian land. His government promptly ordered the arrest of a popular independent journalist for broadcasting an interview critical of the treaty.

    A teacher's union president was also jailed, for signing a press release blasting the government's border policy. The two men are being held on criminal defamation charges.

    Four other people wanted for arrest for allegedly defaming the prime minister have fled the country. Human rights leaders and journalists, including a reporter for the Voice of America Khmer service, have also left Cambodia to avoid arrest.

    Prior to Friday's vote, the prime minister launched a campaign on national television and radio in support of the treaty. He also threatened to dissolve the monarchy if King Norodom Sihamoni did not give the pact his final approval.

    Speaking at the National Assembly Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An reaffirmed the government's commitment to silencing critics, saying "sensitive comments," such as calling the government traitorous, would contribute to political instability and had to be stopped.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora