The government has chosen representatives of two obscure NGOs to send to an annual meeting between civil society groups and regional leaders during next month’s Asean summit in Phnom Penh, sparking an outcry among other non-governmental groups that say this will prevent critics from being heard.
Cambodia has also invited the other nine Asean governments to handpick NGO representatives to send to the meeting, according to Thida Khus, head of the planning committee for the Asean Civil Society Conference (ACSC).
The government nominees are Huoy Sochivanny, head of Positive Change for Cambodia, and Sok Theavuth, head of the Cambodian-Asean Youth Association, Ms. Khus said, adding that she believed NGOs sympathetic to the government had been chosen so that they would not raise sensitive issues.
“She will not be a critical voice,” Ms. Khus said of Ms. Sochivanny. Ms. Khus said that the Cambodian-Asean Youth Association was unknown to her. …
Kate Bartlett with additional reporting by Kim Chan, P.1
http://www.camnet.com.kh/cambodia.daily/ (Note: Infrequently Updated.)