Christmas in Cambodia

  • There are about 20,000 Roman Catholic Christians in modern Cambodia representing the 0.15% of the total population that is mostly Buddhist. 
  • Although Protestant churches state that they made the 2% of the Cambodian population with about 1,000 worship places in the country, their number is not official and they could be less than 10,000. 
  • The second largest religious group of Cambodia is Muslims represented in the Cham minority that could be much largest than all Christians combined. 

Cambodia is one of those few countries with a State Official Religion according to its Political Constitution: Theravada Buddhism:

“Cambodian Citizens of both sexes shall have the right to belief. The freedom of religious belief and practices shall be guaranteed by the State on condition that they do not affect other beliefs, orders and public security. Buddhism is the State religion.” (Art. 43)


A group of Catholic youth in Kep Province celebrating the start of Advent Season on December 8, 2014.

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The crime of Ung Meng Cheu

  • Ung Meng Cheu, Shimmex’s chairman was murdered on November 22.
  • Parents of Thong Sarath, mastermind main suspect on the crime, called for a press conference where they confessed to ask their son to go into hiding. 
  • Phnom Penh Court charged four Thong Sarath’s bodyguards with ‘intentional murder’.
  • Police suggests that Thong Sarath probably left the country, but there is not yet an international warrant.

A crime in front to a security camera, an odd press conference and a hidden tycoon seem good elements for a detective movie. But it happens really in Cambodia and it is a good example of how things go along in the country with our “high-class.”

Many shared the video of how a man kills prominent business person Ung Meng Cheu, the chairman of Shimmex when he descended alone from his car in front to a fruits’ shop in Phnom Penh central’s Sihanouk’s Boulevard on November 30 at about 7:30 PM.

Scroll down to see sequence of the video Continue reading

Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan… the rest of their life!

Photo Courtesy ECCC.

Photo Courtesy ECCC.

Let us make speculations of this news of the verdict of Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea by ECCC this week. Let us suppose that it was not ECCC but a Khmer Rouge tribunal to investigate their cases leaded by… Duch, for example: first both seniors would endured long sessions of torture. Why to take the fatigue to look for witnesses and ask experts when you have all those S-21 practical machines to make Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea to confess their crimes? Even more, such tribunal would be delighted to make them confess others’ crimes, so a good method to reduce more papers. It is the way they dealt during their time as leaders of Kampuchea Democratic. Even more, both would be condemned to execution and an awful execution as they were at the killing fields. Continue reading

Don’t cut jail term for pedophile Karl Heinz Henning Opitz

Don't cut jail term for pedophile Karl Heinz Henning Opitz

An online petition has been created to request the back of the reduced sentence.

On 17th July a Cambodian court reduced the jail sentence of Karl Heinz Opitz, 66, to 10 years. The 2007 sentence gave him a 28 years in jail for getting girls as young as 10 into his apartment. The girls were provided by human traffickers. He used to tie the girls up, whip and rape them while filming and taking photos until 4 consecutive hours.

Sorry, the link was wrong. Here the updated correct one:

Sign this petition. Continue reading

Lidia Linde, a hero in child protection

Lidia Linde in Heros

I invite you to read this profile of Lidia Linde Ginesta (Ma Lidia), portrayed by Unsung Heroes Compassion. Just in the middle of many denounces of fake orphanages in Cambodia that are only facades for hidden business using poor children, we need to look up real and transparent experiences and, who more than real and transparent than Lidia. If someone has any doubt of who is she, just walk into her Siem Reap office and check any possible book, contact any of her donors and know her story, far from fiction and full of heroicity.  Continue reading

Koh Tral on the table

The Kiriroom - Kos Tral Range.

The Kiriroom – Kos Tral Range.

Unfortunately The Diplomat closed down the interesting discussion on the Kos Tral issue (see “Cambodia’s Impossible Dream: Koh Tral“.) There are several comments with different arguments in different tones. My last comment was not published, so I do it here in my own home. I have to clarify that my observations are not along with any political party at all and I understand that any position can be used for political purposes, but sovereignty cannot be an object of political interests, although it is a historical fact in different countries and regions.  Continue reading

Not with blows

Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man. Mahatma Gandhi

“Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Actually it is very sad the news of yesterday of bloody clashes at the Freedom Park when security forces were confronted by violent protesters. If it is a policy from the opposition to “free the Freedom Park” with violence, it is a wrong way in any case. Violence only brings violence in an unending cycle. For many it would be a great revenge to the violent crack down on unionist strikes of January. But revenge is not what a nation needs. Let alone the violent people and put in evidence who is the savage. For more impunity that could be, any violence against their own countrymen has to be paid by the same rule of destiny. It does not mean to keep silence. It is necessary to talk about, to show where there is an injustice, but to take part on a violent action is not the best way. Let us choose the Gandhi way. Why is so difficult to understand processes like Non-violence protest?  A leader inviting their followers to take a place by force, reduce legitimacy for its own mission. If such leader would come to power through that way, it would mean he would be ready to exercise violence when it is confronted by others, right the same way the regime he wants to confront now.