Friday, December 11, 2009

Human Rights Day Goes Well Beyond NGO's

Sadly, the Cambodia Daily article, on page 27 today (November 11, 2009)
is titled "NGO's Mark Human Rights Day With Rally". While technically
correct, and nothing to be ashamed of, it hides the more beautiful truth
of celebrations that went on all around the country yesterday.

These celebrations were held by local communities with support from a
range of sources, including NGO's, but who gathered to express their
desires for a more just future where the voice of the poor is considered
equally to the voice of the powerful.

Many activities expressly included local officials in the proceedings to
build good-will and trust that the search for peace and justice will not
be at the expense of those in official positions, rather it will lift up
the marginalised and vulnerable to a place where they can access
freedoms and benefits of a country like Cambodia.

The article importantly highlights that NGO's "called on the government
to end forced evictions in land disputes" and "this celebration is to
show our deep appreciation to the heroes around the world, and
particularly Cambodian human-rights activists who have sacrificed their
efforts and lives for the cause and protection of human rights."

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