Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chanti and Chhork's tuk tuk, the family's primary source of income, stolen in Phnom Penh

Leigh Ramsay
322 Wecker Road
QLD 4152                                                                                          

25th Sept. 2013 

Dear Leigh 

Following on from my letters of 12th and 20th Sept. regarding the rumoured imminent return of Rosa and Chita to their family home after five years as effective 'prisoners' in the Citipointe church She Rescue Home. 

You have not responded in any way to the letters, the meeting promised to Chanti and Chhork 10 days ago never took place and each day LICADHO tells Chanti and Chhork that their daughters will be released 'soon' whilst  Citipointe insists that it cannot do so until the police complete an investigation that is a sham. There is no investigation. There never was an investigation. 

As a resuLt of the Ministry of Social Affairs' incompetence or corruption or both Citipointe is able to steal young girls from poor families with impunity. The Christian umbrella group to which Citipointe belongs, Chab Dai, gave this child stealing its seal of approval five years ago (winning souls for Jesus Christ trumps the human rights of poor Cambodian families) and continues to do so today with its silence. LICADHO did nothing five years ago to protect the rights of Rosa and Chita and the English language newspapers in Cambodia decided long ago that an Australian church illegally removing children from their family homes was not a story worth looking into. 

Other than myself, there is no-one to advocate on behalf of Chanti and Chhork - despite Cambodia being awash with NGOs claiming to be in the country to alleviate poverty and fight for the human rights of poor and powerless Cambodians such as Chanti and Chhork. 

Chanti and Chhork's problems in life were compounded last night when their tuk tuk was stolen from Psar Thmei. If they are unable to get it back Chhork will not be able to earn money to support the family. This would suit Citipointe just fine, of course, since your church would then have a cogent reason not to return Rosa and Chita - the inability of Chhork to support them through his work as a tuk tuk driver. 

I am not in a position to buy another tuk tuk for there family ($1,500) but if Citipointe wished, at last, to perform one genuinely Christian act, your church could buy the family a tuk tuk. After all you have not made any financial contribution to the family's well-being this this past five years. Indeed, you church has made money, through donors and sponsors, out of presenting Rosa and Chita to the world as 'victims of human trafficking'. Perhaps now would be a good time to start acting like genuine Christians. 

Acknowledge that you have no legal or moral right to hold Rosa and Chita against the wishes of their parents, accept that the girls should be returned to the family and do whatever is in the church's power to help it become self-sufficient. The family was well on the way to becoming self-sufficient before the theft of the tuk tuk. 

Chanti and Chhork now have no way of getting back to their home in Prey Veng and remain determined to stay here until Rosa and Chita are returned to their care. If they are not, in the next week, please rest assured that I will,when I return to Australia, make sure that every member of Citipointe church in Brisbane is provided with the facts surrounding the illegal removal of the girls from the care of their family five years ago. I will do so in a very public way and hope that Citipointe sues me for defamation as a result, that the church's behaviour is in the public domain and that the media in Australia will start asking the questions I have been asking for five years and that Citipointe refuses to answer; questions  that Cambodia's English language newspapers refuse to ask.

best wishes

James Ricketson


1 comment:

  1. What you need to understand Mr Ricketson is that Citipointe church has no intention of ever giving Rosa and Cheata back to their parents. I know because I have worked for the church in Phnom Penh. It is not a church. Citipointe is a cult. The ' church' pays money to a woman in the Ministry of Social Affairs to keep Rosa and Cheata. I do not know the woman's name but she works in the 'trafficking' section even though not one of the girls at 'She' when I was working there was a victim of trafficking. The church has made a lot of money from Rosa and Cheata and the other girls living there. The girls at 'She' do not get fed properly and are always hungry. The girls also always have nits in their hair and are generally not well cared for.