Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rosa and Chita to be returned to Chanti and Chhork this week?

As Cambodia and the world waits to see how the political deadlock resulting from the July elections will resolve itself, Chanti and Chhork wait to see if Citipointe will, as they have been told, return their daughters Rosa and Chita to them this week.

Citipointe church has a long history of making such promises and never delivering on any of them. This results in Chanti and Chhork’s hopes being raised and then dashed – again and again.

In the meantime the English language media in Cambodia continues not to find anything newsworthy in the story of poor Cambodian parents being tricked by unscrupulous NGOs into signing sham ‘contracts’ in order to effectively steal their children.

The Cambodian National Assembly is due to sit for its inaugural session on Monday 23rd. Sept but it is still unclear whether or not Sam Rainsy’s Cambodian National Rescue Party will carry through with its threat of a boycott. And if it does, whether Prime Minister Hun Sen will carry through with his threat to give the CNRP’s 55 seats to his own party and run Cambodia as a one-party state. The next few days are going to be interesting.

Leigh Ramsay
322 Wecker Road
QLD 4152                                                                                          

20th Sept. 2013

Dear Leigh

Following on from my letter of 12th Sept.

The meeting with Citipointe that Chanti and Chhork had been told would take place on Monday (16th Sept) did not take place. The family drove in Chhork's tuk tuk from Prey Veng for the meeting. Again, they were disappointed. 

Chanti, convinced that Rosa and Chita are to be returned to her this week, decided to stay in Phnom Penh until they were. After four days of waiting - for both a meeting with Citipointe and/or the release of her daughters - her mother, Vanna, and three of her children returned to Prey Veng to take care of their livestock. Chanti and Chhork, however, are determined to stay in Phnom Penh until Rosa and Chita are returned to them - both parents excited at the prospect of being re-united with their daughters after half of their lives have been taken up living in the Citipointe 'She Rescue Home'. 

If Chanti is mistaken in her belief, transmitted to her by LICADHO, that Rosa and Chita will be returned to her and Chhork this week please do her the courtesy of telling her so. If you have no intention of returning them this week, please do them the courtesy of telling them so and why. 

The meeting that did not take place on Monday does not fill me with much confidence that Citipointe intends to return Rosa and Chita at all - regardless of whatever requests have been made to your church by LICADHO to provide evidence in support of (a) the legality of Rosa and Chita's removal in mid 2008 and (b) a reason why the girls should not be returned to their family immediately. 

As I am tired of pointing out (as I am sure you are tired of hearing), in Australia you, Rebecca Brewer and Helen Shields would have been charged with criminal offences for lying and deceiving a vulnerable mother into giving up her daughters as the three of you did with Chanti and your sham 31st July 'contract'. In Cambodia, however,, you and other similarly unscrupulous NGOs can steal the children of poor Cambodians with impunity - secure in the knowledge that Chab Dai will give such theft its blessing; secure in the knowledge that the English language newspapers for Cambodia will ask no questions, do no research or investigation and effectively aid and abet your kidnapping through their silence. And of course secure in the knowledge that the incompetent Ministry of Social Affairs will turn a blind eye.And so it is that multiple 'orphanage;' scams flourish in Cambodia. 

As for LICADHO, whilst this NGO has done nothing at all to assist Chanti and Chhork this past five years,Dr Kek Pung, President and clearly a caring and compassionate woman, is now trying to assist. Whether she and LICADHO will be successful in their quest to get Citipointe to prove that the removal of Rosa and Chita in mid 2008 was legal or not remains to be seen. Whether LICADHO is able to exert moral pressure, at the very least, to get Citipointe to release the church's young prisoners this week, likewise remains to be seen. 

If Citipointe wishes to argue in Sept 2013 that the removal for Rosa and Chita in mid 2008 was legal, present LICADHO (and of course Chanti and Chhork) with evidence in support of this proposition - copies of contracts or agreements with the Ministries of Foreign and Social Affairs the church claims to have entered into in 2008 and 2009. I have been asking you to do so for five years now. You refuse, because the removal of Rosa and Chita was illegal under Cambodian law. 

You, Rebecca Brewer and Helen Shields are guilty of kidnapping. Simple as that. You should be in jail, there 'She Rescue Home' should be shut down and insofar as any girls resident in it need to be cared for, let other NGOs that respect the Cambodian family unit support these girls in family and community environments. Let these girls grow up following they down religion and not being force-fed the poisonous form of Christianity practiced by Citipointe church. 

In the meantime Chanti, Chhork and their new baby wait in Phnom Penh for Citipointe to deliver Rosa and Chita into their care. They will not leave until they have their daughters back. Again, I am copying this letter to members of the Cambodia English language media and to Australia's new Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop, in the hope that perhaps she, unlike her predecessors,, might take an interest in the unethical behaviour of Australian NGOs in 3rd world countries - NGOs that exploit materially poor and vulnerable Cambodian families such as Chanti and Chhork's.

best wishes

James Ricketson

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