Tuesday, February 18, 2014

# 6 My 5th attempt to get answers from Australian NGO, the Global Development Group

Chanti in 1997

Directors of the Global Development Group Board
Unit 6, 734 Underwood Road
Rochedale, QLD 4123                                                                                               

18th Feb 2014

Dear    David James Pearson, Geoffrey Winston Armstrong
Ofelia (fe) Luscombe, Alan Benson, David Robertson

No answers to my questions have been forthcoming  from the Global Development Group this past week. There has been no attempt made by GDG’s three  Cambodia-based staff members (only one of whim is in Indonesia) to view the evidence I have of the human rights abuses I allege Citipointe church is guilty of.  There has been no phone call from Peta Thomas to Chanti, Chhork or myself to arrange a time to meet when she returns from Indonesia. And it seems that the Global Development Group, with quite a large staff and disbursing $25 million a year in tax-deductible Australian aid dollars, has no-one other than Geoff Armstrong in a position to pursue this matter!

Given my promise to Chanti and Chhork that I would not leave Cambodia until this matter is resolved one way or another, I have placed the finalization of CHANTI’S WORLD on hold. Indeed, in a way that I had never expected, I have been provided by the Global Development Group with yet another chapter in the ongoing saga of Chanti and Chhork’s attempts to have their daughters returned to them.

Chanti, Rosa and wind-up dancing doll

 I have sent Chanti and Chhork back to Prey Veng and asked them to return on 24th Feb – the day that Geoff Armstrong is back in his office and able to respond to my questions and allegations.  I am hopeful that Mr Armstrong will, immediately upon his return on 24th, instruct his staff in Phnom Penh to meet and talk with Chanti and Chhork and to look at the documents and audio-visual evidence we have.  And I trust that by the 24th Feb someone within the Global Development Group will have requested of Citipointe that the church provide copies of all legal documents relating to Rosa and Chita’s custody in the ‘SHE Rescue Home’; that he or she will be able to say to Geoff either, “Here are copies of documents Mr Ricketson, Chanti and Chhork have been asking for for five years,” or “Citipointe refuses to provide us with copies of the relevant documents.

I am hopeful that Mr Armstrong’s response to my questions and allegations will be rapid and comprehensive and based on the existence or non-existence of the documents Citipointe claims to have in its possession that give the church the right to hold Rosa and Chita.

Baby Chita and Chanti

In the meantime, as I wait in Phnom Penh, I have begun to prepare what will be an audio-visual  ‘open letter’ to the Global Development Group that I will publish, if need be, on the internet. After I have received a response from Mr Armstrong I will send it to you to view. You will be able to see for yourself how the audio-visual evidence either supports or does not support whatever conclusions Mr Armstrong has arrived at as a result of his investigations.

I remain hopeful that it will be unnecessary for me to make a formal complaint to ACFID and that the board will realize that the Global Development Group’s assessment and monitoring processes need to be overhauled to prevent a repeat of the human rights abuses suffered by Chanti and Chhork at the hands of a GDG funding partner.

best wishes

James Ricketson

Chanti and Poppy Dec 2013

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