Monday, March 17, 2014

letter to Hon Julie Bishop, Australia's Foreign Minister, dated 17th March 2014

The Hon Julie Bishop
Minister for Foreign Affairs
House of Representatives, Parliament House

Canberra ACT 2600

17th March 2014

Dear Minister

It is only three days since I last wrote to you but, just as three days can be a long time in politics, so can it be in the life of an investigative journalist. Each day new facts emerge, new leads to be followed reveal themselves. Over the weekend, for instance, allegations have been made that a young woman was raped by Brett Cowan, killer of Daniel Morecombe. And what church was Brett Cowan attending on the Sunshine coast at the time? The Christian Outreach Centre. And who started this church? Pastor Leigh Ramsey and her husband, Mark. And what was the reaction of the Christian Outreach Centre to the Brett Cowan rape allegation? To cover it up. Were Pastors Leigh Ramsey and her husband involved in this alleged cover-up? I have no idea at this point. It is an avenue to be explored.

There is a certain amount of urgency in getting answers to the questions I have asked you, given that Citipoint church has arranged for me to be tried in absentia in Cambodia and for me to be sentenced on 2nd July. I still do not know what the charges are and no evidence has been presented to me in support of them. I not informed by summons or warrant that I was due in court last week – such details being of no consequence when rich and powerful interests of the kind that Citipointe represent bring their influence to bear on the Cambodian judicial system.

However, were a copy of the MOU that Citipointe maintains the church entered into with the Cambodian ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2008 were to appear, and were it to be found that it did not give Citipointe the right to remove Rosa and Chita, this would be a game-changer. It would be abundantly apparent that Citipointe had broken Cambodian law and that Pastor Leigh Ramsey and her co-conspirators should be charged in accordance with Article 9 of Cambodia’s ‘Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation’.

Public exposure of Citipointe’s criminality would be hugely embarrassing to the church and to the Global Development Group but the church will never be charged in Cambodia because of the special arrangement that exists between Citipointe’s Nicole Roberts (along with her husband, Troy) and the Cambodian police. It is Nicole Roberts who had made accusations about me on 30th Oct 2012 (in the total absence of any evidence) that led to my conversation with Judge Phou Pov Sun a couple of weeks ago. For more information about Nicole Roberts’ relationship with the police, go to:

There is, of course, no MOU that gives Citpointe and the Global Development Gropup the legal right to remove children as the church did in 2008. What Citipointe will present, if pressed, is an MOU the church entered into with the Cambodian Ministry of Social Affairs in Nov 2009 – 16 months after Rosa and Chita were removed. In Cambodia, of course, retrospective permission to steal children is easy to organize – as is any and every human rights abuse an NGO chooses to engage in. And do the parents, Chanti and Chhork, have a copy of this Nov 2009 MOU? No, of course not. This is Cambodia. The fate of their daughters is none of their business. Their futures are to be determined by men and women sitting around a table in a board room in Brisbane, in conjunction with corrupt public servants in the Cambodian government and with the tacit approval of incompetent public servants within AusAID and the Australian Council for International Development.

In defense of corrupt Cambodian public servants they are corrupt because the whole society is. There is no way that anyone can survive under the corrupt regime that is the supposedly democratic Hun Sen government, without being corrupt. A Judge can’t live on his official wage and needs to have it topped up. The police can’t live on their official wage and need to top it up. School teachers can’t survive of their official wage and need to top it up with contributions made each day from students – contributions that are beyond the financial capacity of many poor Cambodians. Then there are the garment factors workers who can’t survive on $95 a months. And what happens to them when they go on strike demanding a living wage of $160 a month - a wage acknowledged by the government is the minimum needed to survive? The army is brought in to shoot to kill. And which country provides substantial military aid to Cambodia. Right, Australia does. In fact, this year, Australia will contribute around $100 million to the propping up of this corrupt dictatorship.

Quite apart from the illegality of Citipointe’s removal of Rosa and Chita from their family, there is the question of these girls’ indoctrination into Citipointe’s particular brand of Petecostalism. Some relevant quotes:

“Evangelism (also called proselytism and missionary work) is the practice of attempting to convert people to another religion or faith…Tax-deductible funds cannot be used for evangelistic purposes nor for missionary activities. Missionary activities include evangelism but also extend to activities designed to build up the knowledge and faith of believers including theological training and study of worlds of religious wisdom such as the Koran, Torah or Bible. The building and maintenance of places of worship are also ineligible.

Guidelines governing AusAID’s partnership programme with NGOs similarly exclude evangelistic activities: “Approval will not be provided for activities which subsidize evangelism or missionary outreach…” AusAID funds must be used “to assist in strengthening an organization’s or a community’s development capacity of socio-economic situation…” and not to strengthen the ‘religious witness’ of a church or religious organization.

Under the very specific sub-heading of ‘Evangelical Activities’ the explanatory notes state: “AusAID and NGOs recognize and agree that AusAID funds are not to be used for programming that is designed to convert people from one religious faith or denomination to another or from one political persuasion to another. Nor should AusAID funds be used to build up church ecclesiastical or political structures except in circumstances where those structures are specifically designed to provide relief and/or development assistance. In this context, church, ecclesiastical and political structures include not just infrastructure, but could extend to training or organizational activities.”

A few months after Citipointe church stole Rosa and Chita from their family, the church gave the enclosed photo to Chanti and Chhork. This was at a time when Citipointe was relying on its fraudulent 31st. July 2008 ‘contract’ to justify the legality of its actions. This was at a time when Rebecca Brewer was telling both the parents and myself, on the basis of this fraudulent document, that Rosa and Chita would stay with the church until they were 18. This photo, of young Rosa displaying her silver cross to the Citipointe photographer, was intended to send Chanti and Chhork a strong message. “Rosa is no longer your daughter. She is ours. She is no longer a Buddhist, she is a young Pentecostal.”

Citipointe church  should be stripped of its tax-deductible status. So should the Global Development Group – complicit in this child-stealing scam. There should be a totally independent investigation into how and why it is that NGOs with such obvious religious agendas are able to proselytize in Cambodia and other 3rd world countries. Such an investigation cannot be carried out by the Australian Council for International Development as this organization has revealed itself to be deeply compromised and incapable of arriving at conclusions based on facts and evidence.

best wishes

James Ricketson

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