Tuesday, July 15, 2014

to Ms Sam Mostyn, 14th July 2014

Ms Sam Mostyn
Australian Council for International Development                          

14th July. 2014

Dear Ms Mostyn

Thank you for your letter of 7th July. It has been a long time coming! It is a pity that it has been written by spin doctors ( Chris Adams? Marc Purcell?) and not by someone within ACFID with a commitment to facts and truth. Such is the world we now live in!

I am currently in Cambodia and not in a position to respond in full to the letter you have signed, clearly still ignorant of the facts of the matter and apparently not interested in acquainting yourself with them. I will respond in due course and in some detail as I am committed to respecting both facts and the truth.

In the interests if transparency I have published your letter online at:


A few brief points are in order right now, however:

On 19th Feb, I wrote the following to you:

“I am placing this on record and publishing my correspondence online because experience has taught me that this is the only way to avoid confusion further down the track when a different version of what has occurred can be used to obfuscate.  As I have mentioned already, I am both making a film and writing a book entitled CHANTI’S WORLD and it is imperative that my facts be 100% correct and not open to challenge by those who may have a vested interest in obfuscation.”

Your letter is little but obfuscation.

In this same letter I went on to ask a question to which I have not yet received an answer from either yourself, Dr Sue Ann Wallace or one of your resident spin doctors, despite my having asked variations of it at least half a dozen times:

“…would it be possible, within the ACFID charter, for you or the relevant person within ACFID to request of Citipointe, today, that the church provide you with copies of all the relevant documents that speak to the question of the legality of Citipointe’s actions in removing Rosa and Chita in 2008?

If it is possible for ACFID to ask this question, could ACFID also request that Citipointe provide Chanti and Chhork with copies of these documents. They have been requesting them for five years, as have I as their legally appointed advocate. I am working on the presumption that ACFID believes that the parents of children removed from their care by an Australian NGO have a right to know (a) why they were removed and (b) in accordance with what legal processes they were removed – given that the removal was contrary to the express wishes of the parents and an abrogation of the verbal agreement made with both them and myself in July 2008.”

Clearly, Ms Mostyn, you do not believe that the materially poor parents of children removed from their families in 3rd world countries have such rights.

Why do you refuse to answer these two simple questions Ms Mostyn? Do the supposed beneficiaries of aid that derives from a AusAID approved funds (Rosa and Chita, in this case) have any rights at all? The Global Development Group is, after all, a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct is!

The lack of oversight o  the part of ACFID leaves unscrupulous NGOs such as Citipointe’s ‘SHE Rescue Home’ (funded by the Global Development Group) free to remove children from their families, under no obligation at all to demonstrate that they have acted in accordance with Cambodian law or the ACFID Code of Conduct.

As for the Global Development Group’s monitoring and assessment processes, there are none. GDG is essentially a bank that funnels money to any NGO prepared to accept that GDG takes a 5% cut. (More of this later). Geoff Armstrong and the GDG BHoard have totally ignored the request made to it by Chanti and Chhork to be provided with copies of the MOUs they have been asking for for five years on 23rd May. See:


Should Chanti and Chhork now make a formal complaint to ACFID? Is there any point, given that your letter reveals a lack of interest in even ACFID adhering to its own Code of Conduct? The contempt you show, Ms Mostyn, for the legal and human rights of Chanti, Chhork, Rosa and Chita is astounding. Not just you, of course. Dr Sue Anne Wallace, the Code of Conduct Committee and the Executive Committee.

On 25th  Feb. 2014 I wrote the following to you:

Dear Ms Mostyn

Geoff Armstrong’s letter to me of 24th Feb makes it apparent that the Global Development Group is in possession of the documents that Citipointe believes has given the church the right to retain custody of Rosa and Chita this past five years against the express wishes of their parents – Chanti and Chhork.

Chanti and Chhork and I, as their advocate, have been asking to be provided with copies of these documents for five years. Both Citipointe and the Ministry of Social Affairs have refused to provide them. Now we know that GDG has copies; that the Global Development Group is satisfied that the docments do, indeed, give Citipointe the right to act they have.

I have asked Geoff Armstrong, in my letter of earlier in the day,  to provide Chanti and Chhork with copies of these contracts or agreements. The dismissive tone of Geoff’s letter to me, his total lack of interest in having any representative of GDG meet and speak with Chanti and Chhork,  suggests that he will not do so. I would be delighted to be proven wrong in this. Perhaps Geoff will, upon reflection, realize that of course Chanti and Chhork have a right to their own copies of these documents!

In the event that Geoff Armstrong, on behalf the Global Development Group, does not believe that the parents of children removed by Citipointe church have a right to be provided with such documents, the question then is:

“Does the Australian Council for International Development believe that parents whose children have been removed by an NGO have a right to be given copies of any agreements of contracts the NGO, funded by Australian tax-deductible dollars, has entered into with a government department in the country in which such a removal has occurred?”

This question is not specifically related to Chanti and Chhork but is a general one. It goes to the heart of ACFID’s Code of Conduct and has relevance to every recipient of aid from an Australian-based NGO that has signed on to the ACFID Code of Conduct? Could you please provide me with an answer to this question?

Whilst the question is a general one, it is relevant to whether or not Chanti and Chhork decide to go ahead and make a formal complaint to ACFID. If ACFID does not request of the Global Development Group that it provide copies of the documents GDG has in its possession, how can ACFID make an informed and independent decision regarding the legality or otherwise of Citipointe church’s actions in 2008? How can ACFID ever make an informed and decision regarding the legality of any NGO actions anywhere in the world if the NGO is under no obligation to provide evidence of the legality of its actions? 

Why will you not answer such simple questions as these? Why will Dr. Sue Ann Wallace not answer such simple questions as these? Why does ACFID maintain such an undignified silence re the matter of the 2008 and 2009 MOUs? Your own and ACFID’S implied contempt for the human rights for Chanti, Chhork, Rosa and Chita is disturbing in light of the role ACFID is supposed to play in monitoring Australian-based NGOs disbursing tax-deductible Australian dollars to, in theory, assist the poor and powerless in Cambodia.

I will respond to your letter in full when time permits. When I do, I would appreciate it if the response to it (should any response be forthcoming) not be written by a spin doctor but by yourself.

best wishes

James Ricketson

No comments:

Post a Comment