Claudia Karvan, Al Clarke, members of the Screen Australia Board, you say I pose a risk to SA staff. Owing to your duty of care, you say, you cannot allow SA staff to meet with or communicate with me. You refuse to provide me with any evidence that I pose a risk; that I have engaged in ‘highly offensive conduct’. The reason is simple. There is none. And you know it. Your ban is a fatwa; punishment for a critic; a warning to other filmmakers.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop remains silent on 'constitutional coup' in Cambodia
Australia's Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop
The Hon Julie Bishop
Minister for Foreign Affairs
House of Representatives, Parliament
Canberra ACT 2600
19th Nov 2015
Why do Australian tax-payers
contribute in the vicinity of $100 million a year in aid to Cambodia?
Is it to
alleviate poverty and promote democracy? Or is it to prop up Prime Minister Hun
Sen’s 3 decades long dictatorship?
You will be aware of recent events
that point to Hun Sen’s intention to bring about, in late 2015, what is, in effect, a ‘constitutional coup’ of the kind he perpetrated in 1997.
Hun Sen’s latest manipulation of
the Cambodian judiciary to issue an arrest warrant for Opposition leader Sam
Rainsy is the most blatant evidence of the constitutional
coup that has been taking place in broad daylight for some months now:
- Opposition Cambodian National
Rescue (CNRP) party legislators Nhay Chamroeun and Kong Saphea were beaten up
outside the National Assembly a few weeks ago whilst police stood by and made
no attempt to intervene.
- CNRP co-leader Kem Sokha has
been removed from his position as first vice president of the National
- CNRP legislator Hong Sok Houk
has been jailed for posting a map on his Facebook page.
- CNRP activists have been found
guilty of, and have received lengthy jail sentences for, taking part in an
“insurrection” - a demonstration led by CNRP lawmakers in July 2014. The
demonstration turned violent when Cambodian authorities and the black helmeted
thugs employed by them attacked peaceful demonstrators.
Do you, as Foreign Minister, have
no comment to make about Hun Sen’s clear intention to solidify his position as
Will you, on behalf of Australia, not merely express an opinion about
the destruction of democracy in Cambodia but do something concrete – like
suspend all aid to the country until Hun Sen adheres to the rule of law?
will you wait until Sam Rainsy is arrested and placed in jail to express your
“extreme concern” at the course of events and “encourage all parties to refrain
There is a time for mealy-mouthed
diplomatic platitudes and there is a time for action. Now is a time for action;
to demonstrate solidarity with Cambodia’s very delicate democracy by letting
Hun Sen know that the time of old-style 20th century dictators has
passed; that it is time for him to hand the reins of power over to legislators who
have been elected by the Cambodian people in elections free of intimidation and
If you have any doubts at all
about the way in which the Hun Sen regime deals with peaceful protests, please
look at the following video I shot last year:
Minister, instead of using
Cambodia as a dumping ground for refugees to our country, Australia should be
doing all it can to encourage the establishment of true democracy in Cambodia.
This necessitates standing up to Hun Sen and saying, in appropriate diplomatic
language: “Enough is enough.”