ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Cambodia Grassroots People’s Assembly
Make Peace, Justice, Human Rights, Democracy and Independent Rule of Law real in Cambodia!
organized by Cross Sector Network
“All powers belong to the people. The people exercise these powers through the National Assembly, the Royal Government and the Judiciary”.
Thus proclaims Article 51 of The Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Honoring and being true to the spirit of this article, the Cross Sector Network, together with concerned women’s sector organizations and activists, will organize the Cambodian Grassroots People’s Assembly on Democracy on 21st October 2013, in Freedom Park, Phnom Penh.
“We already successfully organized Cambodian Grassroots People’s Assemblies in three provinces in June 2013, in order to ask candidates from the three main political parties to come and listen to us, the people- the citizens. Now that we have elected MPs, we want to invite them again” explains Chea Sopheak, Farmer Nature Network (FNN). The purpose of the 21st October Assembly is to open a dialogue space for citizens and political leaders at this time of political impasse.
“In the morning we will have a People’s School of Democracy right there on Freedom Park. We, the citizens from different networks and communities around the country will lead discussions with our sister and brother citizens on topics we feel are very important to understand if we want to implement Article 51 of our Constitution”, says Kun Sothary, Messenger Band. The topics include independent judiciary, the executive and legislative arms of the political system, citizens’ civil and political rights, the NEC and women in politics. For all of these topics, the Constitution and people own real experiences will be the key learning resources.
“The afternoon will be the Assembly where we hope both invited parties will attend and listen to people’s needs. The parties will also have their own time to respond and share comments to the citizens and receive our People’s Statement of demands for stronger democracy in our country. If one party does not attend and does not receive our Statement then we will march to make sure it reaches their hands- it is our only remaining choice”, expresses Heng Socheat, People’s Action for Change (PAC).
“At times when political parties get stuck, then the people must speak up and remind every party that it is the people’s needs that must come first. We respect all elected political parties but we want them to listen and respond to what the Cambodian people want and need, and we want real democracy. It is the only way we can get our many problems solved” clarifies Sim Sophanha, Tonle Sap Network (TSN).
For more information and to meet the organizers, you are invited to the Press Conference on Thursday 17th October at 10am in META House, Sothearos Boulevard, Phnom Penh.
HENG Socheat- Media Liaison ENGLISH + KHMER
Tel: +855 (0) 12 390 229
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