Crackdown in Cambodia
January 10, 2014
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — On Dec. 29, more than 100,000 Cambodians — garment workers, teachers, farmers and students from all over the country — marched through the streets of the capital calling for Hun Sen, our long-serving prime minister-dictator, to step down or allow an independent investigation into the flawed national elections that took place in July.
The massive demonstration was the culmination of months of nonviolent rallies and marches led by the Cambodia National Rescue Party (C.N.R.P.). It was also the most significant challenge to Hun Sen’s 28-year reign of exploitation and corruption.
此前几个月，在柬埔寨救国党(Cambodia National Rescue Party)的领导下，柬埔寨人进行了几个月的非暴力集会和游行，此次的大规模示威成了整个事件的高潮，也对洪森28年以公谋私和贪污腐败的统治发出了最严峻的挑战。
And he could not tolerate it. He would sooner draw blood than enact real reform.
For almost three decades, Hun Sen — a Khmer Rouge defector who was put in power after Vietnam toppled Pol Pot’s regime in 1979 — has convinced foreign governments to pour aid into the country, even while the ruling Cambodian People’s Party has rigged elections, sold off our natural resources, imprisoned journalists, union leaders, opposition politicians and human rights activists. Some 250,000 people have been evicted because of land concessions that favor the rich and well-connected.
在大约30年的时间里，洪森——他叛离了 红色高棉(Khmer Rouge)，并在1979年越南推翻波尔布特(Pol Pot)政府后开始掌权——成功说服外国政府为柬埔寨提供了大量援助，尽管执政党柬埔寨人民党(Cambodian People's Party)在选举中舞弊，售卖我们的自然资源，关押记者、工会领袖、反对派政治人士和人权活动人士。已经有约25万人由于偏向有钱有势者的土地转让，被 迫离开了自己的家园。
On July 28, vast swaths of the country — civil servants, indebted farmers, educated youth from both the cities and the countryside — tried to vote for change. But the election was neither free nor fair. A recent report by the Electoral Reform Alliance, a group of independent local and international nongovernmental organizations, describes massive irregularities, including fraudulent voter registries, which may have disenfranchised 1.25 million eligible voters. So the peaceful protests began.
7月28日，柬埔寨各界人士——来自城市 和乡下的公务员、负债的农民和受过教育的年轻人——希望能通过投票改变现状。但是这场选举既不自由也不公平。由独立地方和国际非政府组织组成的选举改革联 盟(Electoral Reform Alliance)在近期的报告中称，选举存在大规模的违规，其中包括可能剥夺了125万合格选民的选举资格的假选民注册。和平抗议自此开始。
Factory workers joined the movement a few weeks ago. About 500,000 Cambodians are garment workers; most are employed by factories owned by foreigners with the backing of high-ranking Cambodian officials or the military and produce clothes for international brands like H&M, Nike, Gap and Adidas. After the government refused to raise the minimum wage to $160 per month, some unions called for a general strike and workers started staging nonviolent sit-ins in front of the Labor Ministry and the Council of Ministers.
工厂工人几周前加入了这场运动。柬埔寨大 约有50万服装厂工人；大多数人的雇主都是外国人所有的工厂，而且他们往往拥有柬埔寨高层官员或军方的支持，这些工厂都在为H&M、耐克 (Nike)、Gap和阿迪达斯(Adidas)等国际品牌生产服装。当政府拒绝把月最低工资提高到160美元以后，有些工会呼吁人们举行大罢工，工人也 开始在劳动部和内阁办公厅门前举行非暴力静坐抗议。
Then, last Friday, in an industrial area on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, hundreds of military policemen and municipal police forces opened fire with AK-47’s and handguns on a crowd of protesters. At least four people were killed and over 29 were injured, most garment workers. The human rights group Licadho called the shootings “the worst state violence against civilians to hit Cambodia in 15 years.”
随后，上周五在位于金边郊区的一个工业 区，数百名军警和地方警察用AK-47和手枪向抗议者开火，至少导致四人死亡，超过29人受伤，他们当中大多是服装厂工人。人权组织柬埔寨促进及保护人权 联盟(Licadho)称此次枪击事件为“15年来柬埔寨针对平民采取的最恶劣的国家暴力”。
The next day, police forces, municipal security guards and thugs wearing motorcycle helmets and red armbands stormed Democracy Square, a park the government had designated as a haven for peaceful protest. They evicted its occupants, wielding axes, hammers, metal pipes and wooden sticks. They then destroyed what had become, for the country’s myriad marginalized citizens, a rare zone for free speech, a meeting place, a sanctuary. They tore down the stage and leveled a Buddhist altar. They smashed loudspeakers, metal donation boxes and first-aid tents.
次日，警察、地方安保人员和戴着摩托车头 盔和红袖章的暴徒对民主广场发动了猛烈攻击。这个公园是政府指定用来进行和平抗议的地方。他们挥舞着斧头、锤子、金属管和木棍，赶走了这里的抗议者。然 后，他们摧毁了这个对柬埔寨大量边缘化公民来说少有的言论自由区、集会地点和避难所。他们推翻这里的讲台，把一座佛坛夷为平地。他们还砸烂了扬声器、金属 募捐箱和急救帐篷。
Fear, and memories of past crackdowns, rapidly spread beyond Democracy Square that afternoon as thousands of security forces patrolled Phnom Penh to break up public gatherings and threaten bystanders, while military helicopters, newly purchased from China, buzzed overhead.
That same day the Interior Ministry revoked freedom of assembly. And the municipal court issued a summons for the C.N.R.P.’s president, Sam Rainsy, the C.N.R.P.’s vice president, Kem Sokha, and the head of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, Rong Chhun, to appear next Tuesday for questioning about incitement of criminal acts and social disturbance.
同一天，内政部(Interior Ministry)撤销了集会自由的权利。市法院发出传票，要求救国党主席桑兰西(Sam Rainsy)、副主席根索卡(Kem Sokha)，以及柬埔寨独立教师协会(Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association)负责人龙春(Rong Chhun)下周二出席庭审，就煽动犯罪行为与社会动乱的指控接受质询。
Yet blame for the chaos and the violence lies with the government.
On Dec. 20, after the C.N.R.P. announced that it would call for sit-ins on main thoroughfares if the stalemate continued, Hun Sen issued this warning: “Blocking roads is blocking one’s own blood vein.” The government, he added, “would not allow action that would jeopardize national security, and I would urge precaution of the third hand,” a euphemism for government repression. It wouldn’t be the first time if, last Friday, the authorities had sent in agents provocateurs among the protesters in order to cause disturbances that could then justify the government’s intervention.
12月20日，在救国党宣布如果僵局依然 持续，该党将呼吁民众在主干道上举行静坐抗议之后，洪森发出警告称，“封锁道路就是堵塞自己的血管。”他还表示，政府“不会容许出现危害国家安全的行为， 我主张第三只手采取预防措施。”第三只手是政府镇压的委婉说法。如果说上周五当局曾派密探混入抗议者中引发骚乱，以证明政府干预的合理性，那不会是洪森第 一次采取此类策略。
Despite the government’s attempt to scare them into silence, the Cambodian people remain strong and united in their desire to see their country move out of the shadow of the Khmer Rouge and into the light that is genuine democracy.
In this, they deserve more support than they have received. The international community, long content to take Cambodia’s apparent economic and social stability at face value, must now recognize the brutality of this government’s methods and help put an end to them and their underlying causes.
Foreign governments could provide technical and financial support for electoral reforms, including reform of the voter-registration system, so that a new election could be held within two years. An investigation must be conducted into the government’s use of lethal force against protesters, perhaps by the International Criminal Court itself.
外国政府可以为包括选民登记制度改革在内的选举改革提供技术及资金支持，如此一来，柬埔寨就可以在两年内举行新选举。相关机构必须调查柬埔寨政府对抗议者使用致命武器一事，或许由国际刑事法院(International Criminal Court )亲自开展调查。
Foreign companies also have a role to play, by easing the despair of underpaid factory workers: If they reduced their profit margins just slightly, the workers could be paid a living wage without jeopardizing Cambodia’s long-term competitiveness in the garment sector. Gap, Adidas and other companies took a welcome step on Tuesday by condemning the use of force in an open letter to the government and calling for “a robust minimum wage review mechanism based on international good practices.”
外国公司也应该发挥作用，缓解那些薪水过 低的工人的绝望情绪：它们只需略微降低利润率，工人们就可以得到能维持生活的工资，同时又不会破坏柬埔寨长期以来在制衣业的竞争力。周二，Gap、阿迪达 斯和其他公司采取了一个受人欢迎的举措，它们在给政府的公开信中谴责政府使用武力，并要求“在国际良好惯例的基础上创建一个强有力的最低工资考核机制”。
Democracy Square now stands empty, save for the military police who watch over it. Must it become a symbol of another dark day in Cambodia’s history, made darker by those who watched and did nothing?
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