We're participants of the 4th CALD Communications Workshop!! Having loads of fun and learning a great deal! Let's hope we'll all be able to grow together as party partners!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Happy Lunar New Year!

Hello fellow Cloggers!

The Chinese Lunar New Year will be here in a couple of days! I'd like to take the chance to wish all of you a great year ahead! I wish you many many glad tidings, health and wealth for you and your families!


p/s I was in Cambodia holding a Playback Theatre workshop in December. To see photos, please go to my photo blog at

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Blogs playing prominent role in Finnish Presidential Elections

Blogs are playing a prominent role in the Finnish Presidential campaign with 6 out of the 7 candidates for President of Finland writing blogs, with the only exception being the current President, Tarja Halonen, who is favoured to win re-election.
Political Gateway reports that the blogs have injected a “dash of colour” into Finland’s normally lacklustre political scene.
“Voters need to know a bit more about the candidates than when they were confirmed,” explained one campaign director, although I’m not so sure knowing that your Presidential candidate cant tell the difference between Shampoo and dog wash may is particularly a good thing.
Finlands Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, who is running for President, is said to have the most popular of the blogs, with 20,000 to 30,000 unique visitors to his blog daily.

Hey, that's almost as many as CALD Cloggers has!

South Korean Presidential office launches blog

Chong Wa Dae (also know as The Blue House, the South Korean equivalent of The White House) has launched its own blog as part of efforts to “facilitate communication with the people”, a spokesman for the presidential office said Monday.
The Korea Times reports that the blog, named “President’s Thoughts These Days,’’ was opened across three blog providers, on Naver, Daum and Paran.
“We will try to get various information and news of the presidential office out to the Internet users through this Chong Wa Dae Blog, along with the official homepage of Chong Wa Dae,’’ a spokesman told reporters.

P.S.: Does anyone believe the president really writes the posts by himself?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Thanks for letting us know of this Anne. I've checked out the interesting conversations and messages from the maiden podcast of FNF Manila.
May i also add that after checking some of our other colleague's websites, i've found out that FNF is not alone in using "podcast" technology.
The websites of :

democrat party thailand
sam rainsy party (cambodia)
democratic party hong kong
singapore democratic party
-and ofcourse, our technologically advanced colleagues from the uri party korea.. (and when you open their website, you're immediately linked to their online radio program) some way or another, is equipt with this "online-radio" or downloadable voice messages. for SRP Cambodia, i reckon they've been using online voice recordings and online-downloadable radio interviews of Sam Rainsy to easily transmit party messages and campaigns to as many cambodians overseas and to SRP chapters abroad.

I hope to hear more of these podcasts in our network.

CALD Secretariat

From Cloggers to Podcasters

Podcast in the making
It seems that more and more CALD Cloggers are turning into podcasters. Dr. Meinardus just hosted The Liberal Times Manila Podcast, which is the online audio program of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation’s Manila office. Do check it out, this podcast features news and commentaries pertaining to the office’s projects. Another reason to listen- in this episode, Dr. M interviews his KL co-moderator, our very own John Coronel, on CALD activities for 2006. I’m proud to say I had the chance to join in and talk about YLDA as well.

I’ve downloaded this into my iPod, and I must say that it gives me a kick to listen to the voices of people I know in between the music of Bono (U2) and Coldplay. Very soon, this wont be so alien to me (or anyone) anymore, as podcasts are fast gaining popularity. I see more and more young people (and their elders) tuned in to their MP3 players in the campuses, malls, everywhere. It will only be a matter of time when they start downloading podcasts as religiously as they download music.

Just imagine how political parties can utilize this. As compared to radio, podcasts have a wider reach, are cheaper (no need to buy airtime), and are much, much more focused. There’s too much ‘noise’ in traditional media- there’s a risk of your campaign’s message drowning in the din of ads, other commentaries, the other party’s campaign, etc. But when your target audience downloads and listens to your podcast, you have their full, undivided attention.

Of course, podcasting is a new phenomenon and one also has to carefully look into its reach and popularity (as with all communication tools). How many people actually enjoy listening to podcasts? How many of voters presently have the technology to listen to it? Presently MP3 players are still considered expensive for many in the Philippines. Nonetheless, I think podcasting has a promising future…people will be attracted to podcasts the way they are drawn to blogs- they find it more intimate and ‘personal’ than what they get from traditional media. As for expensive gadgets, MP3 files can now be downloaded and easily transmitted through mobile phones (decidedly lower in costs).

Anne (YLDA)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

DPP Blog Worth A Visit (and a Link)

Our liberal friends at Taiwan's governing DPP are - as CALD Cloggers know - progressive not only regarding their political agenda and advocacy. They are also progressive in all matters pertaining to political communications.

We are now informed in their latest electronic newsletter about their English-language weblog. It's sort of a mixture between blog and website - and surely worth a visit (and possibly also a link).


Cheers & support to CALD Resolution!

Cheers & support to CALD Resolution!
Cambodian problem & even the Thai & Burmese problems all have a connection with Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew setting the worst Asian example of FAKE DEMOCRACY & FREEDOM, to sent bad signal and bad influence around the South East Asia region. All these suing defamation, against press and democratic leaders, controlling media, rigging false justice, are classic trade marks of Lee Kuan Yew, nothing more and nothing less.It is the depots of developing Asian 3rd world of this region learning from the longest ruling dictator Lee Kuan Yew after all his notorious dirty tricks and hypocritical totalitarian style. Asian people of this region are continued to be deprived of freedom and democracy, despite economic and educational progress. How this is done by Lee Kuan Yew is by pretending to be democractic and under the hood of a faked democracy hide a totalitarian and even feudalistic family regime.What is happening now to Sam Rainsy is a Cambodian replication of Lee Kuan Yew's dirty tactic. We can observe that Thaksin & others are following suit. This sickening trend is very different from the past of these Asian countries which almost purely used gun barrels for power for example Khmer Rouge. Apparently Lee also found his hypocritical falsehood sells in the region and had been very proud of it.This trend is a tumor in Asia's democracy, and all Asian democrats and liberals should consolidate our efforts to reverse and uproot.As a Singaporean I urge my own countrymen to do our domestic cleaning to replace this bad example regime, and work with fellow Asians with mutual understanding and collaboration to improve Asian democracy and freedom as whole. I hope our Asian friends also recognize this necessity and are willing to work with Singaporean people.My best wishes to fellow Asian reformists and fighters for the year 2006.


Monday, January 09, 2006

CALD Resolution No. 1, Series of 2006

CALD resolution expressing its concern over the conviction of Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy; calling upon the government of Cambodia to abide by democratic rights and principles embodied in its constitution and in various international conventions; reiterating its plea for the restoration of the parliamentary immunity of Cambodian oppositionists; and, echoing the calls for political tolerance and dialogue.

Aware that Mr. Sam Rainsy, MP, Leader of the Opposition of the Kingdom of Cambodia, was convicted in absentia in Phnom Penh last December 22, 2005 on defamation charges filed by the Prime Minister and the President of the National Assembly;

Believing that, as expressed by the Presidency of the European Union in relation to this incident, “accusations and the prosecution of defamation as criminal cases (must not be regarded) as appropriate means of political dialogue;”

Citing that the European Union has expressed its concern regarding “the increasingly litigious nature of political dispute” and has appealed the coalition government and opposition “for restraint and a return to a responsible political dialogue within a parliamentary framework”;

Citing further that the Department of State of the United States of America has expressed its concern regarding “the continuing deterioration of democratic principles such as free speech and expression in Cambodia. (Sam Rainsy’s) conviction…is further evidence of this unfortunate trend” and called upon the country’s leadership “to allow all citizens to express their views politically without fear of retribution or intimidation”;

Convinced that this unfortunate development will further exacerbate the political crisis in Cambodia especially with the continued suspension of the parliamentary immunity of Mr. Sam and two of his colleagues;

Saddened that political developments in Cambodia have continued to erode whatever democratic gains made by this Southeast Asian nation especially after the genocidal reign of the Khmer Rouge;

Disturbed that Mr. Sam’s conviction is a violation of the democratic principle of the freedom of expression, which is one of the rights protected by the Cambodian constitution and by international conventions of which Cambodia is a signatory;

Noting that when he was Chairman of CALD from 2000 to 2002, liberals and democrats from Asia and the rest of globe became witness to Mr. Sam’s dedication to the ideals of freedom, human rights, social justice and democracy;

The Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats hereby express its concern over the conviction of Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy; call upon the government of Cambodia to abide by democratic rights and principles embodied in its constitution and in various international conventions; reiterate its plea for the restoration of the parliamentary immunity of Cambodian oppositionists; and, echo the calls for political tolerance and dialogue.

For the Council of Asian Liberals & Democrats:


05 January 2006
Manila, Philippines

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Internet poses political challenge to Asian governments

Internet poses political challenge to Asian governments

First posted 04:41pm (Mla time) Jan 04, 2006 Agence France-Presse

SINGAPORE -- Asian governments attempting to control the free flow of information face a struggle as their citizens increasingly turn to the Internet for alternative views, a report said Wednesday.

As Internet penetration rates surge across Asia, governments, including those in China and Vietnam, are finding it harder to deal with political challenges arising from the availability of information through the Web, the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) said.

"Governments that attempt to control the free flow of information are fighting an uphill battle," the Hong Kong-based PERC said in its latest Asian Intelligence report.

"They might be able to control what is written in their country's printed media and broadcast over radio and television systems, but the Internet linked with telephone advances poses new challenges.

"It is putting the tools to send and receive information quickly and cheaply into the hands of millions of people who previously had access only to official channels of news."

It warned that the more governments censor traditional media channels "the more that people are being driven to the Web to get their news information."

Countries where newspapers and the broadcast media are tightly controlled by the government are likely to be impacted more by the use of the Internet as a forum for dissent than nations that have a free press, it said.

PERC cited a report by industry watchdog Freedom House which named China, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam as countries where the press is "not free."

Of the four, the most vulnerable to the political impact of the Internet are China, Vietnam and Malaysia where the governments have taken a stronger stance to censor the Web, it said.

"Precisely because they are so vulnerable, the governments in China and Vietnam will go to the greatest lengths to control the information flows over the Internet and cell phone systems in their countries," PERC said.

China, for example, scans messages and bulletin boards for words like "democracy" and imposes stiff penalties on dissenters, it said.

"Still, as tough as these policing measures are, sensitive issues are still being discussed over the Internet. People in China have access to dissenting views and anti-government propaganda in ways they never had before."

Singapore, where the traditional media is pro-government, has taken a more tolerant approach to criticisms through the Internet.

But things may change as the political opposition increasingly uses the Web in the run-up to general elections widely expected this year, PERC said.

"It will therefore be interesting to watch just how far opposition parties and individual critics of the government push the envelope in their use of the Internet in the months ahead," it said.
"Sooner or later it is very likely that the government will try to draw the line and that could turn into a political issue in the next elections."

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is finding it hard to deal with dissenting voices on the Internet despite attempts to muzzle the traditional media.

"The Thai government faces the most serious immediate challenge posed by the Internet of any country covered by this report," PERC said.

Thaksin's crackdown on the traditional media "has caused a backlash and has stimulated the growth of alternative Internet-based delivery mechanisms for news" and views critical to the government.

However, PERC said the debate over controlling information flows would not focus only on authoritarian regimes such as Vietnam and China, but also on the United States, where leaked classified information revealed President George W. Bush has authorized a secret government wiretap program.

Copyright 2006 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Cambodia sentences Sam Rainsy

Sam Rainsy has been an outspoken government critic

By Guy De Launey BBC, Phnom Penh

Sam Rainsy has been an outspoken government critic A Cambodian court has found the country's opposition leader guilty of two counts of criminal defamation.
It sentenced Sam Rainsy to 18 months in prison for remarks he made about the leaders of the governing coalition.
Sam Rainsy has been in self-imposed exile since losing his parliamentary immunity from prosecution in February, and refused to return for the trial.
This week he called the proceedings a travesty of justice and questioned the judiciary's independence.
The opposition leader had accused Prime Minister Hun Sen of involvement in a grenade attack on an opposition rally eight years ago. And he claimed that the Funcinpec party leader, Prince Ranariddh, had accepted financial inducements to form a coalition government.
The court ruled there was no evidence to support either accusation.
The Sam Rainsy party is now in an uncertain position. Analysts say the leader's prolonged absence has weakened the opposition.
The party's secretary general recently resigned and support for Sam Rainsy among the diplomatic community has dwindled after he missed several projected dates for his return.
Human rights activists have criticised the use of defamation suits against opposition figures.
Two critics of the government are in jail awaiting trial after speaking out against a border treaty with Vietnam and several others left Cambodia after charges were brought against them.

Thursday, 22 December 2005, 10:38 GMT

Dear All,Just to inform you that the on-line radio programme of Democratic Party has started operation. If you want to hear to my voice or that of Raymond (in cantonese), feel free to go to this address:

jimmy wong

Dear All,
In the hand of God is each hour,
In the hand of God is all our struggle,
The smallest luck,
the greatest unluck,
The greatest deeps,
the smallest teardrop

May the hand of God lead you on the roads of the New Year

Sameena Imtiaz

Happy and prosperous new year

Dear All,
Hope the new year would bring happinees. Things are not so good in Sri Lanka. The Liberal Party supported the incumbent president during the presidential election in last November. The Liberal Party is canvassing for a political solution based on a federal model though there are anti federals within the president's support group. The Liberation Tigers have not abandoned their separatist moves. Sri Lanka has find a middle path. We need international support and encouragement.

Happy and prosperous new year.
Kamal Nissanka

CALD concludes 2nd observation mission

The delegation at the Democratic Progressive Party Headquarters

(December 4, 2005/ Taipei, Taiwan) The Council of Asian Liberals & Democrats (CALD) successfully completed today its election observation mission in Taiwan. The mission, jointly sponsored by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of Taiwan and CALD, gave the delegates the opportunity to observe first hand the democracy in Taiwan through elections. It was also a venue for them to exchange campaign strategies and share best practices during their visit.

Last December 2004, CALD sent delegates to observe Taiwan’s legislative election. This year, a new set of observers from CALD member and observer parties have witnessed the 3-in-1 local elections for mayors, magistrates, and city council, a first in Taiwan’s history. The mission consisted of 15 representatives from Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The delegates visited Taipei city and county as well as Changhua and Taichung counties. They met with the campaign managers, rally coordinators, party workers, and volunteers of DPP candidates running for election.

On the first day, the delegation visited the DPP Headquarters and was received by Mr. Lee Yi-yang, DPP Secretary-General and Hon. Bi-Khim Hsiao, MP, Director of DPP’s Department of International Affairs and former CALD Secretary-General. They were also given a briefing about Taiwan’s election procedures at the Central Election Commission.

DPP’s magistrate seat has trickled down to 6 from their original 10 in the previous local election. Mr. Su Tseng-chang stepped down as DPP Chairman after the defeat. “The party should humbly accept the outcome, modestly face it, honestly reflect, and bravely push new reforms” Mr. Su said. The Liberal Party of the Philippines which assumed the CALD chairmanship from DPP sent a message of continued support for DPP despite the election turn out.

The mission secretariat consisted of Huai Hui Hsieh, Vincent Su, Lisa Tsai and Connie Chung of the DPP International Affairs Department and Paolo Zamora of CALD

here for more information.