22 February 2013

"You ask me right or wrong. I'm not in a position to tell."

(Reprised and edited from 06/11/2011)

Check out the trailer for the film of the Tat Marina story. The story of a sweet, naive Cambodian girl who was stalked, bullied and abused by a Cambodian member of government and then doused in acid by his jealous, despicable wife, Khoun Sophal, and her associates.

See more here:

And see story below:

It was December 5th, 1999 and Khoun Sophal  was enraged. Her husband-Council of Ministers Secretary of State, Svay Sitha- was having an affair with Tat Marina, an emerging karaoke star.

So she rounded up a few henchmen and sought out her husband's mistress. They found her at a Phnom Penh market  in the company of a two-year old child.

There, they held Ms. Marina down and doused her with more than a litre of acid. The acid ate her face and neck. And it ate her ears and it ate her shoulders. The acid scarred more than 40 per cent of her body. Tat Marina's life was ruined. Tat Marina was just 15-years old.

Khuon Sophal disappeared. She hasn't been found, although with her connections it's unlikely anyone has tried to track her down. Ms. Marina has asylum in the U.S. and underwent countless skin grafts and reconstructions. She still lives with the pain.

And there, thought most, ends the story. Just another case of Cambodia's rich and powerful doing whatever the hell they like.

But the story has a sequel. The Cambodian Parliament is finally debating legislation aimed specifically at barbarians who throw acid, and advocacy groups have used Tat Marina's case to highlight how little the government has done to halt such attacks.

The government was enraged by this charge. And so, more than ten years after the attack, the Council of Ministers released a statement claiming that Khoun Sophal was tried and convicted in absentia and thus there had been some form of justice.

 That's certainly news to most Cambodians. And it's certainly news to Tat Marina. "They gave me no justice at all, but they gave the perpetrators full protection," she said.

And the supposed sentence that this evil woman received? A one-year suspended jail term and five years probation. One year!

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan, who if he ever had a moral compass, has since lost it, said of the sentence, "You ask me right or wrong. I'm not in a position to tell you wrong or right. Maybe some could say not fair, but some people they say fair. You get two camps."

Meanwhile Svay Sitha continues to claim that he too was a victim of sorts of the incident. A victim? Svay Sitha, who, if he ever had a moral compass, lost it many years ago, should ask himself what the hell he was doing having an affair with a 15-year-old girl in the first place.

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