Archive for January, 2007

Wednesday, 31.1.2007: Japan Tells Khmer Government to Create Anti-Corruption Law and Combat Bureaucracy so that Japan Dares to Invest

Posted on 31 January 2007. Filed under: Week 493 |

Vol. 11, No. 493, Wednesday, 31.1.2007

“The first meeting on investment agreements between Cambodia and Japan was held on 26-27 January 2007 with the participation of Japanese legal experts and Khmer legal officials, to discuss agreements between the two countries.

“The Khmer negotiators were led by Mr. Sok Chenda, the Secretary General of the Council for the Development of Cambodia [CDC], accompanied by many officials of relevant ministries, and the Japanese side was led by the Director General of the Southeast Asia Department of Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accompanied by officials of the [Cambodian] Ministry of Commerce and officials of the Japanese Embassy in Cambodia.

“An unidentified source from among the officials of the Council for the Development of Cambodia said that during the discussions between Cambodia and Japan last week on investments, which was a first step, the Japanese legal and economic experts set conditions to the [Cambodian] government, which asks for donations from foreign countries, that it must have the will to create an anti-corruption law soon, conforming to international standards, and to eliminate a bureaucracy which is the source of corruption among Khmer officials in every institution.

“The source added that the Japanese legal officials stressed the necessity during the bilateral discussions on investments of billions of dollars in Cambodia by the Japanese Government, that the Khmer Government should create laws and other conditions in accordance with World Trade Organization regulations, and to create a Commercial Court and a Labor Court etc. in order to protect the interest of Japanese investors who may invest in Cambodia.

“A source from among the officials of the CDC added that the Cambodian side – i.e. the Council for the Development of Cambodia with Prime Minister Hun Sen chairing; Mr. Cham Prasidh, the Minister of the Ministry of Commerce; and Mr. Keat Chhon, the Minister of the Ministry of Economy and Finance participating, held a confidential meeting on 30 January 2007 to discuss and adjust the draft anti-corruption law which is at the Council of Ministers, so that it shold comply with international standards and is in accordance with the World Trade Organization.

“The Khmer Government is being pushed to make laws to protect the interest of Japanese investors who plan to invest in Cambodia; this happens because Cambodia, led by Prime Minister Hun Sen, is notorious worldwide for the skillful corruption of Mr. Hun Sen’s officials.

“According to reports from the US Agency for International Development and from the Economic Institute of Cambodia of Mr. Sok Hach, US$300 million to US$500 million are lost per year through corruption. So corruption by officials in the institutions of Mr. Hun Sen’s government amounts to approximately $1 million per day, or more.

“Because the government, which asks for donatioins from foreign countries, has an ill-famed history of corruption as stated, the Japanese legal officials and investors oblige the Khmer Government to create an anti-corruption law soon, and to eliminate bureaucracy in state institutions as well as in the customs administration, in the Ministry of Commerce, and in the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and to strengthen the judicial system so that it is independent, fair, and acceptable.

“At present, some high ranking officials in Cambodia use their influence and power, and use even the courts, which are also notorious for corruption – therefore people do not trust them – to protect some companies that seldom respect the laws while doing business; which is therefore called ‘to do business like parachuting or sword fighting’ [i.e. doing business in a dishonest way]. They make a lot of profit and spend also some money on officials who compete with each other to get this money and put it into their pockets. However, Japanese investors do not intend to do business in ‘sword fighting manner’ and they do not want to seek special protection from high ranking officials, but they require laws and really independent courts to protect their interest, in case they may have commercial disputes.

“Yesterday evening, Reach Seima reporters did not succeed in asking for explanations from Mr. Sok Chenda, the Secretary General of the Council for the Development of Cambodia; a second round of negotiations with Japan has not yet been scheduled.” Reach Seima, Vol.2, #142, 31.1.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Areyathor, Vol.13, #1211, 31.1-1.2.2007

  • H.E. Chan Sarun [Minister of Agriculture]: Oil from Mreah Prov [large softwood tree] Can Be Transformed into Addictive Drug

Cheat, Vol.9, #221, 31.1-1.2.2007

  • More Than US$56 Million Are Likely to Be Used to Try Ghosts [former KR leaders who will have died before the trial starts – ironic]
  • People Are Poor Because the State Collects Too Much Tax on Fuel and Fertilizers

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1257, 31.1.2007

  • Mr. Chea Vichea [head of Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers – assassinated 22.1.2004] Becomes Case of Competition for the Benefit of Civil Society Organizations
  • 1000 Khmer Rouge Regime Victim Families in Batheay District Receive Gifts from Dr. Handa Foundation [Kompong Cham]
  • A Parliamentarian [Khuon Sodary, CPP from Kandal] Lost More Than $10,000 during a Meeting in a 5-Star Hotel [Inter-Continental, Phnom Penh – she left her purse on a chair while going away briefly]
  • Malaysia Arrests 173 Illegal Burmese Immigrants
  • Indonesia May Lose 2,000 Islands by 2030 [because water level is going up]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5954, 31.1.2007

  • Nearly 500 Children Are in Prison [nationwide]; They Have No Opportunity for Improvement
  • Construction of [New] National Assembly Building; Logs [felled under the pretext for construction of the National Assembly] Are Everywhere in the Forest in Ratanakiri
  • 440 Unexploded Ordnance and Mine Casualties in 2006

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4199, 31.1.2007

  • Samdech Heng Samrin Urges Royal Ambassadors to Attract Investors and Tourists to Cambodia

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #142, 31.1.2007

  • Japan Tells Khmer Government to Create Anti-Corruption Law and Combat Bureaucracy so that Japan Dares to Invest

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #319, 31.1.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Supports Demand for Court to Hold Hearing of Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun [accused of murder of Chea Vichea]
  • Pictures of Samdech Euv [Father King] and Samdech Mae [former Queen] Are Removed and Replaced by Pictures of Hun Sen and His Wife [in Chub Hun Sen-Bun Rany Lower Secondary School – Kompong Cham]
  • Statute of Judges and Anti-Corruption Law Are Stuck at Council of Ministers
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Tuesday, 30.1.2007: Confederation of Trade Unions Opposes Release of the Persons Accused to Have Murdered Chea Vichea, because if They Were Released Outside the Court System, It Would Contradict the Rule of Law

Posted on 30 January 2007. Filed under: Week 493 |

Vol. 11, No. 493, Tuesday, 30.1.2007

“Phnom Penh: While some civil society organizations and trade unions started a campaign to demand the release of the accused Sok Sam Oeun and Born Samnang from prison on the third anniversary of 1,096 days in prison, the Cambodian Confederation of Trade Unions released a statement signed by Mr. Chuon Momthol, opposing the demand for the release.

“The statement, which is 180 degree different [from the demand of other unions and civil society organizations], says that after seeing many statements released by the Human Rights Action Committee [a coalition of 24 local NGOs] asking for the release of the two accused – i.e. Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun – the Cambodian Confederation of Trade Unions would like to appeal as follows:

  1. The Cambodian Confederation of Trade Unions finds that the demand for the release of the two accused mentioned, outside the court system, is an act which contradicts democracy and the rule of law.
  2. The lawyers for the two accused must try to seek ways and good evidence to defend their defendants in order to get them discharged in the Appeals Court or the Supreme Court, because thumbprinted appeals and supporting petitions cannot invalidate a court verdict; it would not be good for a democratic society like Cambodia.
  3. The Cambodian Confederation of Trade Unions would like to appeal to the courts of all levels and all law enforcement agencies that they should not release the two accused, unless the lawyers have sufficient evidence to have their defendants released, and if other culprits have not been found, the death of Mr. Chea Vichea would be meaningless and it would be like an animal’s death.

“The Cambodian Confederation of Trade Unions expects that the courts will firmly enforce the laws, relying on the existing evidence in order to find justice for Mr. Chea Vichea, and hopes that the courts will not release the accused without legal reason and evidence.

“The Human Rights Action Committee (a mixed committee with 24 human rights organizations) started a campaign of posters on Sunday [29.1.2007] calling for the release of the two men who were jailed in 2004, accused to have killed Mr. Chea Vichea, the head of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers.

“Large posters with numbers ‘1.096’, which is the total number of days since the two men were arrested, were put on the walls outside the LICADHO office [Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights]. Ms. Kek Galabru, the President of the LICADHO, said that 13 posters with photos of the two men and the writing below ‘They need justice’ were put up at the offices of trade unions and non-government organizations in Phnom Penh.

“The Human Rights Action Committee said in a statement on Sunday that the two men were tried by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in August 2005 ‘despite many pieces of evidence indicating that they are not guilty.’ In October 2005, the Appeals Court could not hold a scheduled hearing of the two men, because Judge Mr. Samreth Sophal failed to attend, claiming that he got diarrhea.

“Amnesty International also asks again for the release of the two men, and calls for an independent investigation of the case already for the last three years.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5953, 30.1.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Kampuchakbot, Vol.11, #241, 29.1.2007

  • Oknha Dul Phok [a representative of a Khmer Association in the USA] Provides Cabinets, Tables, and Chairs to the Royal School of Police
  • Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1256, 30.1.2007

    • Samdech Hun Sen and Mr. Sok An Receive Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Vietnam’s National University of Hanoi
    • Fire Swallows All Stalls of Koub Nimitt Market, Ou Chrov [Banteay Meanchey]
    • Bird Flu Recurs in Japan

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5953, 30.1.2007

  • Confederation of Trade Unions Opposes Release of the Persons Accused to Have Murdered Chea Vichea, because if They Were Released Outside the Court System, It Would Contradict the Rule of Law
  • Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3075, 30.1.2007

    • Mr. Yim Sovann [SRP parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Welcomes Position of Khmer Government to Ask Foreign Countries to Cancel Debts; Heng Samrin Says Russia Is Not Yet Certain about Cancellation of Cambodian Debts
    • Khmers Kampuchea-Krom Federation [in US] Plans to Demand Kampuchea Krom Land Back from Yuon [Vietnam]
    • CPP Officials at Local Level Use Tricks to Retain Power and Start Election Campaign before Time

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4198, 30.1.2007

    • Court Accuses Ms. Keat Kolny [Finance Minister Keat Chhon’s sister] of Involvement in 500 Hectares of Community Land in Ratanakiri
    • South Korea Is Top on Investment List in Cambodia [South Korea is said to have invested the most capital among 14 countries, all together more than $1 billion. China is second]

    Reach Seima, Vol.2, #141, 30.1.2007

    • [US] National Democratic Institute for International Affairs Accepts Four Parties [CPP, Funcinpec, SRP, and Norodom Ranariddh Party] for [election] Observation Training
    • First Deputy Chief of Poipet Commune from CPP Collects Voter Registration Cards from People [this is considered to be a threat before commune elections]

    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2956, 30.1.2007

    • Prime Minister of Second Term Government Signed on 25 May 2000 to Allow [Taiwanese] Yuan Ta Company to Do Whatever They Wish at Olympic Stadium
    • General Khieng Savorn [member of SRP Steering Committee – accused of involvement in robberies and terrorism plot] Is Released Temporarily for Health Reason
    • [Chea Mony] Head of Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers Urges Prime Minister to Tell Garment Companies to Deposit Money in Banks

    Sar Neung Khmao, Vol.8, #190, 29-30.1.2007

    • Samdech Hun Sen: CPP Is Not Monarchist, but a Party that Protects the Throne
    • National Authority for Solving Land Disputes of the Royal Government Has 53 Lawyers
    • Fate of Cambodia Is in CPP’s Fists

    Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #318, 30.1.2007

    • Sam Rainsy: Current Government Must Not Recognize Debt of $1.5 Billion to Russia [because the Cambodian government of that time had been appointed by Vietnam and was not recognized by UN]
    • UN Spokesperson [Farhan Haq] Says Khmer Rouge Tribunal Moves Ahead but Big Issues Have Not Been Solved
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    Sunday and Monday, 28/29.1.2007: Russia Sets Conditions to Cambodia; if Cambodia Can Follow the Conditions, $1.5 Billion Can Be Forgiven

    Posted on 29 January 2007. Filed under: Week 493 |

    Vol. 11, No. 493, Sunday And Monday, 28/29.1.2007

    “After a senior delegation of members of the Cambodian National Assembly returned from a five-day visit to Russia, Mr. Cheam Yeap [chairperson, Commission on Finance and Banking, of the National Assembly], affirmed that Russia considers a cancellation of the debt of $1.5 billion that Cambodia has owed for a long time, if Cambodia follows three conditions so that Russia may cancel the debt.

    “He told a council of information that during a trip to participate in the five-day 15th meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum, held in Russia from 20 January to 25 January, Samdech Heng Samrin, the President of the Khmer National Assembly, raised four times the request asking Russia to cancel the debt of up to $1.5 billion.

    “He continued that Cambodia asked Russia to follow the International Monetary Fund that agreed to cancel a debt of US$82 million, by transferring the amount instead to the government to construct irrigation systems, and considering this model, the Khmer National Assembly asks Russia to cancel the debt that the Khmers owe. He added that concerning the cancellation of the debt, Cambodia is asked to follow three conditions:

    1. Russia asks for the resumption of Moscow-Phnom Penh flights, for the promotion partly of tourism, and partly of investment.
    2. Russia asks Cambodia to strengthen military relations between the two countries by asking the ministries of defense of the two countries to have good relations again, because so many members of the Cambodian armed forces studied in Russia; therefore, the Cambodian Government should accept the request and organize those who studied military affairs in Russia again, and Russia, in turn, promises to accept Cambodian students to study in Russia.
    3. Russia sees the possibility to exploit natural gas in Cambodia, and asks the Cambodian National Assembly to facilitate relations, so that Russia can come to invest in oil drilling, because Russia has long years of experience in [oil and] gas drilling and hopes that Cambodia will allow Russian investors to come to invest in natural gas exploitation in Cambodia.

    “As Russia announced that Cambodia owes a debt of up to $1.5 billion, Mr. Cheam Yeap did not state since when Cambodia has owed the debt, nor did he state that Khmers borrowed from Russia up to $1.5 billion to buy which equipment or to build which infrastructure. He only affirmed that Cambodia has owed debts to Russia for a long time, lots of evidence of the debt is in the Russian National Assembly President’s hands, and the President of the Russian National Assembly is prepared to show the evidence of the Khmer debt.

    “He added that the current government has a role to repay the debt, although the debt has been owed for a long time, and any later government must repay the debt.

    “While Cambodia had had civil war for nearly two decades, it bought many weapons from Russia, and the weapons were brought to be used to kill each other, between Khmers and Khmers only, and there are many pieces of evidence – at least tanks and ground-to-air missiles. The Phnom Penh Government has recently destroyed many ground-to-air missiles. The government was praised by the United States for the destruction of these. Many officers of the current Khmer military affirmed that they received training in weapons’ use in Russia, and these days, those who completed such studies now are only used by the Cambodian Ministry of Defense to keep the warehouses and maintain the weapons, tanks, and armored vehicles. They are not promoted by the Ministry of Defense.

    “As for many of those who were trained in Yuon [Vietnam], they are promoted generals. Besides buying weapons, it is not known that any existing infrastructure was repaired or further developed, or any infrastructure was newly constructed with Russian loans.

    “Because of the civil war, Cambodia became poor and is indebted to foreign countries, and the culture of borrowing has become the culture of Cambodian leaders until today, and the culture of borrowing from foreign countries has become the basis on which the Cambodian leadership is happily relying to stay in position these days.

    “Whether Cambodia will accept the conditions or not is important, because it would be difficult for the government to choose otherwise, for $1.5 billion is a great amount, therefor Cambodia must consider well what to do.

    “Mr. Cheam Yeap pointed out that the request for the cancellation of the debt by the President of the Khmer National Assembly has not received a response by the Russian government, because it has to wait for the leaders of the Cambodian government who participated in a conference in Russia, so the Russian government will then give a response, whether it agrees to cancel the debt or not. As for the three conditions by Russia, the President of the Khmer National Assembly will raise the issue to be discussed with the Prime Minister for consideration.” Reach Seima, Vol.2, #140, 29.1.2007

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Sunday and Monday, 28/29. January 2007

    Khmer Mekong, Vol.5, #230, 27-28.1.2007

    • Samdech Euv [the Father King] Norodom Sihanouk: Blood of the Sisowath Line Is in My Veins; Some of Those Persons of the Sisowath Line in Phnom Penh Make My Life More Difficult
    • Municipal Governor Was Shouted Down by People [who were evicted to the outskirts of town] While He Was Inaugurating Road Construction Site [Tuol Kork, Phnom Penh]
    • Nhem En [former chief photographer of Tuol Sleng Prison]: No Outside Power Was Behind Khmer Rouge Genocide

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5952, 29.1.2007

    • $1.5 Billion Debt Owed to Russia; Government Delegation Will Go to Moscow in February to Ask for Debt Cancellation
    • Samdech Euv [Father King] Will Pay for Plane Tickets for Deceived Khmer Women from Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, and Thailand
    • Singapore Hangs Two Africans [on accusation of drug trafficking]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4197, 28-29.1.2007

    • Officials Want Hundreds of Thousands of Drug Tablets Seized in Banteay Meanchey to Be Burned
    • Telecommunication Cambodia Chooses Royal Government Member [Sarak Khan, Secretary of State of Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications] to Be President of Board of Directors
    • Samdech Hun Sen Builds 50 Stalls for People Selling Kralan [sticky rice cooked in bamboo tubes – in Soutr Nikom, Siem Reap, with the CPP logos put on the stalls]

    Reach Seima, Vol.2, #140, 29.1.2007

    • Russia Sets Conditions to Cambodia; If Cambodia Can Follow the Conditions, $1,5 Billion Debt May Be Forgiven
    • Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun [accused of murder of Chea Vichea, head of Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, assassinated 22.1.2004] Wait for Justice from Appeals Court
    • Mr. Son Chhay [SRP parliamentarian, from Phnom Penh] Will Ask Government to Establish Cultural Relations Office with Taiwan

    Snadai Khmeng Wat, Vol.6, #119, 29.1.2007

    • Samdech Hun Sen Is Protector of the King, the Throne, and the Monarchy
    • Where There Is Samdech Hun Sen, There Is Development at the Borders

    Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #317, 28-29.1.2007

    • Demand [by Civil Society organization] for Release of Accused Murderers [Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun] Continues
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    Sunday,2007-1-28: Concerns for the Health for All

    Posted on 29 January 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 492 |

    The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 492

    The Prime Minister took the opportunity of the inauguration of the new Cambodian-Korean Friendship buildings at the National Pediatric Hospital to call for the upholding of ethical principles in the field of medical care. He referred to two incidents which allegedly had happened where at other medical institutions completely unacceptable discrimination had been practiced. Treatment for a child was refused, because the aunt of the child who brought it had voted for a political party not in favor at that hospital, and in another case, a patient was transferred to another hospital – again for allegedly having a preference for a different party from the one held in respect a the hospital he had entered first.

    If such cases happen, they are in violation of fundamental principles of medical ethics. The internationally most widely known formulation of medical ethics, which has been considered as reference through many centuries in the countries of the European culture and beyond, is the Oath of Hippocrates, dating back to the physician Hippocrates in Greece, a text that is about 2400 years old.

    Some elements of this commitment of a physician have been set aside, as they did not fit into later and other contexts – like to swear this promise to the gods of the Greek religion, or the promise that a physician will teach medical science only to his own sons and to the sons of his teacher, and to nobody else,because they are not bound by the same oath.

    But some other elements have been kept through the ages:

    “I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is harmful and mischievous.

    Into whatever houses I enter, I will go into them for the benefit of the sick, and will abstain from every act of mischief and corruption; and, further, I will abstain from the seduction of females or males.

    Whatever, in connection with my professional practice or not, I see or hear, which ought not to be spoken of about, I will not divulge, reckoning that all such should be kept secret.”

    These basic principles were considered fundamental through the ages: the benefit of the patient as most important; a physical will not engage in economic or sexual exploitation; and whatever information is received – “in connection with my professional practice or not” – will be kept secret.

    Modern medical and social developments, and the conviction that medical practice has to be based on an ethical basis, led to new formulations. The Declaration of Geneva, adopted by the General Assembly of the World Medical Association at Geneva in 1948, has been widely used as a model for a text which young medical doctors have to solemnly declare, before they are accepted as licensed medical practitioners:

      At the time of being admitted as a member of the medical profession:

    • I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
    • I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;
    • I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity;
    • The health of my patient will be my first consideration;
    • I will respect the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
    • I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honor and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
    • My colleagues will be my sisters and brothers;
    • I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;
    • I will maintain the utmost respect for human life;
    • I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
    • I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honor.

    At the time of this writing, I do not have information what formalized, official standards of medical ethics are used in Cambodia.

    But this type of a publication on the Internet, with the possibility that readers can add “Comments” at the end: observations, opinions, questions, or suggestions, – allows all readers to actively participate in and promote public discussion about common concerns.

    All readers are invited to make use of this possibility. Please make frequent use of it.

    The Prime Minister said:”If you were a doctor, you had to treat all patients. This is called the basis of medical ethics. One has to remember that two or three people could affect the general reputation of all medical doctors… When patients arrive, never should a doctor ask for whom the patient had voted.” It is hoped that this basic humanitarian principle will not be violated – it affects the health of a person. But its violation by some individuals affects the health of the whole society.

    During this week, also another concern about discrimination was expressed. Though, as the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia – COMFREL – reports, fortunately “no candidates or activists of any political party were murdered during this period,” however, “members and activists of other than the ruling party have fear and face many difficulties in performing their networking activities and arranging candidates for the [upcoming commune] elections.” This, too, violates basic ethical principles – in this case set by the Constitution of Cambodia, which defines the Kingdom as “a multi-party liberal democratic regime guaranteeing human rights and the respect of law.” COMFREL calls on the National Election Committee to continue “to play its role, especially to help to intervene with the media, especially television, so that all political parties can use the media to publicize their activities.” In this case, too, the activities of even only two or three people affect the general reputation of the electoral procedures.

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    Vol. 11, No. 492, Saturday, 27.1.2007

    Posted on 27 January 2007. Filed under: Week 492 |

    Prime Minister Tells Samdech Euv that Nobody Wants to Overthrow the Current King

    “‘Your Majesty, I would like to ask for permission to inform you that I have already received your considerations about Mr. Um Daravuth and Mr. Khek Vandy [Princess Bopha Devi’s husband] through the Royal Palace Minister Kong Sam Ol. I would like to inform Your Majesty as follows:

    “‘Mr. Um Daravuth was a Secretary of State at the Ministry of Information, later he left the Royal Government to join the Royal Cabinet with the position equal to a Secretary of State. If the Royal Palace allows him to leave by issuing a Royal Sub-Decree, the Government will consider to accept him into government service again.

    “‘As for Mr. Khek Vandy, I was deeply surprised when I heard about his exaggerations. What he told His Majesty the King, that the leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party are said to be not satisfied with the King, because the King listens to his father too much, is a complete provocation and instigation. To this I want to add that since Samdech Preah Baromneath Norodom Sihamoni has ascended to the throne, I have never heard anything about advice or ideas of the Great Heroic King Father of Khmer Nation, given to Preah Moha Ksatr Samdech Preah Baromneath Norodom Sihamoni.

    “‘In addition, I would like to inform Your Majesty that I was really surprised reading your text dated 9 January 2007, which says, “Soon … a ‘Sisowath’ on the Throne of the Khmer Kingdom (2007)??.” I really had never heard about such collusion. However, I think that this definitely cannot happen, because I have never heard that any member of the Sisowath line wants to ascend to the throne. But even if there were really any prince who wanted to do so, it is impossible, because we have the Throne Council that decides the selection of the Cambodian King, and such an effort would also contradict Article 7 of the Constitution which also says: ‘The King shall be the Head of State for life.’

    “‘Once again, I would like to express my loyalty and faithful support to Preah Karuna Samdech Preah Baromneath Norodom Sihamoni to be the Cambodian King for life, in accordance with the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia. I would like to inform you that I am a member of the Throne Council who supported the present King, therefore, I cannot allow anyone to overthrow the King and appoint another Cambodian King, violating the supreme law of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

    “‘Once again, I would like to wish Your Majesty and the Queen good health, strength, longevity, and freedom from sickness so that Your Majesty stays on as the protective shade over the welfare of Cambodia.

    “‘I would like Your Majesty and the Queen to accept my highest esteem and gratitude.'” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2954, 27.1.2007

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Saturday, 27 January 2007

    Chakraval, Vol.15, #2644, 27.1.2007

    • Government Creates Inter-Ministerial Committee to Check Legal Procedures to Abolish Contract for Olympic Stadium Investment
    • Mr. Kol Pheng [Minister of Education] Is Likely to Be Removed and Replaced by Mr. Pech Sophoan [secretary of state of Ministry of Labor – because he is allegedly involved in Olympic Stadium investment]
    • One Chinese Gets 10 Years Imprisonment and Another Gets 25 Years on Accusation of Drug Trafficking [Phnom Penh – Kampuchea Thmey and Rasmei Kampuchea identify them as Taiwanese]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1254, 27.1.2007

    • Mr. Heng Pov [former Phnom Penh police commissioner who is in prison in Cambodia] Sues Three Senior Malaysian Officials for Returning Him to Cambodia
    • Opposition Parliamentarian [Son Chhay, from Phnom Penh] Plans to Write to Samdech Euv [Father King], Asking Him to Help 5,000 Khmer Victimized Women in Taiwan
    • Another Indonesian Girl Dies from Bird Flu

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3073, 27-28.1.2007

    • ILO Demands Hun Sen Explain Where ILO Officials Allegedly Threatened [garment] Factories Asking for Money [extortion in exchange for good report on labor conditions]; Chea Mony [head of Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Affirms Closures of [garment] Factories Caused by Corruption
    • Hung Pov’s Lawyer in Malaysia Affirms that Federal Court Will Open Hearing on His Complaint on 2 February

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4196, 27.1.2007

    • European Union Aid to Cambodia Announced for 2007 as $187 Million
    • Prime Minister Hun Sen Accepts Apology from Khek Vandy [Princess Bopha Devi’s husband – over rumors about Royal Norodom and Sisowath lines]
    • Samdech Hun Sen Urges APP Company and Green Rich Company to Respect Laws and Technical Procedures

    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2954, 27.1.2007

    • More Than 5,000 Khmers, Who Live Miserably in Taiwan, Wait for Assistance from Khmer Government
    • Prime Minister Tells Samdech Euv that Nobody Wants to Overthrow the Current King

    Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #316, 27.1.2007

    • Heng Pov’s Statement Prepared to Be on Television
    • Mu Sochua [Secretary-General of SRP] Will Participate in Election Observation Training Organized by NDI [US National Democratic Institute for International Affairs]
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    Vol. 11, No. 492, Friday, 26.1.2007

    Posted on 26 January 2007. Filed under: Week 492 |

    Taiwanese Ministry of Interior Tells Cambodian Assembly that More Than 5,000 Khmer Women in Taiwan Face Difficulties

    “The Taiwanese Ministry of Interior told the Khmer National Assembly that more than 5,000 Cambodian women, who are married to Taiwanese men, face difficulties because they are abandoned by their husbands. The difficulties of those women exist because of Mr. Hun Sen’s government, which maintains a One-China policy

    “Mr. Lee Yi-Yang, a Secretary of State of the Taiwanese Ministry of Interior, wrote on 9 January 2007 to Mr. Son Chhay, the chairperson of the Fifth Commission [Commission on Foreign Affairs, International Co-operation, Propaganda and Information] of the National Assembly, saying that at present, more than 5,000 Khmer women, who are married to Taiwanese men and are living in Taiwan, are abandoned by their husbands, face difficulties, and have no money to return home.

    “On 22 January Mr. Son Chhay wrote to Mr. Hor Namhong, a Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, about the situation of the women. Mr. Son Chhay stated in the letter, ‘I have recently received an e-mail from an official of the Taiwanese Ministry of Interior, telling me about the Khmer women who are married to Taiwanese men and are living with difficulties on the island. The official of the Taiwanese Ministry of Interior asked the Commission of the Cambodian National Assembly to help to seek ways to solve the problems of the Khmer women, most of whom are poor and abandoned by their husbands. Living in difficult situations, those Khmer women asked for social welfare assistance from the Taiwanese authorities, but their request was rejected due to reasons of national security. The reason being that Taiwan does not have official diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Cambodia for solving national issues.’

    “The letter continued that to seek solutions for the problems of these Khmer women, the Taiwanese official asked for policy suggestions from Khmer officials, or as an alternataive he asked that Khmer officials could contact different organizations in Ho Chi Minh City (Prey Nokor), Vietnam. which are experienced in such work. The chairperson of the Fifth Commission of the National Assembly asked the Khmer Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide policy suggestions, or agree to a meeting any time to discuss possible solutions for the problem of these Khmer women.

    “Mr. Son Chhay said, ‘More than 5,000 Khmer women, who married Taiwanese men, were just used as tools of passion for a short time and then abandoned. Those Khmer women are living by themselves, and it is difficult for them to find jobs, so some of them forced themselves to take Taiwanese nationality in order to get any social welfare money from the Taiwanese government.’

    “The letter of the official of the Taiwanese Ministry of Interior presents the difficulties of their authorities when trying to help those Khmer women, because Taiwan does not have an office for solving such issues, as Cambodia applies a One-China policy.

    “Mr. Son Chhay said, ‘Vietnam also supports a One-China policy like other countries, but it has a [Taiwanese] cultural office or a trade office for handling visas for traders and to solve other issues of people from both countries.’

    “Before the bloodshed coup on 5-6 July 1997, Cambodia had a Taiwanese cultural office in Phnom Penh. After the coup, Mr. Hun Sen’s government closed the Taiwanese office, causing difficulties up to today.

    “Mr. Son Chhay, stated, ‘We are worried about these Khmer citizens, because according to the constitution, Khmer citizens everywhere are to be assisted by the state. The case of more than 5,000 Khmer citizens in Taiwan is difficult to solve, because the two counties do not have offices to contact each other. Therefore, when the Taiwanese authorities need to clarify information in some documents which are forged, there is no way. How to punish the Taiwanese men who deceived Khmer women into being used for passion for a short time, we don’t know from whom to get any clarification. But the Government of Cambodia should pay attention and should try to solve this problem properly.’

    “Mr. Son Chhay appeals to the Khmer government to take responsibility for the fate of more than 5,000 Khmer women because they are Khmer citizens, but now they face difficulties in Taiwan.

    “Last year, Khmer monks living in Taiwan created an association in order to help protect the more than 5,000 Khmer women. However, the association could not help them in legal terms but only with charity for a short time.” Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #315, 26.1.2007

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Friday, 26 January 2007

    Areyathor, Vol.13, #1210, 26-27.1.2007

    • Mr. Khek Vandy [Princess Bopha Devi’s husband] Should Explain Rather than Flee Abroad [over Royal Norodom and Sisowath lines]

    Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #446, 26.1.2007

    • Charay Ethnic Minority Tribespeople, Whose Land Is Trickily Grabbed by [Minister of Economy and Finance] Keat Chhon’s Sister, Plan to Come to Phnom Penh [to seek a solution]

    Khmer Mekong, Vol.5, #229, 25-27.1.2007

    • Hun Sen [responding to reports saying there is an intention to overthrow the Royal Norodom line and replace it by the Sisowath line]: All Senior Dignitaries of the Sisowath Line Support Samdech Preah Baromneath Norodom Sihamoni to Be the King

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5950, 26.1.2007

    • European Commission Provides Euro 8.9 Million [approx US$11.5] for Small and Medium Scale Enterprise Development in Cambodia
    • Hong Kong and Japan Are Job Market Destinations for Cambodian Laborers
    • Man, Who Owes Debts, Kills His Wife, Wounds Daughter [beating her head with an ax], Then Hangs Himself [he is rescued and hospitalized – Puok, Siem Reap]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3072, 26.1.2007

    • Anti-Corruption Law Won’t Be Adopted if Government Is Not Willing
    • Hanoi Promises to Help Strengthen Cambodian Military Forces
    • NGOs Ask Strongman [Hun Sen] to Take Back Land from Ms. Keat Kolny [Keat Chhon’s sister] and Give It to Ethnic Minority Tribespeople Urgently

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4195, 26.1.2007

    • [Nhem En, former] Photographer of Tuol Sleng Prison Apologizes to Millions of Victims Who Died during Khmer Rouge Regime
    • [South] Korea Affirms that It Will Accept Many Cambodian Laborers

    Reach Seima, Vol.2, #139, 26.1.2007

    • Cambodia Doesn’t Have Money to Create Its Own Companies
    • Mr. Nhem En Doesn’t Dare to Show Photos of Senior Government Officials Who Worked with Pol Pot

    Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #315, 26.1.2007

    • Taiwanese Ministry of Interior Tells Cambodian Assembly that More Than 5,000 Khmer Women in Taiwan Face Difficulties
    • Global Witness Says Corruption in Wood Business Relates to Senior Government Officials
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    Vol. 11, No. 492, Thursday, 25.1.2007

    Posted on 25 January 2007. Filed under: Week 492 |

    Cambodian and UNDP Officials Meet to Find Ways to Fight Corruption

    “Phnom Penh: Officials of the Royal Government and the United Nations Development Program in Cambodia [UNDP] released on 24 January 2007 a study comparing the arrangement of different institutions to fight corruption, for which a conference was organized in Phnom Penh during three days (24-26 January 2007). Also anti-corruption activists and the representatives from twelve countries in Asia participated in order to create mutual communication to seek ways to fight corruption, H.E. Men Sam An, a Senior Minister and the Minister of the Ministry of National Assembly and Senate Relations and Inspection, and Mr. Douglas Gardner, the Resident Representative of the UNDP in Cambodia, presided over the conference.

    “H.E. Men Sam An said, ‘There are participants from twelve different countries in the Asia-Pacific region in this first regional conference in the Kingdom of Cambodia. It is a great honor for the Kingdom of Cambodia to be selected by the UNDP as the place for this first conference on integrated action.’ She continued, ‘I have the strong belief that we all will have the opportunity to learn from each other’s good experiences in order to deal with corruption which is a serious problem for all countries in the world, because corruption destroys the economy and the everyday livelihood of the people.’

    “H.E. Men Sam An went on to say, ‘I also hope that the conference will allow all of us to create and strengthen a network of people implementing the same tasks, so we can share and learn from each other all the different methods in order to promote management with transparency, accountability, and more effectiveness. I also would like to inform you about the active effort of the Royal Government of Cambodia against corruption so far, and share that we are busy with the preparation of an anti-corruption law.’

    “In March 2006, the leaders of the Ministry of National Assembly and Senate Relations and Inspection met, decided, and passed an anti-corruption draft law to the Council of Ministers, and it had then to go through a meeting requesting suggestions from the Council of Lawyers and a group of economic, social, and cultural advisers of the Council of Ministers. On 12 September 2006, the Council of Ministers held a first inter-ministerial meeting and decided to give the further task to the Ministry of National Assembly and Senate Relations and Inspection, and to the Ministry of Justice, to organize a working group to check and adjust and correct some articles so that they are harmonized with other provisions of the criminal legal code.

    “H.E. Men Sam An went on to say, ‘After the Council of Ministers arranged the second inter-ministerial meeting on 26-27 October 2006, and as a result of this meeting, the meeting decided to allow some relevant ministries and institutions to give written recommendations to the Council of Ministers for further checks and adjustments. At present, the anti-corruption draft law is at the Council of Ministers, which will continue to arrange inter-ministerial meetings, and then the draft law will go through a plenary session of the Council of Ministers, before it is passed to the legislative institutions for discussion and adoption in the near future.’ She continued, ‘According to the content of the anti-corruption draft law, an independent and neutral institution to fight corruption will be created after this law is adopted, and documents for a strategic plan to fight corruption will also be prepared. The UNDP promised to provide an adviser to the Ministry of National Assembly and Senate Relations and Inspection, who is specialized in this work.’

    “Mr. Douglas Gardner, the representative of the UNDP in Cambodia, said, ‘We all know that the fight against corruption is not easy; however, if it is successful, it will provide a great encouragement for investors to come to this nation.’ He continued, ‘More investors will come to invest in the country, and this will provide jobs to young people who will help to make the national economy grow. At present, the governments and also the donors – from either sides, and also the multilaterals – increasingly pay attention to actions against corruption. Some countries are more successful than others in such actions against corruption. Thus, it is very good that we can learn from each other how to promote transparency and accountability in the context of the policy and society of a particular country.’

    “H.E. Men Sam An added, ‘It is not sufficient that anti-corruption laws just exist, because the laws are just keys to open the door and to solve some specific problems.’ She stated, ‘To free a society from corruption, I believe that we must have laws and good governance, both in the public and the private sectors. Concerning this, the Royal Government of Cambodia has set up many specific measures by creating laws to broaden the management of public finance and of public procurements.’ She affirmed, ‘The Royal Government created the Ministry of National Assembly and Senate Relations and Inspection with the main purpose to fight corruption. There is also a general inspection department, and recently a department for internal audits has been created, to work on internal auditing in order to fight corruption at the ministerial levels.’

    “Mr. Sek Barisoth, an official of a non-government anti-corruption organization (PACT), said, ‘I hope that the Royal Government will make efforts so that the anti-corruption law will be adopted soon.’ He went on to say, ‘The adoption of this law is not sufficient. This law has to be good. If this law were adopted just for getting it done, it would be worthless, because if this law is not good, it can not be effectively enforced, and this would be a waste of time.’ He continued that the preparation of the anti-corruption law did not encounter any technical problems, because the government has the necessary technical capacity, and also organizations outside of the government were prepare to help. He continued, ‘The creation of this law relates, of course, also to the criminal and the civil laws, but if we wait for the criminal law and the civil law to be adopted, and if the revision of these two laws might take another five years’ time to be finalized, then must the anti-corruption law also wait for another five years?’

    “It should be stated that this regional conference on integrated action, organized by the UNDP, has participants from twelve countries, and the conference compares Cambodia to 14 countries which have major institutions against corruption, such as Australia, Botswana, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, and Tanzania. In the conference, H.E. Men Sam An cut the ribbon to inaugurate an anti-corruption book which was prepared by the UNDP in Cambodia, as a symbol of this opening of the regional conference.

    “This conference will end on 26 January with the launch of some study documents.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5949, 25.1.2007

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Thursday, 25 January 2007

    Chakraval, Vol.15, #2643, 25.1.2007

    • Mr. Khek Vandy [Princess Bopha Devi’s husband] Makes CPP, the King, and the Royal Family Quarrel with Each Other [over throne]

    • Four Judges Start to Work on Documents of Heng Pov [former Phnom Penh Police Commissioner] by Questioning Him in Prey Sar Prison

    • A Vietnamese Woman Sentenced to Five Years Imprisonment on Accusation of Sex Exploitation; Another Escapes [Phnom Penh]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1252, 25.1.2007

    • [Posts and Telecommunications] Minister So Khun Asks Telephone Companies to Pay Attention and Serve Customers Well
    • Investigating Judges Start to Question Mr. Heng Pov about Kidnapping Korean Nationals
    • Cambodia Asks Vietnam to Create Safe Areas of No Bird Flu at Border
    • Bird Flu Occurs in Northeastern Thailand
    • Taliban Rebels Plan to Build School Buildings for Children
    • More Than 30 People Killed in Violence in Afghanistan [relating to Taliban insurgents]

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5949, 25.1.2007

    • Cambodian and UNDP Officials Meet to Find Ways to Fight Corruption

    • US Pacific Navy Starts to Train Cambodian Navy Again

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3071, 25.1.2007

    • Mr. Sam Rainsy: Thieves Never Want to Create Law to Arrest Thieves [about delays in anti-corruption legislation]

    • More and More Garment Factories Close and Suspend [because of bankruptcy and corruption], Making Khmer Workers Deadlocked and More Misfortunate

    • Yuon [Vietnamese] Authorities Say Crimes [including smuggling] Increases at Khmer-Yuon Border

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4194, 25.1.2007

    • Samdech Hun Sen Rejects Report Which Says There Is Intention to Overthrow the Royal Norodom Line and Replace it by the Sisowath Line

    • Government Announces Decrease of Price of Garment Export by 10% [in order to encourage garment factory owners]

    Reach Seima, Vol.2, #138, 25.1.2007

    • Government to Spend More Than $100 Million per Year to Decrease Gasoline Price

    • Prince Sirivudh Is Summoned by Court to Appear on 29 January [over Funcinpec complaints against Ranariddh]

    • Prime Minister Urges that Labor Market in Cambodia Should Work 24/7

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    Vol. 11, No. 492, Wednesday, 24.1.2007

    Posted on 24 January 2007. Filed under: Week 492 |

    COMFREL: Party Oriented Media Result in Unfair Competition from the Beginning

    “A report from the Committee for Free and Fair Elections [COMFREL], observing the selection of officials to organize the commune elections [to be held on 1 April 2007] at all levels and the registration of candidates of political parties, shows that the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] has the most opportunities to publicize its activities related to the selection of their candidates, as well as its achievements through television, radio, and newspapers.

    “An eight-paged report dated 22 January 2007 says that the other parties are not able to use television to provide information to the people in remote areas. This causes an atmosphere of unfairness from the beginning.

    “COMFREL added that though there are few irregularities, the selection of officials to organize the elections at all levels, and the registration of candidates of political parties during three days (from 1 to 3 January) was conducted smoothly, especially in technical terms. There was only one complaint of an irregularity. However, before and after the registration of candidates, an atmosphere of threats and fears appeared in some remote areas. Twelve political parties have registered with a total of more than 100,000 candidates, out of which 20% are women. Four parties used to participate in the elections in 2002, and seven parties participated in elections in 2003.

    “Despite the increased number of parties, COMFREL observed that only the CPP has candidates in all communes and subdistricts. At least three communes in two remote areas in Pursat and Ratanakiri have candidates from only one party; the other parties had difficulties in organizing their networks and candidates in many communes and subdistricts.

    “Concerning security, threats, intimidation, and violence relating to the candidates, COMFREL noticed that no candidates or activists of any political party were murdered during this period, but fear and threats still continue. The range of freedom is still small and narrow for political activities in remote rural areas.

    “The members and activists of other than the ruling party have fear and face many difficulties in performing their networking activities and arranging candidates for the elections. There is an accusation that there are verbal threats against some activists, especially from the opposition party, where some local authorities may force or threaten some candidates to withdraw themselves, or to resign from a political party, or to stop their activities of supporting those parties.

    “There are threats by local authorities that there will be no guarantee of personal safety and security, neither for the candidates nor for their families, or there will be no assistance by administrative or economic facilities, and so on, if someone joins and serves another party. Such cases happened in some communes in Battambang, Kandal, Koh Kong, Kratie, Mondolkiri, Pursat, and Siem Reap, and also in some other places. In some cases, COMFREL continues the observation.

    “COMFREL said also that the arrest of the three generals – one is from the Sam Rainsy Party, and the other two are from Funcinpec – definitely affects the atmosphere, causing fear and worries during the election period. Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh is facing an accusation in court by Funcinpec, and Funcinpec is also facing some accusations by Samdech Krom Preah. Moreover, Samdech Hun Sen encouraged the court to continue to work on the complaints by Funcinpec against Samdech Krom Preah.

    “COMFREL says that these disputes have become political and cause a dreadful atmosphere.
    However, COMFREL insists that the National Election Committee continues to play its role, especially to help to intervene with the media, especially television, so that all political parties can use the media to publicize their activities like the CPP does.” Deum Ampil, Vol.2, #5, 24-30.1.2007

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Wednesday, 24 January 2007

    Deum Ampil, Vol.2, #5, 24-30.1.2007

    • After Hun Sen’s Reaction, Court Continues to Take Action on Lawsuit between Samdech Krom Preah and Nhek Bun Chhay [Funcinpec Secretary-General – over sale of Funcinpec headquarters]
    • German Ambassador Urges Adoption of Anti-Corruption Draft Law Soon
    • COMFREL: Party Oriented Media Result in Unfair Competition from the Beginning
    • LICADHO [Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights]: More Land Disputes Happened in 2006 than in 2005

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1251, 24.1.2007

    • Commission 4 of National Assembly Finds Out Three Main Crimes [forest crimes, fishing crimes, and land grabs] in Kompong Chhnang and Pursat
    • Phnom Penh Municipal Court Quietly Takes Action on Suit over Sale of Funcinpec Headquarters
    • British Man Arrested on Accusation of Pedophilia [Phnom Penh]
    • Poor Parents, Whose [13-year-old] Daughter Was Raped and Killed, Cannot Afford a Coffin [Kos Krolor, Battambang]

    Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #445, 24.1.2007

    • King Norodom Sihamoni Told Samdech Euv [Father King] that if He Is Overthrown, He Will Go into Exile in France
    • Family of Chea Vichea [head of Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, assassinated 22.1.2004] Says Government Was Behind Murder of this Prominent Head of Trade Unions
    • Complaint of Ministry of Environment against Green Rich Ended by Money Quietly
    • Yuon [Vietnam] Still Continues Encroachment on Contested Area in Ou Ya Dav, Ratanakiri

    Khmer Mekong, Vol.5, #228, 23-24.1.2007

    • Committee for Free and Fair Elections: Ruling Party Uses Most Media Access During Period Before Elections

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3070, 24.1.2007

    • Samdech Euv [Father King]: Plan to Overthrow Throne to Dissolve Norodom Line in Order to Be Replaced by Sisowath Line; Samdech Sihamoni Asks for Half a Month’s Time for Packing to Go to France [according to Voice of America]
    • Mr. Sam Rainsy Still Threatens to Lead Public Demonstration to Demand Further Decrease of Gasoline Price

    Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #313, 24.1.2007

    • Cambodia Owes Up to US$6.2 Billion Foreign Debts
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    Vol. 11, No. 492, Tuesday, 23.1.2007

    Posted on 23 January 2007. Filed under: Week 492 |

    Samdech Prime Minister Appeals to Doctors to Adhere to Their Code of Ethics

    “Phnom Penh: Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen of the Royal Government of Cambodia admonished all Cambodian doctors to adhere to their code of ethics in order to avoid discrimination against patients with an affiliation to specific political parties, which can cause trouble to the people. Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen said so at an inauguration ceremony for the Cambodian-Korean Friendship buildings at the National Pediatric Hospital in the morning of 22 January 2007.

    “Samdech Prime Minister referred to a sad issue happening at a hospital in Batheay, Kompong Cham, that there was a woman who took her child to see the doctors. She was asked: ‘Aunt, for whom did you vote?’ The woman answered that she had voted for the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP]. All of a sudden, the doctors there refused treatment. At that time, Mr. Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minster of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, helped to take the child to get treatment at the National Pediatric Hospital; and so the child was saved. This was one of the stories. Another event happened at Samrong Tong district. When a patient was taken to be treated at a Phnom Penh hospital, it was said that the patient was suddenly taken to get the operation at another hospital because it was known that the patient had voted for the CPP.

    “Samdech Hun Sen requested that all doctors should treat all patients without making any difference. If you were a doctor, you had to treat all patients. This is called the basis of ‘medical ethics.’ One has to remember that two or three people could affect the general reputation of all medical doctors. ‘If one fish is rotten in a basket, all the fish will be rotten.’ If one does not get rid of the rotten fish, it would create a rotten situation. When patients arrive, never should a doctor ask for whom the patient had voted.

    “Samdech Hun Sen added that as the prime minister, if there is trouble and negative actions in society, he has to stop it and bring the perpetrators to justice, even if they are CPP members. Samdech appealed therefore again to adhere to medical ethics, and to apply political and racial non-discrimination.

    “Meanwhile, Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen also appealed to those who are engaging in activities spreading AIDS to discontinue these activities, because they endanger not only themselves but also their wives, children, and families. Many orphaned children were left with AIDS. He confirmed that he had appealed repeatedly to those people involved to stop it. If this epidemic would not be prevented, it would develop very dangerously.

    “Samdech also appealed to some Democracy and Human Rights NGOs that were present at the ceremony: they should not forget to educate people about the dangers of AIDS. They did spend too much time criticizing the government, they should rather focus on humanitarian issues. If strong people dedicated to human rights could help solve this problem, it would really help to prevent and to reduce the spread of AIDS.

    “The Korean aid for the National Pediatric Hospital buildings was approximately US$2.5 million. The three-storied building was established on an area of nearly 5,000 sqm, and it is possible to build it up to six more stories in future.

    “The new building was furnished with 150 beds. But due to the lack of trained human resources, especially specialized doctors for all units and enough nurses, the units would be gradually started to be operated according to the growing capacities and possibilities in Cambodia.

    “Mr. Chhuor Y Meng, the director of the National Pediatric Hospital, said that the first step was to operate the outpatient clinical treatment, the laboratory, the radiology and ultrasound facilities, the intensive care unit, and to provide hospitalization for about only 50 to 60 patients, in addition to the 115 beds which were already operational now. In addition, operations would expand continuously whenever the Ministry of Health provides adequate additional human resources as the hospital will request.

    “The Minister of Health, Mr. Nuth Sokhom, said that from March 2007 onwards the National Pediatric Hospital is Cambodia’s first hospital to improve the medical quality of nourishment.

    “The Minister highly evaluated that the hospital was equipped with modern facilities to serve the needs of the people, because it can confidently deliver health service to Cambodian children. It also can help poor people who might need, but could not afford to get treatment abroad; and so they would receive appropriate local treatment for specialized diseases.

    “Mr. Shin Hyun-Suk, the Korean ambassador to Cambodia, said that the establishment of this modern hospital for children is a valuable project, because children’s health provides hope for the future of every nation. He said ‘I expect that the new hospital will contribute to Cambodian Government’s effort to achieve Cambodia’s millennium development goals. It can reduce the mortality rate of children and serve as a center that treats children, as well as it trains doctors who come from referral hospitals all over the country.’

    “Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen thanked the Korean government for providing a series of aid to Cambodia. Recalling the decision of the Cambodian government to build up the relationship with the Republic of Korea during the past 10 years, he continued, ‘We thought that it was the right decision for our diplomatic politics. If we had made a wrong decision, we would not have today’s achievements. There was no Korean aid, no Korean investors, and no Korean tourists. There was also no hospital and aid from Korea at that time.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4192, 23.01.2007

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Tuesday, 23 January 2007

    Chakraval, Vol.15, #2642, 23.1.2007

    • Japan Provides ¥1,249 Million [approx. US$10 million] Grant Aid to Cambodia
    • Samdech Chea Sim Talks with Subdistrict Council Members in Phnom Penh

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1250, 23.1.2007

    • Wife of Major General Khieng Savorn [member of SRP Steering Committee] Says Her Husband May Die in Prison from Chronic Sickness
    • Samdech Hun Sen Inaugurates Friendship Building Donated by South Korea in National Pediatric Hospital
    • [Venezuelan President] Chavez Calls Ms. Rice [US Secretary of State] “My Little Girl”

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3069, 23.1.2007

    • Mr. Yim Sovann [SRP parliamentarian, from Phnom Penh]: Chea Vichea [head of Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, assassinated 22.1.2004] Left Heroism of Struggle for Workers

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4192, 23.1.2007

    • Samdech Hun Sen Calls for Doctors to Respect Code of Conduct
    • Bank of China Provides $207 Million Loan [to Cambodia] for Road and Bridge Construction

    Reach Seima, Vol.2, #136, 23.1.2007

    • Samdech Hun Sen Warns for Second Time against Anyone Who Wants to Give Power to Preah Mohavirak Khsatr [the Great Heroic King Norodom Sihanouk]
    • Germany Provides $1 Million for Demining [in Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey]
    • South Korean Minister of Labor Will Visit Cambodia on 25 January
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    Vol. 11, No. 492, Sunday and Monday, 21/22.1.2007

    Posted on 22 January 2007. Filed under: Week 492 |

    Bad Telephone Connections Are Like Traffic Jam Caused by Many Travelers in a Narrow Street

    “Bad telephone connections, which make the people complain, are not new but a very old issue. However, it has never been seen publicly that the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications has taken any action. According to some sources, the Minister, Mr. So Khun, ignores what the private telephone companies do, because he and even the opposition party that has stopped opposing [= ironic, the Sam Rainsy Party] got ‘poisoned’ by business interests and by the Ministry of Posts. If this is the situation, Khmer people will not meet a harmonious future, and the party which stopped to be an opposition party should not be relied on – it is an impossible situation.

    “Telephone companies causing difficulties to their customers is not a new issue, but a very old one, and the relevant ministry knows about it, but nobody cares.

    “Khmer people who use telephones complain so much about the difficulties in communicating from one telephone network to another it could rend the sky, which even leads to the useless loss of their telephone fees. However, Mr. So Khun is silent like a stone that make customers think that maybe even Mr. So Khun got poisoned.

    “People whose business relies on the telephone say that at present they have serious difficulties to connect from one telephone network to another, especially in the afternoon and in the evening. Sometimes they try to dial almost half an hour to get through, and sometimes they cannot get through but hear only a recorded voice telling the customers, ‘All the lines are busy,’ or ‘The line is busy, you cannot get through.’

    “Ohers confirmed that the difficulties in interconnections make the customers lose lots of money. These difficulties push them to use all different telephone networks at the same time, but not many can afford that. They can only appeal to Mr. So Khun, the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, to help by making regulations that all telephone companies have to improve the interconnection capacities, so that it is easy for the people to decide which telephone network to use for their business.

    “Telephone customers in Cambodia, who use at present the 011, 012, 015, 016, and 092 wireless telephone networks, or the landline system 023, complain that all private telephone companies cannot provide appropriate services, because the interconnections from one telephone network to another are most difficult. Others observe that sometimes the link is established, but the voice is blurred and cannot be understood, unless the customers cancel the calls and then dial once or twice again, until they can get a clear connection. This problem makes customers waste much money in order to contact their partners.

    “A hotel staff member told journalists that the hotel is often blamed by its customers because normal communication is unavailable. This makes the hotel also lose customers, because customers cannot phone one hotel; therefore, they contact another one.

    “A customer of the 011 network complained that they live in a remote area, they tried to buy a telephone well suited for their communications with relatives, relying on what a commercial presented which appeared to be good. They finally decided to buy a 011 network SIM card. As a result, it is very difficult to dial to the 012 and 092 networks, but it is a bit easier to dial to the 016 network. Some people have to buy three telephones from three networks – i.e. from the 011, 012, and the 016 networks – because their business requires them to communicate with customers in these networks. They have to spend much money for different telephone networks, making them lose a lot of their profit.

    “Some customers are angry that they hear the recorded voice saying too often, ‘You are on a waiting system, please do not hang up!’ or ‘You cannot get connected at present.’ The way the companies act violates the customers too much. If the switchboard gateways are too narrow, why do they still have to increase the number of customers? It seems they only want to gain too much profit.

    “Ms. Chandy, a staff member of a Siem Reap hotel, said that sometimes the telephone numbers of calls from abroad appear as coming from 011, 012, or 016 systems, but not from the 001 or 007 licensed international gateways. This prompts the question why the international gateway numbers seldom appear to have been used, and therefore calls from abroad appear as local network numbers. This may be caused by telephone network theft, which causes difficulties in communications.

    “Concerning these problems, customers are waiting to see which institutions will appear to regulate the private companies that make trouble for Khmer people. Or have they all got poisoned and silenced? Many people wonder about Mr. So Khun, the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, who so far has never spoken about these difficulties in the use of telephones, or released an order to deal with this problem at all. It is suspected that Mr. So Khun got poisoned by the companies.

    “Ms. Ky Lam Ang’s speech, [Commission on Public Works, Transports, Telecommunications, Posts, Industry, Energy and Trade of the National Assembly – probably 2nd Policy Dialogue on Cambodia’s Competition Policy: Making a Free and Fair Trade] was quoted why the National Assembly should summon Mr. So Khun, the Minister, to explain to the people the difficulties in telephone communications.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2949, 21-22.1.2007

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Sunday and Monday, 21/22. January 2007

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1249, 21-22.1.2007

    • Archaeological Areas in Cambodia Are Seriously Destroyed [through excavation for ancient artifacts]
    • Wild Woman Longs to Return to Live in Jungle [Ratanakiri]
    • Bus Crashes into River: 21 Die and More Than 30 Are Injured [Thailand]
    • Sri Lankan Government Troops Capture a Stronghold of Tamil Tiger Rebels

    Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #444, 22.1.2007

    • Samdech Euv [Father King] Says Royal Family of the Sisowath Line Wants to Replace Current King

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5946, 22.1.2007

    • Samdech Prime Minister Asks France to Help with Rubber Plantations
    • Cambodia Cable Television Cooperates with Quang Shi [phonetic] Television of China; Minister Khieu Kanharith Welcomes Media Cooperation
    • Phnom Penh Municipality Warns against Fire Crackers during Chinese New Year [18.2.2007]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3068, 22.1.2007

    • 3rd Year Anniversary of Murder of Mr. Chea Vichea [head of Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, assassinated 22.1.2004]: Mr. Yim Sovann [SRP parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Demands Government Bring Real Murderers for Punishment by Law

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4191, 21-22.1.2007

    • Mr. Khieu Kanharith [Minister of Information]: Royal Government Makes Gasoline Price Decrease by Allowing Imports of Gasoline
    • France Will Increase Aid to Cambodia Up to Euro 120 Million [US$155 million] for Five Years [2006-2010]
    • Khmer Krom Monks and People Living in Cambodia Call for Release of [about ten] Khmer Krom Monks Arrested [since 17 and 18 January 2007, after using a video camera, resulting in one arrest, and then after a demonstration demanding the release of the arrested] by Vietnamese Government
    • Oknha Dul Phok [a representative of a Khmer Association in the USA] Promises to Build Up to 100 Houses for Ethnic Minority Tribespeople [Kratie]
    • 13-Year-Old Boy Drives Car, Causing Accident [he escapes – Prampi Makara, Phnom Penh]

    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2949, 21-22.1.2007

    • Bad Phone Connections Are Like Traffic Jam Caused by Many Passengers in a Narrow Street
    • CPP Prepares to Reveal Corrupt Sam Rainsy Party Officials in Land Disputes in Poipet

    Snadai Khmeng Wat, Vol.6, #118, 22.1.2007

    • Cambodian People Countrywide Respect and Support Samdech Hun Sen Who Announces New Actions [by increasing number of fuel importig companies] to Reduce Fuel Price

    Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #311, 21-22.1.2007

    • Hun Sen: We Reduce Gasoline Price, but not because of Protest of Those Bad Few Opponents
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