Archive for March, 2007

Friday, 30.3.2007: Asia Development Bank Released Data About Economic Growth In Southeast Asia In 2007

Posted on 31 March 2007. Filed under: Week 501 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

“According to a prediction of economic growth of the developing countries in Asia in 2007 and 2008, prepared by the Asia Development Bank [ADB] and released on 27 March 2007, it indicated that the economic growth for Cambodia and the neighboring countries – Laos and Vietnam – would increase slightly. This growth reflects mainly an increase of investments in the garment sector.

“Meanwhile, the same report said that the Philippines expected to maintain the same level of economic growth with an increase of 5.4% of GDP [gross domestic product] in this year (2007) and of 5.7% in 2008. The Philippine government spending is expected to increase up to 17.9% of GDP, compared to an increase of 17.3% of GDP in 2006. It is also anticipated that other expenditures in the sectors of public works and transportation, telecommunication, and education will increase to 16.4%.

“At present, the service industry of the Philippines has become one of the main factor in encouraging economic growth, and this year agricultural products will increase by 3.9%. Moreover, in January 2007, a law on bio-fuel was adopted, so that there will be an increasing demand for sugarcane and sweet potatoes for producing ethanol. This measure is to prevent the Philippine’s economy from slowing down. According to the ADB report, the Philippines has to take urgent measures to keep its economic growth and to create many more well-salaried jobs for unemployed people, whose number is increasing from one year to another.

“In 2006, the unemployment rate in the Philippines increased to 8%. According to the ADB report on the prediction of economic growth, the major risk that prevented the prediction from going into detail about the economic growth of the Philippines in 2007 is the potential impact of the national elections, which are scheduled for May 2007.

“This report showed that ‘the Philippines needs to prepare a transparent and fair election in a peaceful way, if it wants to maintain its economic growth.’ It also said that the economic growth of the People’s Republic of China in 2007 and 2008 will increase dramatically. This economic growth encouraged the increase of export and of investment of asset. As for the economic growth of India in 2007 and 2008, it indicates the remarkable momentum [of the economy]. This economic growth came from exports in the sector of Information Technology and from other sectors of the industry. Furthermore, the Indian economy will increase by 8% in 2007 and by 8.3% in 2008. Overall, the economic growth in Southeast Asia will increase by 5.6% in 2007 and by 5.9% in 2008

“A recently released ADB report said that developing countries in Asia would have dramatic economic growth in 2007. According to the yearly report of the ADB titled ‘Asian Development Outlook’ released in Tokyo, Japan, on 27 March 2007, it predicted that the economy of the developing countries in Asia would increase by 7.6% in 2007 and by 7.7% in 2008. The same report indicated that the pressure of inflation would be down, responding to policies and measures taken in the region, which is in line with the recent decrease of the oil price across the globe.

“Mr. Ifzal Ali, the Chief Economist of the Economics and Research Department of the ADB, this multilateral development bank which has its seat in Manila, the Philippines, said, ‘Micro-economic management will ensure that the outlook of the economic growth of developing countries will receive satisfactory results.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6004, 30.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 30 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1304, 30.3.2007

  • The Delegate Of The [US based] International Republican Institute From Iraq Met With [Mr. Osman Hasan] Muslim Leader In Cambodia [on the situation of Khmer Muslims]
  • The Ministry Of Health Filed A Complaint Against Five [unlicensed] Illegal Pharmacies

Khmer Mekong, Vol.5, #254, 29-30.3.2007

  • Policemen [in Kompong Thom] Play A Role As Forest Administrators But Caused Indignation To People [also set up checkpoints to take money]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6004, 30.3.2007

  • SMSs Will Not Be Available From 30 March And 1 April [as instructed by the Ministry of Post And Telecommunication]
    A Tiger Shark Of 2 Tons Was Caught In A Fisherman’s Net [Koh Kong]
  • Asia Development Bank Released Data About Economic Growth In Southeast Asia In 2007

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4249, 30.3.2007

  • In Three Years, the Global Environment Fund Will Provide From US$8 Million To US$10 Million To Cambodia To Protect The Environment And To Promote The Citizens’ Living Standard
  • Japanese Students [from the ‘School of Future Leaders’ in Japan] Seek Understanding About Samdech Hun Sen’s [strategy of] Leading The Country
  • Japanese-Cambodia Interactive Association Provided Aid Of US$198.745 To Cambodian Disabled People And Orphaned Children

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #171, 29.3.2007

  • ADHOC [Cambodian Human Rights And Development Association] Reported 32 Cases Of Threatening Political Activists And 4 Cases Of Murder

Rythisen, Vol.3, #21,30.3.2007

  • The Ministry Of Commerce Received Praise From Samdech Hun Sen [attracting investors to facilitate business, especially negotiating with some developed countries to lift trade barriers and tariff to open the door of the markets for Cambodian products]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3003, 30.3.2007

  • The Case Of Convict Heng Pov [the former Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief] In The Federal Court Of Malaysia Might Be Delayed For Many Months
  • Cambodia-Thai Cultural Committee Held A Meeting On The Cultural Relations Between The Two Countries In Phnom Penh [1-Translating the royal histories of Thailand and Cambodia into the Khmer and Thai languages; 2-Producing VCDs about popular culture, music, dance, and other arts in Khmer and Thai languages; 3-Youth’s camping on a taking-turns basis; 4- Conduct modern concerts live on television in both countries]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #365, 30.3.2007

  • The Human Rights Watch Organization [in the US] Encouraged the Federal Board of Investigation [of the US] To Re-investigate The Case Of The Grenade Attack Of 10 Years Ago In Cambodia [in front of the National Assembly, killing at least 16 people and injuring more than 200]
  • Yuon [Vietnamese] People [living in Cambodia] Prepare Themselves To Vote For The Cambodian People’s Party [they think that the CPP allowed them to live and do their business freely]
  • United Nation High Commissioners For Refugees Pays Attention To Khmer Krom Refugees

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Thursday, 29.3.2007: Civil Society Organizations Presented Big Land Disputes To Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen To Be Solved After The Authorities And Minister Sok An Were Unable To Do It

Posted on 30 March 2007. Filed under: Week 501 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 501

“The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee, a coalition of 23 human rights organizations, as well as the NGO Forum, the Community Legal Education Center, and Legal Aid of Cambodia, welcomed and declared their support for the statement of Mr. Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia, about the settlement of disputes of land grabbed by a number of top-ranking officials of the Government of Cambodia.

“On 3 Mach 2007, the Central Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] authorized the Prime Minister to remove any party members from their positions who were involved in land disputes. Recently, the Prime Minister noted that these serious land disputes had caused instability in Cambodia. Therefore, it is necessary to solve these disputes to ensure the right to own land with stability for the development of Cambodia.

“A host of NGOs expressed strong support for this new policy, and they would like to cooperate in seeking solutions so that this policy will be successfully implemented. In the past, NGOs worked often on disputes about land grabbed by top-ranking officials. Each case of these land disputes had specific documents that proved the involvement of a number of top-ranking officials of the Government of Cambodia, and these cases affected the living standard of communities and of local people, the natural environment, animals’ refuges, national cultural properties, and the good heritage of Cambodia.

“All NGOs would like to express their respect for the good will of the Prime Minister who recently declared to protect the interests of the people and the whole society. They hoped that the Prime Minister would implement this policy more effectively.

“Thun Saray, the coordinating director of the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee, said, ‘As the defender of human rights, we would like to express our congratulation and support, to encourage the preventing of serious land disputes from occurring, which affect the livelihood of the common people. We would like to propose the urgent investigation and settlement of land disputes – for which we have submitted documentation today; this provides an opportunity for the Royal government of Cambodia to clearly show that it has the resolute position to transform the society into a state of law, and that the state is serious and strict with the settlement of these problems which were caused by some top-ranking officials of the government.

“Ms. Dr. Pong Chhiv Kek [Dr. Kek Galabru], the president of the local human rights group LICADHO , a member of the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee, said, ‘In the past, the problems of land grabbing happened all the time, it was one of the big problems that affected the people’s living standard and made them face the loss of their land for residences and crop production.’ Concerning these problems, even though the people tried to protest and complain to the authorities and the courts, there was still no solution for them. She said she would like to support the initiative of Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen in solving land disputes for people and confiscating state land to return it to the state. This initiative is very important to solve land disputes and return the land grabbed by top-ranking officials to the poor people. She also said that, as the head of a civil society organization, she would continue to watch over this action.

“Mr. Chhit Sam Ath, the Executive Director of the NGO Forum, said, ‘NGOs would like to support the resolute determination of the Prime Minister who initiated a policy and actions related to the punishment and removal of top-ranking officials who were involved in grabbing people’s land and state properties through the use of violence, intimidation, fraud, as well as taking advantage and using other ways to encroach on land. NGOs observed that in the past, there were efforts of the authorities at all levels in the governmental structure, to seek solutions for these land disputes. But the authorities’ actions were limited, and the authorities did not dare to confront the top-ranking officials who had grabbed land. On the other hand, NGOs also recognized that the authorities’ effort and the contribution of various NGOs encouraged the settlement of a number of land disputes, but the major cases of land disputes could not be settled.

“NGOs hoped that the Prime Minister would take action to solve these major issues as he had promised.

“Mr. Huon Chhon Dy, the acting president of the Community Legal Education Center, stated that all documents provided by NGOs showed clear evidences about land grabbing, and these cases were related to some officials. ‘We would like to appeal to the Government of Cambodia to take appropriate measures to solve land disputes and to ensure the rights for land for the Khmer people.’ He said that, as the acting president of a local NGO, ‘we really want to see that state land, grabbed by some top-ranking officials, is being returned to the state, so that the state can manage the land for the public interest of Cambodia and its people.’ In the meantime, he said that he wanted to see measures taken to condemn the officials who are stubborn and not willing to return to the state the land that they encroached upon.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3002, 29.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 29 March 2007

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2665, 29.3.2007

  • In 2003-2004, 1319 Cases Of Rape And Human Trafficking Happened In Cambodia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1303, 29.3.2007

  • [The court] Summoned The Owner Of A Diamond Shop [in Phnom Penh] And A Member Of The Board Of Directors Of The Sam Rainsy Party To Appear In The Court About Buying Land From Oknha Tan Seng Hak
  • [Funcinpec Secretary General] Mr. Nhek Bunchhay Welcomed Samdech Prince Ranariddh’s Complaints Because He Is Innocent

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6003, 29.3.2007

  • [Opposition lawmaker] Mr. Son Chhay Took A Motion [of the Boeung Kak area residents] To The Phnom Penh Municipality; The Authorities Promised To Help The Citizens On 3 April 2007
  • The Republic Of India Helped To Provide Training On Techniques Of Defusing Explosives

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4248, 29.3.2007

  • The Royal Government Of Cambodia Prevents Khmer Laborers From Being Sent To Work In [the military crisis zone of] Southern Thailand

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #364, 29.3.2007

  • The Phnom Penh Municipality Agreed To Receive A Motion From The Citizens Who Live In The Boeung Kak Area [three requests: 1. Cancel the contract signed by Phnom Penh Municipal Governor Kep Chutema, with Oknha Lav Meng Khin, the president of a company, 2. Issue legal titles for land ownership and residence permits, 3. The municipality has to ask permission from all families living in this area, if the municipality intends to develop this area affecting their residences]
  • Khmer People Overseas Told Khmer People In The Country To Vote Just For The Party Which Serves The National Interest

Sakal, Vol.15, #3169,

  • On 2 April, There Will Be A Demonstration In Order Not To Recognize Election Results For The Sam Rainsy Party [at least one thousand persons from seven provinces will demonstrate in Phnom Penh against the results of the commune council elections, if the number of candidates from the Sam Rainsy Party decreased, as the Sam Rainsy Party prepares a mass demonstration on land disputes after 1 April, the 2nd mandate election day]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3002, 29.3.2007

  • The Norodom Ranariddh Party Is Getting More Popular, While The Ruling Party Is Fearful And Chooses To Use Threats [cruel murder of a Norodom Ranariddh Party activist in Sihanoukville]
  • People Understand That The Sam Rainsy Party Received Money From Top-Ranking Officials Of The Ruling Party
  • Civil Society Organizations Presented Big Land Disputes To Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen To Be Solved After The Authorities And Minister Sok An Were Unable To Do It

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Wednesday, 28.3.2007: Khmer Rouge Leaders’ Formula Of Jailing And Killing Innocent People Had Been Still Used Up To 1998

Posted on 29 March 2007. Filed under: Week 501 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 501

“Even though the Khmer Rouge Regime was overthrown on 7 January 1979, Khmer Rouge leaders continued to mobilize forces in large jungle regions, especially in the western border zone. They still used boastful language, lies, cruelties, and their unconditional language had still been used in this regime to rule the country.

“A 9-page type-written document, titled ‘Records of Introducing Ta Proeuk on 15 February 1998,’ began with brusque language: ‘I would like to inform you of our internal situation of the past; we see only easiness but no difficulty, we see only winning, but not losing. Now for our internal situation, if we are not at ease, we will lose, because the Anlong Veng section created confusion about money and business. Their slogan is ‘Leaders have money, I have no money, so we have to do business to have money. Their money-making method is to take scaly ant-eaters [a kind of animal] from Anlong Veng to sell at Romiet, and when they return, they buy goods to sell to our members in Anlong Veng. Most of businesspeople are handicapped people and women who do business using bicycles, oxcarts, motorbikes, and cars. The problem is not a problem of doing usual business, but it touches the root of politics. To talk to the point: enemy spies are getting active. The enemy wants to brake our car so abruptly that our car might overturn. But the only problem is whether we stay resolute or not resolute.’

“It is assumed that this document was prepared in the area of Anlong Veng, when they called brigade chiefs also from other regions to attend meetings. The person who introduced a person to others was not a low-ranking person, without specifying the real name, but he used the secret name ‘Ta Proeuk.’ Who was Ta Proeuk? According to past research, even asking former soldiers or commanders of Khmer Rouge soldiers, they tried to hide the truth by not saying who was ‘Ta Proeuk,’ and Ta Proeuk – the person introduced by somebody else – was also not an usual person. There was one phrase saying, ‘Now is a time of militarization, it is not a time for politicization. At this time, I am not free, and I have not had a meeting for guidance, and our political school also does not remind us…’

“On the fourth page of the document, at Roman number II – speaking about the national and the international situations surrounding Cambodia – there is the sentence, ‘Therefore, the Cambodian situation requires to use strong words about the suppression, but the election kept still proceeding.’ There was another point saying, ‘I read an American magazine untranslated, saying that America uses harsh words, but our radio counter-attacks it, it is not afraid…’

“In the same document, there was a description of the plan to disturb the 1998 national elections, saying who was assigned to be responsible for disturbing the elections in which region. Through the analysis of this document we know that Ta Proeuk was a supreme leader in the Khmer Rouge leadership structure who as hiding in the jungle. If one compares the words of this document, they are identical to the theory of the Khmer Rouge leaders in the regime of ‘Democratic Kampuchea.’ There was another phrase saying, ‘The situation is like that, the enemy is like that, we are like that. As long as we can achieve these three directions, we will win.’

“At the eighth page, at Roman number IV, it talks first about internal measures, saying, ‘We just gather them to make them live in one village, we distribute land for them. They have at most 50 families. In case they are bad, they must be put into prison.’

“Therefore, even up to 1998, Khmer Rouge leaders continued still to be cruel, because traditionally they gathered people into one village and jailed innocent people, and killings continued even though their regime was overthrown.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4247, 28.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1302, 28.3.2007

  • [A group of] Muslims [led by Oknha Osman Hasan] Came To Cambodia To Campaign For The Cambodian People’s Party

Khmer Amatak, Vol. Vol.8, #467, 28.3.2007

  • In Kandal, Norodom Ranariddh Party Supporters’ Voting Cards Were Taken Away By Local Authorities [of the Cambodian People’s Party]
  • A Christian Missionary [François Ponchaud] Of The Pope Who Said That Venerable Tep Vong Is A Politicized Monk, Does Not Know Anything About Buddhism

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6002, 28.3.2007

  • An Open Letter Of Khmer Judges In France Was Submitted To the UN Secretary General [issued by a Committee of Khmer Rouge Victims in France, saying that the Khmer Rouge leaders’ tribunal is a crucial task for the UN and the Royal Government of Cambodia, to provide justice to two million victims]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3121, 28.3.2007

  • When Election Day Is Approaching, A Strong Current To Change Old Commune Chiefs May Emerge

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.14, #1163, 28.3.2007

  • Even Famous Actors Join The Cambodian People’s Party [such as Neay Kren, other names not specified]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4247, 28.3.2007

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Declared That It Will Provide Rewards To Election Officials [1-US$300 for commune election committee officials; 2-US$3,000 for provincial election committee officials; 3-US$30,000 for National Election Committee officials]
  • Cambodia And Vietnam Signed Cooperation Agreement On Archives
  • Khmer Rouge Leaders’ Formula Of Jailing And Killing Innocent People Had Been Still Used Up To 1998

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #170, 28.3.2007

  • Samdech Krom Preah Sued [Funcinpec General Secretary] Nhek Bunchhay About Two Criminal Cases In The Phnom Penh Municipal Court [counterfeiting documents of Funcinpec and breach of trust]
  • 60 Percent Of Garment Workers Do Not Go To Vote [they have no money to spend to travel to their places of registered residence]
  • [Leader of Sam Rainsy Party working team] Ho Van Warns Newspapers Which Wrote About The Truth Of Boeung Kak Area [bribery of party members]
  • The Chief Of O’Russey Market Is Destroying Mr. Chea Sim’s Votes [the market security guards prevented Sam Rainsy Party activists from entering the market to distribute party leaflets]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3001, 28.3.2007

  • [Honorary Cambodian People’s Party Chairperson] Heng Samrin Hopes They Will Win 90 Percent [in the commune council elections], Which Is An Admonishment For The National Election Committee To Work Carefully

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #363, 28.3.2007

  • The Former Editor-In-Chief [You Saravuth] Of Sralanh Khmer Arrived In Norway [he fled in 2006 to Thailand after Oknha Hun To, a nephew of the Prime Minister filed a complaint against him about disinformation: saying that Oknha Hun To grabbed thousands of hectares of people’s and state land in the northeast of the country]
  • Farmers [of Srae Ambel village] Lost In A Land Dispute With The Cambodian People’s Party Senator Ly Yong Phat [there is no solution for them even though they appealed to Prime Minister Hun Sen for help]

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Tuesday, 27.3.2007: The Punishment Imposed On Domestic Child laborers In Cambodia

Posted on 28 March 2007. Filed under: Week 501 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 501

“The problem of children in Cambodia is a major problem that deserves public attention. Many organizations conducted their studies on related problems, such as the exploitation of child labor, the rape of street children, and other problems affecting children. Few organizations conducted studies on the punishments imposed on domestic child laborers, and no organization had done any detailed study on this subject, even though they realized that punishments were improper and an important topic that needs attention.

“There are two kinds of child punishment. The first kind is physical punishment: beating children by hand or using other objects, kicking them, pulling their hair, forcing them to live in an unsafe place, making them work too much, and inflicting burns or threatening them. The second kind is making children embarrassed or degrading them, such as mistreating them with contempt, or moral abuse, isolating them, or not taking care of them.

“The most worrying factor is punishment that Cambodian people use as a way to educate and discipline their children in their families, claiming that it is a good and correct way, and it is also usual, because they do not consider the impact of punishment imposed on children. On the other hand, a number of organizations’ research shows some similarities and differences about the punishments imposed on children.

“A comparative research by UNICEF (2001) shows that among the 500 children of a sample group aged from 9 to 17, who were going to school in Cambodia, 20% of them said that they had experienced many incidents of severe violence, and 44% of them said that they had been beaten by their parents.

“According to a survey on the physical punishment on 1,801 children, conducted by the Norwegian organization Save Children, in cooperation with the Departments of Education in Phnom Penh, Kompong Chnang, and Siem Reap, it showed that 72% of the children were punished by their fathers, and 28% of them had scars from having been wounded. 67.15% of the children felt upset and saddened by the punishments.

“At a center of World Vision it was discovered that among a group of 193 street children in Phnom Penh, 34% of them said that they left their homes to live on the streets because of violence and punishments.

“A research of a Cambodian women’s rights organization showed that children are the easiest target for violence by their fathers and mothers. Their mothers express their anger toward them, because many of their mothers are beaten by their husbands. In a national survey on risk taking behavior of youths in 2004, conducted by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, it showed that among 9,388 young people, 26% of those who were interviewed said that domestic violence occurred in their own families almost every ten days, and 14.4% of them said that domestic violence had happened more than once. Concerning domestic violence, 65% of this violence is the result of drinking alcohol, and in 38% it is caused by misunderstandings. Other causes are poverty (28%), gambling (16%), infidelity (14%), and ignorance (11%). 74% of young people said that mothers are vulnerable to domestic violence, whereas 50% of daughters and 41% of sons are considered to be vulnerable groups.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.14, #4246, 27.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2664,27.3.2007

  • [The opposition party leader] Sam Rainsy Was Surprised About The News Of A Case Of Corruption, Taking US$300,000 Related To The Boeung Kak Area Investment
  • Internews Network Held A Workshop On How To Report On Investigations

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1301, 27.3.2007

  • The Sultan Of Brunei Will Pay A Formal Visit To Cambodia In Early April
  • Cambodian Economy Will Continue Its Improved Growth [manufacturing, industry, agriculture, tourism; especially the export of textiles and shoes are leading in encouraging economic growth]
  • Information And Education On Leprosy For Garment Workers In Garment Factories [through the National Program For Leprosy Control]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6001, 27.3.2007

  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will Be In Deadlock Because Of The Controversy Raised By Foreign Lawyers
  • 62-Year-Old Elephant Was Stolen And Killed For Its One-Meter Ivory Tusks [in Ratanakiri]
  • International Missions From Iraq And From Japan Came To Observe The Commune Council Elections In Cambodia [12-member delegation from Iraq supported by the US based International Republic Institute, and 10 Japanese observers]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4246, 28.3.2007

  • The National Sub-Committee For Women’s And Children’s Iron Deficiency Control Is Lacking Support And Funds
  • The Punishment Imposed On Domestic Child Laborers In Cambodia

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3000, 27.3.2007

  • Does Sam Rainsy Receive US$60,000 Per Month From [Deputy Prime Minister] Sok An In Exchange For Keeping Silence On Three Important Issues? [first, attacks of the Prime Minister; second, no more discussion about the grenade attack in front of the National Assembly 1997; third, no more references to the revelations by Heng Pov, the former Municipal Police Commissioner, now in prison, who claimed that leaders and top-ranking officials of the Cambodian Government were involved in major criminal cases]
  • [The president of COMFREL] Koul Panha Claimed That The Ruling Party Used State Funds And Materials To Serve The Interests Of Their Own Party

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #362, 27.3.2007

  • Vietnamese Doctors Reduced The Medical Fees For Panhapich From US$500 To US$100 Per Day
  • A Tragedy Of 10 Years Ago – The Grenade Attack In Front Of The National Assembly, For Which The Police Has Not Yet Finished Its Investigations

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Sunday/Monday, 25/26.3.2007: Signing Ceremony For The ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Cooperation Fund And For The East Asia Youth Exchange Fund Between Japan And ASEAN

Posted on 27 March 2007. Filed under: Week 501 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 501

“According to a statement by the Japanese Embassy on 23 March, a signing ceremony on US$52 million for the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Cooperation Fund, and on approximately US$196 million for the East Asia Youth Exchange Fund between Japan and ASEAN, which is a contribution by Japan to the ASEAN countries, took place on 23 March 2007 at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo. Mr. Aso Taro, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Sithong Chitnhothinh, the Laotian Ambassador to Japan, representing the ten ASEAN countries, signed documents that confirm the transferring of money and that regulate the use of these funds.

“Ambassadors and representatives of all ASEAN member countries also attended the ceremony.

“ASEAN countries set the year 2015 as the time when they hope to achieve the creation of an ASEAN Community. and they make great efforts towards internal integration. ASEAN countries have been the ‘drivers’ of cooperation in East Asia, and the progress and unity of ASEAN will be beneficial not only for ASEAN itself, but also for the whole region. Mr. Abe Shinzo, the Japanese Prime Minister, said that the extension of youth exchange programs with ASEAN and other East Asian countries, from high school to university students, will form the basis to develop a regional vision for the future. Mr. Abe Shinzo also said that the purpose is to consolidate solidarity among the countries in Asia, and that the extension of youth exchange program will lay the foundation of such solidarity. For this reason, Mr. Abe Shinzo declared on 15 March 2007 that Japan would provide approximately US$315 million for the East Asia Youth Exchange Program. From this fund, approximately US$196 million as been decided to be already now transferred into the account of the ASEAN Secretariat.

“Prime Minister Abe Shinzo declared at the tenth Japan-ASEAN summit meeting held on 14 January, that he would provide a contribution of US$52 million to support and enhance the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Cooperation.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6000, 26.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Sunday/Monday, 25/26 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1300, 25-26.3.2007

  • The Public Is Wondering Why The Streets Around The Royal Palace Have Been Blocked Off Without Real Reasons [for eight days]
  • The Father King’s Message Expressed Thanks For Samdech Krom Preah Who Provided Support And Justice To The Father King And The Mother Queen [who suffered from unfair criticism by local newspapers that accused the Mother Queen of being of Vietnamese descent]
  • Election Campaigns Of The CCP And Of The Sam Rainsy Party Resulted In A War Of Words At Poipet

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #466, 26.3.2007

  • [The director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights] Kim Sokha Said That The Citizens No Longer Trust Mr. Sam Rainsy [the opposition party leader]
  • The Khmer Krom Federation With Members In Different Countries Of The World Strongly Reacted Against Yuon [Vietnamese] Authorities’ Having Defrocked Khmer Krom Monks
  • Betrayers [Funcinpec General Secretary Nhek Bunchhay And Deputy President Lu Lay Sreng] Are Getting Weaker Because Many Funcinpec Officials Joined The Norodom Ranariddh Party

Khmer Mekong, Vol.5, #252, 24-26.3.2007

  • Sokha Hotel Company Suspected Of Selling Fake Tickets To Foreigners For Visiting Angkor Wat

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6000, 26.3.2007

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh Requested The King To Refuse To Recognize The Court’s Verdict Which Sentenced Him To 18 Months In Prison And Ordered Him To Pay US$15,000 In Compensation
  • Signing Ceremony for the ASEAN Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Cooperation Fund and East Asia Youth Exchange Fund between Japan and ASEAN

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3119, 26.3.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: We Do Not Use Presents Like The Ruling Party Does, But We Respect The Rights Of The Citizens Who Are The Owners Of Their Votes

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4245, 25-26.3.2007

  • [Five Council of Ministers staffers were arrested for] Taking The Name Of The Council Of Ministers To Extort US$100,000 From A Land Owner [in exchange of not initiating procedure to confiscate a piece of land]
  • Japan Provided Cambodia A Concessionary Loan Of Yen 2.632 Billion [approx. US$22.3 million] For Electricity Network Development [by the Japanese Bank of International Cooperation]

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #168, 26.3.2007

  • Logging Offenses Are Increasing In Siem Reap

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2999, 25-26.3.2007

  • Voice Of America Said That The Norodom Ranariddh Party Is The Major Opposition Party

Sar Noeung Khmao, Vol.8, #196, 2007

  • The Royal Government Of Cambodia Declared Its Strategy Against Corruption [1-Prevention, 2-Law Enforcement, 3-Public Support]
  • A Number Of Members Of The Bar Association Want To Be Addressed As “Excellency” Which Would Make It Easier For Them To Practice As Professional Lawyers

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Sunday,2007-3-18: 50 Years and 500 Weeks

Posted on 26 March 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 500 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

On 25 March 2007 celebrations of commemoration are held in Europe and in other countries having friendly relations with Europe, reflecting on the signing of the Treaty of Rome half a century ago by the representatives of six countries, initiating a new era of European history. It was a new beginning, based on the commitment to initiate fundamental changes between, and also in the countries that had to look back at a common history of frequent conflicts and wars against each other, including the wars of 1914 to 1918, and of 1939 to 1945, when the wars among European people and European nations had led to wars far beyond, so that these wars were called the First and the Second World Wars. The solemn words of the Treaty of Rome have to be read on the background of this history, which was to be put to rest and to be replaced by something fundamentally new:

    DETERMINED to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe,

    RESOLVED to ensure the economic and social progress of their countries by common action to eliminate the barriers which divide Europe,

    AFFIRMING as the essential objective of their efforts the constant improvements of the living and working conditions of their peoples,

    RECOGNISING that the removal of existing obstacles calls for concerted action in order to guarantee steady expansion, balanced trade and fair competition,

    ANXIOUS to strengthen the unity of their economies and to ensure their harmonious development by reducing the differences existing between the various regions and the backwardness of the less favored regions,

    DESIRING to contribute, by means of a common commercial policy, to the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade,

    INTENDING to confirm the solidarity which binds Europe and the overseas countries and desiring to ensure the development of their prosperity, in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

    RESOLVED by thus pooling their resources to preserve and strengthen peace and liberty, and calling upon the other peoples of Europe who share their ideal to join in their efforts,

    DETERMINED to promote the development of the highest possible level of knowledge for their peoples through a wide access to education and through its continuous updating,


50 years later – and in a European Community which has grown from 6 to 27 countries – this declaration has lead to profound changes, because from the beginning there was a serious will not only to share lofty ideas, but to actually restructure the different European national societies into a community based on common values, but embarking on this way which included the creation of common organs and functions, listed up here to show the practical functions of the new endeavor, operating through the following institutions:

Parliament, Council, Presidency, Commission, Court of Justice, Court of Auditors, Economic and Social Committee, Committee of the Regions, Investment Bank, Investment Fund, Central Bank, Ombudsman, European Data Protection Supervisor, Office for Official Publications, European Personnel Selection Office, European Administrative School, and other agencies of the European Union.

When considering the future of ASEAN, there are often references made to the European Community, pointing out also to the very different historical contexts in which both communities were created and continue to develop. The globalized economy on the one hand, and the growing awareness of the threat for the future of human society from a misused and overused environment on the other, may provide some dynamism when rethinking the future of ASEAN and the wider Asian societies, beyond the bureaucratic arrangements for which the institutions of the European Community may provide some examples.

But there was a spirit of enthusiasm during the early years moving towards a united Europe which seems to be not much remembered and hardly mentioned in the present celebrations, which was also a driving force towards a united Europe: the organized and unorganized actions of young people who were impatient with the slow pace of the actions of the diplomats and politicians towards a new European community of peoples – not just of governments. Groups of students from France and Germany – historical “enemies” – were visiting each other during school holidays, traveling hundreds of kilometers on bicycle for mutual visits, sometimes clashing with the authorities of their respective countries when they broke down, in isolated symbolic acts, the barriers at border crossings between their countries, preempting the present situation. Now there are no more border controls when crossing from one country in the European Community into another.

There are some organizations to promote ASEAN, in some of the ASEAN member countries, organized “officially.” Remembering the emotional struggles of youth and students to get rid of the borders in Europe, and seeing the emotional concern often expressed nowadays to get the border markers established between different ASEAN member counties, the absence of any enthusiastic civic movements, especially of youth organizations, to engage in and to commit themselves to a deeper community among the people of the ASEAN member states is conspicuous. Celebrations, like the ones commemorating the beginnings of the European Community, may also serve as a challenge in other parts of the world to reflect bout how historical antagonisms can be converted into commitments to a common future.

The 50th anniversary of the European Community happens to coincide with the 500th week of the publication of the Mirror, a major historical event in Europe, and a very modest effort in Cambodia. While the initial intention in 1997 was to provide some access to the Khmer language print media for the English reading public, the Mirror tried from the beginning to be more than a news translation service. Mirroring the wide spectrum of opinions in Cambodian society, as they manifest themselves in print – often representing sectors of society which have conflicting positions – we try to help all voices to get attention, those more powerful and those struggling to be heard. The positive appraisals we get from time to time, from persons both closer to the government and from persons at a distance to the government, has been an encouragement to continue, in spite of obstacles put up – not from the Cambodian authorities – against this service. The voices of appraisal received showing that the Mirror is having the intended function, which we consider to be so important in Cambodian society: to present our readers not only with familiar, but also with unfamiliar voices, which both need attention, in order for a society to grow, where all its members find a place, with their common, and with their different visions towards the future, which has to be a future for all.

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Saturday, 24.3.2007: CWCC Appeals To Change Attitude Toward Beer Promotion Girls – They Are Not Girls To Provide Sexual Services

Posted on 25 March 2007. Filed under: Week 500 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

“Phnom Penh:, The Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center [CWCC] conducted on 23 March 2007 a workshop in La Paranda Hotel on the needs of beer promotion girls, which had many participants, such as staff members and distributors from various beer selling companies, representatives from civil society organizations, and beer promotion girls.

“Ms. Oung Chanthol, the director of the CWCC, stated in her speech that this workshop was conducted to contribute, with the policies of the Royal Government of Cambodia and of a number of beer selling companies, to improving the status of beer promotion girls. She hopes that this workshop will draw public attention to participate in improving the well-being of beer promotion girls. In addition, it will change the discriminatory assumption of men often thinking that all beer promotion girls are sex workers and pleasure seekers.

“Ms. Oung Chanthol added that the CWCC was established in 1997 to coordinate activities and to end severe violence against women and children, and to solve problems resulting from the lack of services to help vulnerable women and children. The purpose of the CWCC is to get rid of violence against women and children, to achieve equality, peace, and development for Khmer families and society. Therefore, the mission of the CWCC is to help to make women and children free from domestic violence, human trafficking, and rape, and especially to help them to make up their minds and to know how to help themselves through a number of programs, such as providing refuge facilities, counseling, the services of professional lawyers and investigators, assisting social integration, creating communities, providing education, and disseminating information about women and gender issues, and about scholarships for women]

“Her Excellency Chou Bun Eng, the Director of the Social Development Center of the Ministry of Women’ Affairs, said that the problems of beer promotion girls is one of many important problems which have been happening to migrant women as well, and also to women who work at other people’s houses, at restaurants and night clubs, and so on.

“The Ministry of Women’s Affairs will cooperate with a number of relevant organizations to conduct a workshop in the future, to which it will invite beer companies which employ beer promotion girls, beer promotion girls’ associations, and government officials, to hold discussions to seek appropriate solutions, to ensure that beer promotion girls will be free from sexual harassment and receive legal protection.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5999, 24-25.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 24 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1299, 24.3.2007

  • Prince Chakrapong Left The Court Just As The Party’s Campaign Procession Arrived

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5999, 24-25.3.2007

  • 90 Families [in Sihanoukville] Appeal To Samdech Hun Sen To Ask For Legal Land Ownership Titles
  • CWCC Appeals To Change Attitude Toward Beer Promotion Girls – They Are Not Girls To Provide Sexual Services

Moneaksekar, Vol.14, #3118, 24-25.3.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: “There Are Only Corrupt People Who Do Not Want That I Tell The Truth.” Ms. Tioulong Saumura [a member of the National Assembly, Mr. Sam Rainsy’s wife] Met Mr. Paul Wolfowitz [the director of the World Bank] to Discuss Problems of Corruption In Cambodia [while Mr. Sam Rainsy was campaigning for the Commune Council elections in Kompong Chhnang]
  • Prince Chakrapong Appeals [to the government] To Claim Debts From The Airlines Of Hun Sen’s Child And Nephew [Mekong Airlines managed by Hun Sen’s nephew, First Cambodia Airlines managed by Hun Mana, Hun Sen’s daughter]
  • If The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Is Still In A Standstill, Donors Will Cut Down Aid In 2007

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4244, 24.3.2007

  • Oknha Tan Seng Hak Detained [by court order] Over For Providing False Testimony And Counterfeiting Documents [involved in grabbing a 11-hectare land of a company]
  • South Korea: Peace And National Unity [said Mr. Chhay Sophal, a representative of the League of Cambodian Journalists, at a conference in Seoul]
  • Cambodia And ADB Discuss Development Of Cambodia [projects to reduce the poverty of rural Cambodian people by building irrigation systems, water supply, and rural roads]
  • Ms. Keat Kolney [Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon’s younger sister] Wants To Quietly Compromise With Villagers Over Community Land Of 500 Hectares [Ratanakiri]
  • Pakistan Wants Cambodia To Establish An Embassy In Order To Strengthen Trade And Tourism Relations

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Friday, 23.3.2007: Civil Society Said That 20 Percent Of Khmer People Lost The Right To Vote

Posted on 24 March 2007. Filed under: Week 500 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

“Civil Society officials who are involved in elections cautiously said on Wednesday that there are approximately 20 percent of the people with voting age who lost the right to vote.

“These data came from interviews with people everyplace. It was discovered that there were only 1.5 percent among the people who do not care about the election. Besides these who are not interested, the loss of the right to vote came from difficulties caused by procedures of the National Election Committee [NEC].

“A Committee for Free and Fair Elections [COMFREL] official said that people in some areas did not receive information about elections, or the importance of the elections. Especially people working far away from their registered residences must spend a big amount of money traveling to vote. Therefore, the election that requires them to spend their money surely makes them not interested in it.

“However, the official described that there are many Khmer people who showed their willingness to participate in the elections to select their local representatives. But some had not enough documents to be eligible to vote, because they were forcibly evicted by government officials who had used tricks to grab their land which made them homeless [and therefore not able to register at their place of residence]. It was known that Khmer people who had suffered, really did not want to go to vote for the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP]. That is the reason why they were made to lose the right to vote, and this is an intentional act of the NEC, managed by [NEC chairperson] Mr. Im Suosdey and [NEC secretary general] Mr. Tep Nitha, both CPP supporters.

“According to Mr. Hang Puthea, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free Elections in Cambodia [NICFEC], there have been recently irregularities under the supervision of the NEC. It was observed that the NEC did not care about or deal with complaints of other party representatives. The NEC allowed the CPP to violate electoral procedures as it wishes to make other parties have a standstill.

“The day of 23 March 2007 was already the eighth day of the Second Mandate Commune Council Election campaign.

“According to a report of COMFREL, it was seen that other parties were violated by CPP members in many cases during the election campaign, which is contrary to electoral procedures. Particularly, the Norodom Ranariddh Party has problems to which the NEC did not pay attention, as it is led by Im Suosdey.

“Meanwhile, there is a report saying that only a small number of the Khmer people who reach voting age in 2007 were registered in the new voting list, among the approximately more than 7 million voters.

Besides these, the 2005 existing voter list, which contained also one part of Yuon [Vietnamese] voters, was adopted. It clearly shows that the number of the Khmer young people who increase by 25,000 to 30,000 annually, do not receive adequate voter rights, same as the Khmer people who were evicted from various areas in the city of Phnom Penh, and the people involved in conflicts in the Boeng Pram area, Bavel, Battambang, and workers of rubber plantations in Kompong Cham.

Therefore, the majority of those who participate in the upcoming elections are CPP members and Yuon [Vietnamese] who are living in Cambodia.” Khmer Amatak, Vol. 8, #465,23.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 23 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1298, 23.3.2007

  • Singapore Has Intention To Invest In Sand In Cambodia [Mr. Lawrence Anderson, Singaporean Ambassador to Cambodia, mentions the project to buy sand for making glass]
  • Criticism That Authorities Were Unfair In Solving The Problem Of Buildings Occupied By Squatters [citizens residing along the seaside of the Royal Port, Koh Kong, were evicted]
  • Families Of Fishermen Who Lost Fishing Lot No. 4 Appeal To Civil Society For Help [Kompong Thom]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #465, 23.3.2007

  • Civil Society Said That 20 Percent Of Khmer People Lost The Right To Vote

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5998, 23.3.2007

  • Japanese Ambassador Praised The Royal Government Of Cambodia’s Efforts [peace and security for the people, developing the country, successes in international diplomatic relations]
  • [Phnom Penh Municipal Court] Claims That Prince Chakrapong Owes More Than One Million Dollar; The Norodom Ranariddh Party Held A Big Procession Today, As [party vice president] Prince Chakrapong Goes To Court
  • [Former Phnom Penh Municipal Police Chief] Heng Pov Was Sentenced To Seven Years In Jail [in addition to his existing life in jail], And [former First Deputy Chief of Penal Police Office] Ly Rasy Was Sentenced To Six Years For Illegally Detaining People
  • Official Meeting Between Singaporean And Laotian Diplomatic Officials And ADB Officials

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4243, 23.3.2007

  • The US Embassy Believes That The Prime Minister Will Use Revenue From Oil Appropriately To Develop The Country [US Ambassador Mr. Joseph A. Mussomeli said about oil and gas revenue from 2009-2010 ‘I am optimistic that Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is a patriot, will try to make the country more developed like neighboring countries through the use of the resources to meet this target’]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2998, 23.3.20078

  • [Hong Kong-based] Asia Human Rights Committee Criticized the Cambodian Government For The Failure In Searching Perpetrators Of Major Crimes [murderers of Khmer singers and film stars such as Touch Sreynich, Piseth Pilika, and the event of 30 March 1997, when grenades were hurled on non-violent demonstrators led by Mr. Sam Rainsy in the front of the National Assembly, and the killing Chuo Chetharith, reporter of Ta Prum Radio, and so on]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #360, 23.3.2007

  • The National Assembly Closed its Plenary Session For Fear That Opposition Party Representatives Will Ask Hun Sen About Land Disputes
  • A Great Family Of Happiness In Cambodia — CPP Top Leaders Established Relationship By Marriages [among their sons and daughters]

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Thursday, 22.3.2007: Cambodia Wants More Japanese Investors And Tourists To Come

Posted on 23 March 2007. Filed under: Week 500 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

“Phnom Penh: In the morning of 20 March at the Council of Ministers, a delegation of Asian-Japanese investors led by Mr. Vong Samang [responsible for investments of an Asian-Japanese center, the economist Dr. Vong Samnang is also an Adjunct Academic Staff of the Mekong University], held a meeting to discuss their work with Mr. Sok An, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Council Minister, to understand the real situation of investments in the Kingdom of Cambodia. The delegation consists of investors in a number of countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and Hong Kong, and also includes reporters and representatives of the Ministry of International Trade and Economy of Japan.

“The mission of the delegation to Cambodia is to understand the real situation and to seek opportunities to invest in Cambodia. At this discussion, the Deputy Prime Minister Sok An extended a welcome to the members of the delegation who have the intention to invest in the Kingdom of Cambodia, a country with peace and democracy. Now the fields of commerce, tourism, and investment have been increasing in Cambodia.

“The Deputy Prime Minister requested the delegation to look for opportunities of doing business to export agricultural products and processed goods, because Cambodia has much potential for agriculture and it has an international port which makes it easy for export. As for the sector of tourism, the Deputy Prime Minister Sok An told the delegation that every year the number of tourists increases by approximately 30 percent, and in previous years, Japanese tourists coming to Cambodia were leading. But at present, Korean tourists are leading.

“Mr. Sok An said that at present, in regard to the sector of energy and power in the Kingdom of Cambodia, the price of electricity is a little bit high, but in the future, the Royal Government of Cambodia hopes that the price of electricity will decrease, because at present, Cambodia is building many hydro-power plants.

“In the afternoon, the delegation had an audience and discussed their work with Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Council of Ministers to understand the climate of investment in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

“According to Mr. Eng Sophaleth, an assistant to Prime Minister Hun Sen, Mr. Vong Samang told Samdech Prime Minister that the mission of the Japanese investment delegation, which came to visit Cambodia at this time, was supported by JETRO from many countries such as the Japanese JETRO, the Thai JETRO, the Singaporean JETRO, the Vietnamese JETRO, and so on. The director of this Asian-Japanese center asked for recommendations from Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen to indicate the climate of investment in Cambodia for the whole delegation. Related to the visit of Samdech Hun Sen who will come to Japan in the near future, representatives of the Japanese delegation requested Samdech Hun Sen to say what Cambodia wants.

“During the discussion, Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen briefly informed the whole delegation about the Cambodian history and of eight priority areas that the Government of Cambodia has set out. Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen said that Cambodia wants that more Japanese investors come to Cambodia, because Japan is a country that provides much aid to Cambodia, and it is also the one country which provides more assistance to Cambodia than any other country. First, the Japanese investment in Cambodia is small. Second, Samdech Prime Minister requested the provision of credits to Cambodia, because Japan has one kind of credit which a low interest rate of 0.01%. Samdech Prime Minister confirmed that Cambodia wants this kind of credit very much to help encourage Cambodia to move ahead on the road of development. Third, Samdech Prime Minister said that he wants Japan to provide grants to build the bridge [over the Mekong river, on the main road to Vietnam] soon, because now the last stage of research might have been completed already, and this bridge is a life line of Cambodian economy, and it is also one of the Asian Highway bridges. Fourth, Samdech Prime Minister said that he wants the Japanese Prime Minister to pay a formal visit to Cambodia, because 50 years ago, the former Japanese Prime Minister, who is the grandfather of the current prime minister, paid a visit to Cambodia. Therefore, Samdech Prime Minister wants to have the 50th anniversary visit of the Japanese Prime Minister, who is the grandchild of the former Japanese Prime Minister.

“In regard to the climate of investment, Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen added that the climate of investment in Cambodia is favorable for Japanese investors, and in the short run, he will pay a visit to Japan and sign agreements on the encouragement and protection of Japanese investors.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5997, 22.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 22 March 2007

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5997, 22.3.2007

  • Cambodia Wants More Japanese Investors And Tourists To Come
  • [More than one thousand] Khmer Muslims Held A Campaign Procession [in Phnom Penh] To Support The Cambodian People’s Party In The Elections
  • A Round-Table Meeting Was Held To Set Out Strategies For News Coverage Of The Khmer Rouge Trials [presided over by the Minister of Information and the Canadian Ambassador to Cambodia]

Moneaksekar, Vol.14, #3116, 22.3.2007

  • Three Trucks Of Yuon [Vietnamese] Soldiers Entered Khmer Territory While Cambodia Is Launching Commune Council Elections; It Made People Worried [Takeo]

Rasmei Kampuchea,Vol.15, #4242, 22.3.2007

  • Samdech Hun Sen Granted An Audience To An Ambassador Of Pope Benedict XVI [Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio; the ambassador is committed to help improve the livelihood of Cambodian people]
  • The US Ambassador Praised The Process Of Commune Council Elections In Cambodia [Mr. Joseph A. Mussomeli stated that during voter registration; he observed that the names of many citizens were registered; and the administrative tasks of the authorities, that are responsible for the elections, were going smoothly]

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #165, 21-22.3.2007

  • Foreign Judges Warn Of Walking Out Of The [Khmer Rouge Trial] Court Because Mr. Ky Tech, [president of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia] Created Problems [trying to charge high fees] For International Lawyers
  • Mr. Rong Chhun, [president of the Independent Teachers’ Association], Said That Students Were Forced By Some Parties Into Party Membership [he wrote to Kol Pheng, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports; that a number of political parties put pressure on school directors and teachers to force their students to participate and to support them]

Sakal, Vol.15, #3168, 22-23.3.2007

  • Angkor Wat Is In The Second Ranking In The World [temporary ranking of 21 international world heritage sites on the website, the final results of votes by Internet users in different countries to be made public on 7 July 2007, in Lisbon, Portugal]

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Wednesday, 21.3.2007: The Ministry Of Labor And Vocational Training Planned To Commit Corrupt Practices Over The Case Of Illegal Khmer Laborers In Thailand

Posted on 23 March 2007. Filed under: Week 500 |

Apologies from the editor

A late transmission of some translations on 21.3.2007 resulted in delays, and we are still derailed from our normal schedule of publishing something every day. I hope we will have caught up with normal routine at the latest by the end of the week.

Norbert Klein


The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

“Because of being poor, Khmer citizens left their home country to look for work in a foreign country. Even though these Khmer citizens met difficulties, they decided to be illegal Khmer laborers because of problems of their livelihood.

“There are approximately 20,000 illegal poor Khmer laborers in Thailand. But the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training issued an announcement, dated 21 January 2007, which leads to exploitation of Khmer laborers in foreign countries. The ministry commits corrupt practices not only in the country, but also in a foreign country, like in Thailand.

“The ministry’s announcement allowed to take money from illegal Khmer laborers who are working in Thailand, at the rate of Baht 1,500 [approx. US$] per person, to give them identity cards to live temporarily in Thailand. On 17 May 2005, a meeting was held to issue identity cards for illegal Khmer laborers in Thailand, by taking Baht 1,500 from each laborer; at that time there were 72 Khmer laborers registered.

“The Khmer laborers went, assuming to have their names registered to get permits of temporary residence in Thailand, but the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, cooperating with the Khmer Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, did a bad job, which resulted in a situation that the Khmer laborers’ names were not legally registered. The letter No. 173 from Minister Hor Namhong, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, reported to the head of the government about the failure of registering the names, and issuing identity cards for the illegal Khmer laborers in Thailand to stay temporarily in Thailand, because only 72 Khmer laborers were registered. The announcement by the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, signed by Mr. Seng Lamnove [position not specified], required to work to register illegal Khmer laborers for temporary residence from 23 April to 30 June 2007, and it also required that each laborer pays Baht 1,500. This announcement was not appropriate, because it required that each laborer has to pay Baht 1,500; and there were only 72 Khmer laborers registered to obtain temporary legal residence in Thailand. The Khmer laborers who are working in Thailand had to spend a lot of money to receive identity cards to stay temporarily in Thailand.

“In an interview with Khmer laborers, they stated that, first, they had to ask their Thai bosses to go to have their names registered, and their bosses did not allow them easily to go. Second, they had to spend Baht 5,000 to 15,000 Baht to travel from their place of work to the place where the identity cards are issued. Third, they had to pay Baht 1,500 for their identity cards issued by the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training. Fourth, they had to pay Baht 3,900 to 5,000 for a medical checkup. Fifth, they had to spend time and more money to have work permits issued in Thailand, so that they could work in Thai factories. Therefore, the Khmer laborers who are working illegally in Thailand have to spend several ten thousand Baht so that they can work legally in Thailand. The Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training which is the guardian of the Khmer citizens, should have helped its citizens, but it committed corruption by taking money from the Khmer laborers who are getting therefore even poorer.

“Mr. Keo Remy, a representative of the Sam Rainsy party, said yesterday morning, ‘I will write to His Excellency Vong Soth, the Minister of Labor and Vocational Training, in order to clarify in the National Assembly the reason why the ministry took Baht 1,500 from each illegal Khmer laborer.’ He added that he asked the ministry not to take money from these illegal laborers. He was concerned that the Khmer laborers could not have enough money to apply for legal identity cards, and he was also afraid that Thai bosses might conceal this kind of information from Khmer illegal laborers.

“He added that he had many discussions about the Khmer illegal laborers, and he asked the Minister in charge of labor and vocational training to clarify the reason for their actions in the National Assembly. He confirmed, ‘I will invite the minister to clarify this problem in the National Assembly.’ Approximately 20,000 Khmer laborers who are working illegally in Thailand continued to be cheated by their Thai bosses; for example, they do not receive their agreed salaries, some were sold on to another foreign country, and some were jailed in Thai prisons. Therefore, they are appealing to the Cambodian government to help them.” Reach Seima, Vol.2, #164, 20.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1296, 21.3.2007

  • The An Hui Province Of China Wants To Cooperate With Cambodia in the field of agriculture, the provincial governor Wen Haiying stated her intention to Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • Container Vehicle Run Over and Injured One Municipal Police

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, 5996, 21.3.2007

  • Strong Reaction Against A Statement That Samdech Mae Is Yuon [has also some Vietnamese ancestors]; The Palace Issued an Announcement To Reject It [the Ministry of Information asked Sralanh Khmer to publish a corrections; Senator Om Monnorine, a sibling of Samdech Mae, emphatically denounced the text also]
  • Today [21 March 2007] Heng Pov [now in prison] Gets On The Cutting Board [metaphor for being tried in court] Over The Case Of Kidnapping A Korean National
  • Sam Rainsy Party Rally Vehicle Collapsed: 2 Killed, 11 Injured When Driving On A Dam [Kompong Cham]
  • Cloudy Weather [during dry season] Will Continue Two More Days

Moneaksekar Khmer, 14, 3114, 20.3.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: Little Donations From Corrupted People Will Keep Poverty From Present To Future Generations

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4241, 21.3.2007

  • 304 Houses And 2 Schools Were Destroyed; 3 People Were Killed In Battambang; 45 Houses In Banteay Meanchey Were Destroyed, 1 Was Killed
  • Mrs. Keat Kolaney [a sister of the Minister Of Finance Keat Chhon Appeared In Court Over The Case Of Grabbing 500 Hectares Of Land [she said she bought the land from villagers at their request at the cost of $180/per hectare; civil society is waiting to see what actions the court will take]

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #164, 20.3.2007

  • The Ministry Of Labor And Vocational Training Planned To Commit Corrupt Practices Over The Case Of Illegal Khmer Laborers In Thailand
  • The US [Ambassador] Is Not Happy To See The Court Being Used To End Samdech Krom Preah’s Political Life

Reachea Thibbatay, Vol.2, #51, 20-25.3.2007

  • Major Historical Achievements Of Cambodian People’s Party and Policies For Development of the Communes For the Years 2007 to 2012
  • It Was the Activity of Leaders of Cambodian People’s Party Who Worked To Re-establish and Protect the Monarchy, The Throne, And the Royal Regime
  • One More Dirt Road Paved – Another Donation Of The Three Samdech [Heng Samrin, Chea Sim, and Hun Sen] – Was Constructed By Sophann Construction Company [Note: this company belongs to the owner of this newspaper]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2996, 21.3.2007

  • The US Ambassador Pays Attention To the Life Skills In Rural Areas [such as fixing bicycles, gardening, germinating mushrooms with Children studying at schools in Ratanakiri]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #358, 21.3.2007

  • Son Chhay Pushes The National Assembly Today To Include Into Its Agenda The Schedule For The Prime Minister To Come And Clarify Issues Related To Land Grabbing
  • Members Of The Khmer-Yuon Border Committee Hold A Meeting [to discuss installing border poles]

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