Archive for March 9th, 2007

Friday, 9.3.2007: Foreign Adviser: A Legal Text Is A Serious Matter

Posted on 9 March 2007. Filed under: Week 498 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 497

“Phnom Penh: The law-making process in Cambodia is not indicative of the active participation from relevant institutions, thereby making a number of laws already adopted in Cambodia not effective in implementation. That is why Ms. Doris Nueckel, a legal adviser of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, warned: ‘A legal text is a serious matter.’

“Ms. Doris Nueckel said, in the morning of 6 March, in a training course for officials from the institutions of the National Assembly, the Senate, and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, as well as for reporters in the Senate, that Cambodia needs a number of regulations or rules for the law-making processes, which, as she observed, may help that the law-making processes in Cambodia may avoid some dangers, because there are some defects in some laws, due to some general deficiencies, such as legal knowledge, lack of explanations, not enough cooperation with other institutions, no public hearings, and not sufficient discussion on many issue with a focus on openness and on solutions, and on decisions with transparency.

“She stated that, with reference to some gaps in the law-making process in Cambodia, that the structure of law-making in Cambodia has many deficiencies, because there is a lack of human resources and no cooperation from relevant ministries in monitoring the law-making processes, and during inter-ministerial meetings, often low-level officials who have no expertise participate, or if they have good ideas, they will not dare to express their ideas to make a law better – which is the main cause of many deficiencies – a big danger for Cambodia. She added that when a ministry submits a law to any institution related to the law-making process, sometimes the officials who come to participate do not know the contents of the law, which makes any serious discussion or defending the necessity of a law not good and not comprehensive.

“She stressed that a legal text is a serious matter, it is very difficult to understand; therefore, the it is not sufficient to read a law only once, it demands much time and careful study, and the officials who are sent to participate in defending a law, or drafting a law, must have expertise and skills, and study any related laws clearly, so that a new law is valid to be well implemented. All this requires the active participation from law-making institutions, even draft laws require such attention which are to be submitted to law experts in the Council of Ministers.

“In foreign countries such as in Australia, a law is not discussed and decided only by the senators and senate. A law is submitted for public discussion with independent law experts for up to one week, so that the law can be thoroughly prepared,. But now there are also a number of laws already adopted which were not effectively developed. This is a claim of Ms. Doris Nueckel.

“She added that the law-making processes in Cambodia are bendable. Some proposals for laws are submitted to the National Assembly without much explanation or reports about related facts. In foreign countries, if there were no sufficient explanation or reporting about related facts, a draft proposal for a law could not be made. She pointed out also that those elected ‘are representatives of the citizens; therefore, they have the full right to send to the government any law that they do not like for re-examination, or to make amendments to any article without first asking the government, but in Cambodia, amendments to any article of law are mostly made by first asking the government, which is a sign of a lack of independence of the different institutions from each other – though such independence us a requirement according to the Constitution, the supreme law of the country.’

“When mentioning the roles of foreign adviser in the government of Cambodia, Ms. Doris Nueckel admitted that a number of foreign advisers in Cambodia do not pay attention to the situation of Cambodia, and some legal advisers do not monitor the laws until they are already adopted. What is most dangerous is that some foreign advisers who came to Cambodia only a short while ago advise that the government should do this or that,, which is very dangerous for any implementation. She added that ‘foreign advisers are persons who are to advise and to consult, but the persons who ultimately decides are Khmer; no foreign adviser is perfect.’

“Mr. Ouk Vandeth, the director of Legal Aid of Cambodia [“Lawyers Serving Cambodia’s Poor”] aid that what Ms, Doris Nueckel said is both right and wrong because the system in Cambodia is like that, and because the elected representatives and the members of the government are party members. Therefore they do not raise their voice against the government, and do not dare to irritate the government. If they oppose, they will be removed, which makes the members of parliament not independent in their work.

“He added that, in general, the process of law-making and its discussion, from a draft law coming from the Council of Ministers, until it is signed by the King, is still not going smoothly. He added also, ‘ We want a regulation for draft laws to have a defined time frame, when a law is submitted from one institution to next institution, so that civil society working teams can have enough time to participate in the examination and consultation of any draft law before it is adopted.

“Ms. Doris Nueckel recommended that the relevant ministries should strengthen their legal knowledge regularly, and cooperate with other ministries and institutions from the initial stage of any law-making process, provide explanations and appropriate and clear legal formulations, and make the representatives concerned from the initial stages of any law-making process. All ministries should make themselves concerned in the initial stage of any process of critically reviewing and contribute to solving open questions, and appoint officials to be responsible for monitoring and reporting back, in order to prepare their officials to monitor the processes according to their capacities.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4231, 9.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 9 March 2007

Areyathor, Vol.13, #1220, 9-10.3.2007

  • Is Ms. Suy Sophan [the president of the Phanimex company] Indirectly Helping Campaigning For The Sam Rainsy Party? [her company angered thousands of citizens – details not mentioned – residing in the Boeng Chhuk area in Meanchey commune, and they also protested against it. This is likely to strengthen the opposition party]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1286, 9.3.2007

  • Poor Citizens From 750 Families [Kantouth, Svay Leu, Siem Reap] Received Presents [of rice] From Samdech Hun Sen [through the Siem Reap governor Su Phirin]
  • Dr. Mong Rithth [senator, Cambodian People’s Party] Told All Citizens [in Samraong, Kandal] To Go To Vote [in the upcoming commune council elections to select their local representatives who serve their real interests]
  • Tuol Sangke Ward Officials Celebrated The 97th Anniversary Of The International Women Rights’ Day To Strengthen The Cambodian People’s Party’s Female Activists
  • Eav Chomroeun, Kandal Police Commissioner, Prohibits His Police Officials From Providing Interviews Or Giving Information To Reporters [regarding thievery, robbery, raping, or murder]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5986, 9.3.2007

  • On 8 March, Over 300 Female Prisoners Received Gifts In Prey Sar Prison [from generous people through the Cambodian League For Defense and Promotion of Human Rights – LICADHO]
  • A Delegation From The Ministry Of Culture And Fine Arts Participates In A Workshop On Intellectual Property Rights In Japan [organized by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Youths and Sports, Science and Technology, from 28 February to 2 March 2007, on awareness about rights of writers in Asia with participation of representatives from the World Intellectual Property Organization, the European Union, and many concerned institutions in Asia]

Mekong Khmer, Vol.5, #245, 8-9.3.2007

  • The Club Of Cambodian Journalists Provides A Good Report About The Resolution Of Disputes Between Laborers And Employers [during round table discussion on Labor Dispute Resolutions and the Role of the Arbitration Council, supported by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation]
  • Four-Star General Sam Sovanney Is Said To Take Risk Of Being Demoted By Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen [Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defense Tea Banh held an urgent meeting to take strict measures against generals involved in land grabbing]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3105, 9.3.2007

  • San Seanho [the first deputy commune chief and first-ranking candidate from the Cambodian People’s Party] Uses The Name Of The Commander-In-Chief Ke Kim Yan To Exhort Money From Casinos [in Poipet, under the pretext of helping the Cambodian People’s Party in the upcoming commune council elections]
  • Yash Ghai, The Special Representative Of The UN Secretary General For Human Rights In Cambodia, Who Had Criticized Hun Sen, Set The Date For A Four-Day Visit To Cambodia [starting 13.3.2007]
  • The Government Set Up Authorities And Committees Which Have No Power [donors are not satisfied that special committees and authorities are set up without clear legal framework (different from ministries with clear roles)]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4231, 9.3.2007

Foreign Adviser: A Legal Text Is A Serious Matter

  • The US Calls The Situation Of Human Rights In Cambodia A “Positive Turning-Point”

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #348, 9.3.2007

  • The Opposition Leader Sam Rainsy Attends The International Women’s Day Event Of The Free Trade Union Of Workers Of The Kingdom Of Cambodia
  • The Opposition Party Warns It Will Withdraw Itself From The National Land Dispute Authority If The Government Evicts Citizens Of The Boeng Kak Area

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Thursday, 8.3.2007: People of Srae Ambel Come to Protest Over Oknha Ly Yong Phat’s Grabbing of 5,000 Hectares of Land for the Second Time

Posted on 9 March 2007. Filed under: Week 498 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 498

“Phnom Penh: 124 citizens who represent 549 families residing in three villages: Chhuk, Chi Kha, and Trapaing Kandal, located in Chi Kha Leu, Srae Ambel, Koh Kong, gathered to stage a protest in front of Wat Botum [near the building of the National Assembly] for the second time in order to ask Samdech Chea Sim, the President of the Senate, and Samdech Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia, to make an intervention for them over the case that Oknha Ly Yong Phat, the Senator [from the Cambodian People’s Party], had grabbed 5,000 hectares of their farmland.

“The people who protested over this case gathered in front of Wat Botum since 9 p.m. on 6 March 2007 [soon after they had arrived in Phnom Penh], claiming that they had together cleared this farmland for their use since 1979. Every year, they receive the yields of crops such as jackfruit, mango, banana, sugarcane, rambutan, and watermelon.

‘Unexpectedly, on 22 May 2006, the Duty-Free Shop Company came to level their farmland by using the name of Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“From then on, the people have lodged complaints to the local authorities, to the National Assembly, to the Senate, to human rights organizations, and many institutions concerned, but since 2006 up to now, they have not yet received any solutions for their problems.

“In the complaint dated on 2 August 2006, they complained against Oknha Ly Yong Phat, a CPP Senator, and Mr. Sin Khiem, the Chiv Kha Commune Chief, over colluding to use tractors to level 5,000 hectares of their farmland along Road No. 48, located in Chi Kha Leu, Srae Ambil, Koh Kong.

“The protestors added that it is the second time that they have staged their protest, and if no solution can be found for them, they will not return to their homes.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4230, 8.3.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 8 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1285, 8.3.2007

  • Khiev Samphan’s House Is Empty, Khmer Rouge Tribunal Continues to Discuss Problems of Regulation [neighbors do not know the whereabouts of Khiev Samphan – Head of State of the latter part of the Khmer Rouge regime]
  • There Are Many Motorcycles in Svay Rieng For Which No Tax Was Paid [they were imported from Vietnam]
  • Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen Shows the Ways for Women to Become Leaders [through commune election, he said during 8 March Women’s Day event]
  • Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen Received A Vietnamese Delegation [headed by Her Excellency Le Thi Thu, Minister and Chairwoman of the National Committee for Population, Family, and Children of Vietnam, courtesy visit for strengthening cooperation in health care]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #5985, 8.3.2007

  • International Labor Organization – “Better Factories Cambodia” Increases Awareness On Rights And Fundamental Principles Of Working Conditions [for garment workers, using videos. The Prime Minister expresses his satisfaction for the video sent to him, saying he watched it too]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4230, 8.3.2007

  • Sex Movie Clip From Sihanoukville Was Burned Onto Video CDs [and sold for $0.50 in restaurants in Phnom Penh – original movie clip of two Cambodians shared via mobile phones]
  • Tokyo University of Japan Seeks Understanding About Management of Phnom Penh Municipality [meeting with deputy governor Pa Socheatvong]
  • People of Srae Ambel Come to Protest Over Oknha Ly Yong Phat’s Grabbing of 5,000 Hectares of Land for the Second Time

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #2985, 8.3.2007

  • The US Department of State Considers the Conditions of Human Rights in Cambodia Similarly As It Considers North Korea, Cuba, China, and Afghanistan [in the 6 March 2007 released annual report on the 2006 human rights situations]
  • Right-Hand-Drive Cars Significantly Reduced, But Prepare Strategy to Seek Opportunity to Sneak into Cambodia
  • The Government Does Not Dare to Cough [figurative meaning for talking about problems] Over Senator Ly Yong Phat’s Land Grabbing in Chi Kha Leu, Srae Ambel, and Koh Kong

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, 347, 8.3.2007

  • Son Chhay [Sam Rainsy Party Member of the National Assembly] Will Bring More Than 4,000 Families Residing at Boeng Kak Area to Sit Down And Wait For [Phnom Penh Governor] Kep Chutema Every Morning from 8 March Onward [as his two letters requesting a meeting have never received a response]
  • Hun Sen Should Check Bad Officials at the Council of Ministers Who Issue Permissions In Exchange For Big Commission Payments

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