Archive for April 28th, 2007

Friday, 27.4.2007: If Hun Sen, Sar Kheng, Cham Prasidh, and Vorng Soth Do Not Reveal Murderers Who Shot Hy Vuthy, Global Companies Will Stop Buying Garments from Cambodia

Posted on 28 April 2007. Filed under: Week 505 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 505

“A letter dated 19 April 2007 and sent to Hun Sen, the Prime Minister, Sar Kheng, the Minister of the Interior, Cham Prasidh, the very corrupt Minister of Commerce, and Vorng Soth, the Minister of Labor and Vocational Training, five big global companies seriously declared, ‘The recent death of Mr. Hy Vuthy, the President of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, at the Suntex Factory, makes us seriously concerned.’

“Because officials are not active to find and reveal the murderers who in February shot Mr. Hy Vuthy, an activist of the Free Trade of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, five big global companies wrote to Khmer leaders stating that they will stop buying garments from Cambodia, if the Khmer authorities cannot show more efforts to find the murderers of Mr. Hy Vuthy.

“The five big global companies, which are represented by the organization Business for Social Responsibility, are Eddie Bauer [public responsibility and commercial self presentation], Gap Inc [public responsibility and commercial presentation], H&M Hennes & Mauritz [public responsibility and commercial presentation], Liz Claiborne [public responsibility and commercial presentation], and Phillips-Van Heusen [public responsibility and commercial presentation] explained to Hun Sen, Sar Kheng, Cham Prasidh, and Vorng Soth (who is [the President of the National Assembly] Heng Samrin’s son-in-law), ‘The shooting of Mr. Hy Vuthy reminds us of the shootings of some other leaders of trade unions.’

“The companies, which buy garments from garment factories in Cambodia, stated in their letter, ‘This issue is very important for us as buyers, we want to see the law enforced timely with justice and transparency.’

“The companies added, ‘This must be guaranteed for the business atmosphere in which the workers can enjoy their rights and have the freedom to associate with each other, without fear of any negative repercussions.’

“Furthermore, the companies stressed, ‘The rule of law guarantees a business atmosphere and stability for us to continue to purchase products. Therefore, we have to wait and see if specific improvements are made by the Khmer leaders.’

“Mr. Chea Mony, the President of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, a brother of Mr. Chea Vichea who was shot in 2004 [former president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia], said that if the murderers of Mr. Hy Vuthy are not found and brought to trial, big companies will stop buying garments from Cambodia.

“Mr. Touch Naroth, the Phnom Penh Municipal Police Commissioner, told the media that police have issued an arrest warrant for two suspects of shooting Mr. Hy Vuthy. However, Mr. Touch Naroth refused to disclose the names of the two suspects. He confirmed that the murder of Mr. Hy Vuthy is not political. Touch Naroth stated that the police have not found the suspects. They continue to search, assuming the background is a dispute between trade unions.

“Mr. Chea Mony, the President of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, continued, however, to say that the three activists of trade unions have been cruelly shot.

“It should be remembered that international companies, which buy garments from garment factories in Cambodia, once sent a letter expressing a similar concern, after the murder of Mr. Chea Vichea in January 2004, the former president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

“The murder of Mr. Ros Sovannaret, a Representative of the Free Trade Union of Workers, who was shot at a crowded junction, shocked also international companies. Finally, the companies warned Hun Sen, Sar Kheng, Cham Prasidh, and Vorng Soth directly, because if the international companies would not express their strong reaction, the murderers that shot Mr. Hy Vuthy might live easily outside of the legal net.

“The threat by big global companies to stop buying garments from Cambodia causes concern, because garments are the biggest industrial export of Cambodia, amounting to more than US$2 billion per year, and this provides jobs for approximately 325,000 Khmer workers who support more than 1.4 million people.

“A senior technical advisor of Cambodia for a labor conflict solution project of the International Labor Organization said that the violence against the activists of trade unions is a very serious concern, and there is really a risk of spoiling the reputation of Cambodia.

“Especially the reputations of Hun Sen, Sar Kheng, Cham Prasidh, and Vorng Soth may be completely spoiled, because they cannot find and reveal the identify of the murderers of trade union activists for trial.

“Observers said that if the five global companies stop buying garments from Cambodia, the Hun Sen government will have nothing to boast about any longer.

“The direct warning letter of the five big global companies sent to Hun Sen, Sar Kheng, Cham Prasidh, and Vorng Soth seems not to have had any response. Only a Secretary of State of the Ministry of Commerce said arrogantly, that this is just another issue among many issues which Cambodia is facing.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3143, 2720.4.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 27 April 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1324, 27.4.2007

  • Krom Preah[Norodom Ranariddh]’s Party and Thomico’s Party to Merge
  • Loyal Love: Son of a Military Region 2 General Commits Suicide with His Partner in Kompong Siem [because they cannot get married as soon as they want – Kompong Cham]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6024, 27.4.2007

  • Deputy Prime Minister Sok An Expects Income from Oil Will Alleviate Poverty
  • Publisher of Samleng Khmer Krom Murdered; His Body Put in Suitcase and Dropped in Pech Nit Valley [Kompong Speu]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3143, 2720.4.2007

  • If Hun Sen, Sar Kheng, Cham Prasidh, and Vorng Soth Do Not Reveal Murderers Who Shot Hy Vuthy, Global Companies Will Stop Buying Garments from Cambodia
  • Mr. Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Demands Ministry of Interior to Take Action to Stop Using Violence in Resolution of Land Disputes
  • John Miller [from US Department of State]: Hok Lundy Is Not an Appropriate Person to Be Granted a Visa to America

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4269, 27.4.2007

  • Ho Chi Minh City Announces that It Will Build a Branch of the Vietnamese Cho Ray Hospital also in Phnom Penh in 2007

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #183, 27.4.2007

  • Thomico Collects Monarchists to Overcome Cambodian People’s Party in 2008

Go to last week’s editorial

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