Archive for April, 2007

Thursday, 19.4.2007: Mr. Yash Ghai: To Continue To Detain Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun Is a Very Seriously Unjust Act

Posted on 20 April 2007. Filed under: Week 504 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 504 – starting again after the Khmer New Year holidays

“Mr. Yash Ghai, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia condemned directly from Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday, the decision to continue to detain Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun as a very seriously unjust act.

“Moreover, he again seriously demanded an investigation by independent officials into the murder of Mr. Chea Vichea, the former head of Free Trade Union of Workers of Kingdom of Cambodia, in order to provide justice to the victim and to the wrongly accused who are jailed instead of the real murderers.

“The hot reaction from the United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s special envoy happened after the Appeals Court had announced a verdict to continue to detain Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun for 20 years, by maintaining the unjust verdict of Phnom Penh Municipal Court in 2005, and regarding it as legal, while national and international civil society organizations consider Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun as wrongly accused murderers.

“The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee, which is an association of many civil society organizations, has recently released a statement condemning the very unjust verdict of the Appeals Court, calling it to be politically motivated and completely not independent.

“It should be remembered that Mr. Yash Ghai once criticized the head of current package government, saying that ‘in Cambodia, everything is in only one person’s fists.’ Direct criticism by Mr. Yash Ghai made Strongman Hun Sen angry, and he use bad words towards Mr. Yash Ghai and even demanded that the United Nations remove Mr. Yash Ghai as Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for human rights in Cambodia.

“Mr. Yash Ghai did not react badly to Hun Sen’s anger, that means he still plans to come to Cambodia in the future to discus with Hun Sen. And the discussion with Hun Sen will concern nothing besides human rights violation in Cambodia by powerful officials.

“Mr. Yash Ghai has not yet arrived in Cambodia, but he started the attack from Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday, saying that to continue to detain Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun for 20 years, according to the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, is a very seriously unjust issue, and therefore it is important to have an investigation again, by an independent group.

“Mr. Yash Ghai added, ‘So many pieces of evidence which are found indicate that there is a political game in the Cambodian court, and the decision of the court judge was based on the indication from strong powerful people.

“It should be remembered that Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun were sentenced 1 August 2005 and each was condemned to 20 years’ imprisonment, based on the accusation of shooting Mr. Chea Vichea, the president of Free Trade Union of Workers of Kingdom of Cambodia, on 22 January 2004.

“Such an unjust judgment by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court caused a counter-attack by the families of Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun. After the suing back, the Appeals Court held a hearing like a girls’ game for one day, and then delayed the announcement of their decision until Thursday; then the Appeals Court decided to maintain the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court as legal, and to continue to detain Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun up to 20 years.

“In response to this, there is also a reaction against Mr. Yash Ghai: if there is no clear evidence, Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun definitely cannot be released.

“However, critics said that if there is no investigation by an independent group, from where could evidence be found, to prove that Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun are not murderers? Therefore, the Ministry of Interior and the court must do whatever possible, in order to hold an investigation of the shooting death of Mr. Chea Vichea, because at least the game which is being played by the court and the power holders is known by Heng Pov [former Phnom Penh Police Commissioner who is accused of crimes and at present is imprisoned in Phnom Penh] and Ms. Va Sothy [a former vendor of newspapers at the place where Chea Vichea was killed] who also announced publicly that Born Samnang and Sok Sam Ouen are not the murderers who shot Mr. Chea Vichea.

“Moreover, even Mr. Chea Mony, who is a brother of Mr. Chea Vichea, does not believe that Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun are murderers and he demands the court to release both.

“It is said that , the Hun Sen government will be blamed by the international community for what Mr. Yash Ghai has condemned.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3136, 19.4.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 19 April 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1317, 19.4.2007

  • Norodom Ranariddh Party Questions Meeting between Sok An and Sam Rainsy [after Sam Rainsy had called for weak parties to join with each other after the commune elections]
  • Two Ambassadors [of the USA and of Canada] Survey Results of Subdistrict and Commune Elections in Cambodia
  • World Food Program Starts to Provide Food to Cambodian People Again [after two-month interruption because of lack of fund]
  • Trees at Vay Chap Mountain Illegally Cut [Banan, Battambang]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6017, 19.4.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Party Urges Khmer Rouge Tribunal [to be realized soon]; 32 Years Have Passed, Dark History Is Still Controversial
  • Cambodian People’s Party Gets 75 Commune Chiefs in Kompong Thom; Sam Rainsy Party Gets 6 Commune Chiefs [from commune elections]
  • Svay Rieng FM 103.75 MHz Presenter Cut on Head by Her Father in Attempt to Kill Her, Her Husband, and Her Baby Boy [her father is now arrested, she is hospitalized]
  • Trees at Dangrek Mountains Cut to Claim Land [Preah Vihear]
  • Pursat Market Completely Burned on Khmer New Year Day, Allegedly by Arson

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3136, 19.4.2007

  • Village Chief Election by Simple Majority System To Be Complete Democracy at Local Level
  • [Local] Experts Reject Prediction of Chinese Company [China Petrotech Holdings] about Khmer Gas [it says there are 226 million barrels of oil in Section D, 360 sq km and 278 km off Sihanoukville]
  • Mr. Yash Ghai: To Continue To Detain Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun Is a Very Seriously Unjust Act
  • More 100 Chinese Found Trafficked from Cambodia [in Colombia – according to Associated Press]

Rasmei Santepheap, Vol.15, #4262, 19.4.2007

  • Mr. Ly Thuch [Senior Minister and Parliamentarian from Pursat] Leaves Funcinpec [and joins CPP]
  • [Thach Ket] Sralanh Khmer Publisher Appears in Court to Responds to [defamation] Lawsuits of Samdech Euv [the former King] and Samdech Mae [the former Queen]
  • Canadian Embassy Denies Report about Closure of Office in Cambodia
  • Phnom Pen Municipality Rejects Request for Demonstration Opposite Vietnamese Embassy by Khmer Kampuchea Krom Community
  • President of Vietnamese Assembly Will Lead Delegation to Visit Cambodia [on 25-28 April]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #378, 19.4.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Party to Complete Local Level Reform in July and Hold Congress in August
  • US Grants Visa to Mr. Hok Lundy [Director-General of National Police] to Attend Meeting against Terrorism Today
  • Sam Rainsy Says Government Uses Different Pretexts To Delay Khmer Rouge Tribunal So All Khmer Rouge Elders Die
  • Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun No Longer Believe in Cambodian Court System

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Wednesday, 11.4.2007: Declaration Of Emergency About Drugs – Mr. Sar Kheng: ‘There Are Many Places Of Production Which Have Not Yet Been Cracked Down’

Posted on 13 April 2007. Filed under: Week 503 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 503

“Phnom Penh: Mr. Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, made an emergency declaration on 10 April, saying that Cambodia fell into a state of emergency because of a very serious drug crisis, even though there were many major drug cases cracked down. As big smugglers of drugs and their ringleaders have not yet been arrested, it is not effective that some small smugglers and their ringleaders were arrested.

“Mr. Sar Kheng stated that the secret production of drugs in Cambodia is very dangerous for the country. Even though the majority of secretly produced drugs were to be sold not in Cambodia, some drugs would still be used also in Cambodia.

“Mr. Sar Kheng requested all persons in municipal and provincial leadership to pay more attention to cracking down on drugs, because he believes that there are many places of drug production which have not yet been cracked down.

“Mr. Sar Kheng made this statement on 10 April in the Ministry of Interior, when he presided over the meeting of the municipal and provincial Committees for Drug Control in 2007, which was held by the National Anti-Drug Authority.

“According to Mr. Sar Kheng’s speech, in the last few years he often received news about deaths caused by traffic accidents, violence, and some crimes related to drug abuse. The latter is a new problem that Cambodia has never had before. Meanwhile, he received news about the concerns of people who were affected by drug abuse, but the authorities have not yet taken measures to help such people appropriately.

“Mr. Sar Kheng added that the country has a growing number of young people who use drugs; that means there is a continuing loss of human resources and destroyed economic growth, and there are obstacles to correct economic planning. If serious measures are not taken against drug offenses, this will push the society into destruction. The slowness and inaction by local and other relevant authorities and institutions, especially law-enforcement institutions and other institutions involved in solving drug problems, made people dissatisfied with the government.

“Mr. Sar Kheng added that until now he does not yet know where drugs that were confiscated have to be dumped, because if drugs are buried, they will affect water resources. Therefore he gave this problem, to be solved, to technicians.

“According to a 2007 first-quarter report about the results of monitoring drugs, which was made by the Secretariat of the National Anti-Drug Authority, in the first quarter of 2007, ATS drugs – amphetamine type stimulants – especially methamphetamine, continued to be illegally imported into the provinces bordering Laos. Stung Treng is still the most important entry point. Some methamphetamine was targeted to be imported into Phnom Penh, and some was brought into the provinces bordering Thailand (especially Poipet). Heroin still had signs to show that there had not yet been any variation of entrance points and crossing points from Cambodia to foreign countries. Such a sign occurred in Stung Treng once (the people reported about their finding of heroin) and in the International Phnom Penh airport once (a Taiwanese man was about to take drugs to Taiwan). For the problem of marijuana in this first quarter, the authorities from Banteay Meanchey and Kandal found and destroyed plantations of marijuana furtively grown.

“According to the same report, 49 cases of offenses (112 cases in the first quarter of 2006) decreased by 56.25%, whereas the number of offenders (244 offenders) decreased by 66.39%. For confiscated drugs, 92,614 pills of methamphetamines (163,434 pills in the first quarter of 2006) decreased by 43.33%; there were 2.5 kilograms of ICE methamphetamines – methamphetamine hydrochloride crystals – plus 59 small packages (40 small packages in the first quarter of 2006); 6.25 kilograms of heroin plus 2 small packages (11 small packages in the first quarter of 2006); 2 kilograms of dry marijuana (no dry marijuana in the first quarter of 2006); 1,075 square meters of marijuana plantation (28.8 square meters in the first quarter of 2007). As for other things, two cars, three motorbikes, three mobile phones, and one passport were confiscated.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6014, 11.4.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Khmer Mekong, Vol.4, #259, 10-13.4.2007

  • Retired King Norodom Sihanouk Praised Samdech Hun Sen As A Great Man Of The New Generation [in a French letter written in Beijing, noting major achievements of Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • The Ministry Of Public Works And Transport Issued Ten Points Of Instructions For Drivers For Khmer New Year Day

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6014, 11.4.2007

  • Declaration Of Emergency About Drugs – Mr. Sar Kheng: ‘There Are Many Places Of Production Which Have Not Yet Been Cracked Down’
  • Thai Police Took Strict Measures Against Khmer People Who Do Business In The Rongkleu Market [Thai-Cambodian border]
    Phnom Penh Red Cross And Ho Chi Minh Red Cross Signed Memorandum Of Friendship And Cooperation
  • Amnesty International Appealed To Appeals Court [over the murder of Chea Vichea, the former leader of the Free Trade Union of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and over the appeals court hearing of two persons controversially convicted as murderers]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3133, 11.4.2007

  • Khmer Citizens Are To Settle The Debts For The Ruling Party [Mr. Cheam Yeap, the Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker, stated that the current government received international loans of $200 million per year as well as other loans of $100 million]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.14, #4259, 11.4.2007

  • Drug Smuggling In Chai Hong Hotel [Phnom Penh] Was Cracked Down – Six People Were Arrested And 2 Cars And 4 Rifles Were Confiscated

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.14, #1169, 11.4.2007

  • The New Political Life Of Mr. Kem Sokha [until now president of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, changing to go into politics]
  • 113 People With Disabilities And Poor People Received Vocational Training From CJIA [Cambodia-Japan Interactive Association]

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #179, 11.4.2007

  • The Number Of Voters In 2008 Will Increase Up To 8 Million [claimed by opposition leader Sam Rainsy]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3031, 11.4.2007

  • More Than 2.5 Million Khmer People Did Not Go To Vote: Is This Normal For The National Election Committee?
  • Land Disputes Occurred Widely After The Commune Council Election [case of land grabbed by the Phanimex Company in Kandal and another case of land grabbed by Mr. Thai Hy, the commune chief in Kompong Chhnang]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #376, 11.4.2007

  • Opposition leader Sam Rainsy Suggested That Mature Politicians Should Not Consider Those As Enemies Who Are In The Opposition

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Tuesday, 10.4.2007: Those Who Failed Want To Win The 2008 National Elections; Samdech Hun Sen: If They Think Of Overthrowing The CPP, They Might Be Thunderstruck

Posted on 13 April 2007. Filed under: Week 503 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 503

“Phnom Penh: Samdech Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia, criticized politicians of some parties who failed in the elections in the past, and still continued to say that they wanted to overthrow the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] in the 2008 National Elections. Samdech Hun Sen made such critical statements in the morning of 9 April in the Intercontinental Hotel, when he presided over a meeting reflecting on the work of agriculture, forestry and fisheries across the country for the years 2006-2007 and considering directions for the years 2007-2008.

“Samdech Hun Sen said that this was an old story, because during the 1998 National Elections he said so, and during the 2003 National Elections he also said so.

“Samdech Hun Sen stated that he is trying to seek all means and ways to win over poverty and various negative actions in society; but others think of wining over the CPP in the 2008 National Elections. He said, ‘I do not prohibit them, but I think that I said, in Siem Reap in the past, that if they do think of overthrowing the CPP, they might be thunderstruck. Samdech Hun Sen said that it is their freedom, but they should rather think about victory over poverty and various negative actions in society, to improve the living standard of the citizens.

“Samdech Hun Sen said that the Royal Government of Cambodia paid much attention to the living standard of the citizens. He declared: ‘We never declare that we take anyone as our enemy, but they declare that we are their enemy; therefore, we think of playing from now on like we played with the Khmer Rouge, until they were dissolved.

“Samdech stated that election campaigners should follow advertising agents’ examples. They never advertise anything to degrade others’ products. However, Samdech Hun Sen confirmed, ‘We should use only peaceful means, but not violent means. The CPP did not consider any party as an enemy, but its current enemies are poverty and negative actions that should be dealt with. Other political parties should not worry, if the CPP wins the elections, they can live the same. Citizens that have jobs should keep their same jobs. – There are women who work in karaoke bars and did not go to vote because they were afraid of making their fingernails dirty, or sometimes they had other reasons.

“Samdech Hun Sen underscored that if other people want to win something, they will win something, but it is not necessary to say ‘Win over the CPP,’ but they should please put aside the CPP and put aside Hun Sen in their arguments. If they have prepared strategic plans, they should please be implemented. The more parties, the better. If various parties participate in developing agriculture and maintain and increase fisheries, it will be better for the whole society.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6013, 10.4.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1313, 10.4.2007

  • Cambodian Ship And Chinese Ship Collided And Sunk In The Chinese Sea [20 crews members disappeared, cause not yet found]
  • A Civil Society Organization [SCAP] Provided Recommendations To The Royal Government Of Cambodia To Solve The Problems Of Cambodian Street Children [support and five strategies, creating a forum about rights, and strengthen local social work officials]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6013, 10.4.2007

  • Municipal Governor [Kep Chutema] Encouraged Local Authorities To Watch About 100 Gambling Clubs
  • 11th Meeting Of Finance Ministers Of ASEAN Countries [drafting roadmap for financial and monetary integration of ASEAN and the ASEAN economic community]
  • Those Who Failed Want To Win The 2008 National Elections; Samdech Hun Sen: If They Think Of Overthrowing The CPP, They Might Be Thunderstruck
  • Samdech Hun Sen Met With Chinese Yunnan Province Governor [Qin Guan Rong, to encourage cooperation and trade between Cambodia and Yunnan province]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3132, 10.4.2007

  • Hanoi City Called On People [from all civil and military institutions] To Congratulate The Cambodian People’s Party On Its Election Results

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4258, 10.4.2007

  • [Mr. Sun Chanthol] Cambodian Minister Of Public Works And Transport Paid A Visit To China [to strengthen the cooperation between the two ministries]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3012, 10.4.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Agreed To Take Samdech Krom Preah As President Of A New Coalition Party, But He Wants To Make It A Condition That His Own Candidacy As Prime Minister Is Agreed, Like In The Arrangement In The Cambodian People’s Party

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #375, 10.4.2007

  • Khmer Krom People Will Conduct A Mass-Demonstration In Front Of The Vietnamese Embassy On 22 April

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Sunday/Monday, 8/9.4.2007: The US Recognized That The Commune Council Elections Were Free And Fair

Posted on 13 April 2007. Filed under: Week 503 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 503

“Phnom Penh: Cambodia held Commune Council Elections on 1 April, strengthening the firm hope of creating a regime of democracy for all Cambodian people. The result can be acceptable, because the elections happened in a quiet, non-violent atmosphere – what the world wants is freedom and justice. This was the statement of Mr. Eric G. John, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

“Having spoken to reporters in a press conference in the morning of 7 April in the US embassy in Cambodia, Mr. Eric G. John, referring to the actual observations – by international and national observers – of the process of the Commune Council Elections, which were organized by the Royal Government of Cambodia, said, ‘I think this result is acceptable.’ He added that not only the world but also Cambodia wants real freedom and justice in the process of an election, and he stated that the recent process of the Commune Council Elections was free and fair; even though there were some complaints of irregularities, they were not serious.

“The Deputy Assistant Secretary of State added that the reason why he said that the elections were free and fair was because there were many international and national observers who monitored this election process with political party representatives. Some irregularities happened in some places, but these were small issues, because the election process could continue uninterrupted until the end. He also said that even so, there were many acts of violence compared to other countries. However, he encouraged the Royal Government of Cambodia to increase its attention to keep social transparency in a democratic way, so that the Cambodian citizens live in a process of free development and prosperity.

“Mr. Eric G. John hopes that if development and good governance of the Royal Government of Cambodia continue to improve, this country will soon be successful in its development. Then the cooperation between the Cambodian Government and the Washington Government will also be better for a long time.

“Meanwhile, with Mr. Eric G. John recognizing the result of the Commune Council Elections, the National Election Committee [NEC] also recognized that this election proceeded without violence across Cambodia.

“Mr. Tep Nitha, the Secretary General of the NEC, told Kampuchea Thmey that until now the tentative results had been gradually declared, even if there were some complaints which had not yet been solved. He said that the NEC had received more than 50 complaints and finished solving most of them. The complaints which were not serious could be solved. He confirmed that most of the complaints were from the opposition party, which complained about irregularities at some places, but this party filed also a complaint to request a re-election. According the examination of the complaints for re-election, it was impossible to hold a re-election. For some places, both the Sam Rainsy Party or the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] had filed complaints for re-election, and these complaints were already solved.

“Mr. Tep Nitha said that among more than 7.7 million who have the right to vote, more than 5 million voters (nearly 70%) cast ballots. He said that from Monday next week on, the official results would be gradually made public in each province. The NEC does not declare these official results of the Commune Council Elections in the NEC office in Phnom Penh, but the results will be made public in each province.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy, the president of the opposition party, said that some irregularities occurred in some polling stations. Many of those who did not go to vote were members of the Sam Rainsy Party. Mr. Sam Rainsy alleged that the NEC had caused difficulties for Sam Rainsy Party members. He claimed also that the NEC is an institution controlled by the ruling party.

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the CPP spokesperson, said, ‘Mr. Sam Rainsy is in the habit of boasting too much and liking to oppose endlessly. I don’t need to go into detail.’

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith added that if Mr. Sam Rainsy claimed that those who did not go to vote were his party members, it is similar to a certain Khmer saying, ‘If a fish is caught, people say it is a small fish; but if a fish can not be caught, it is a big fish.’ He added that there were many supporters of the CPP, but if there would be a re-election, the CPP will still receive much support. The request [for re-election] by Mr. Sam Rainsy is appropriate to fit his role in the opposition; if his party would not oppose, how could it be called the opposition party? Even though the election result has not yet been officially declared, the temporary results indicated that among 1621 communes across the country, the CPP received the majority in 1591 communes, the Sam Rainsy in 28, and the Norodom Ranariddh Party received zero communes.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1312, 8-9.4.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Sunday/Monday, 8/9 April 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1312, 8-10.4.2007

  • The US Recognized That The Commune Council Elections Were Free And Fair

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6012, 9.4.2007

  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Continues To Be In Controversy; US Officials Warned That If This Tribunal Fails, It Will Be A Disgrace In Cambodian History
  • Cambodia Needs Much Electric Power To Attract Development Investment [Minister Suy Sem, the Minister of Industry, Mines And Energy, signed a memorandum with the Yunnan Governor of China, on hydroelectric power projects and on building a hydroelectric power station on the Atai River in Pursat with a capacity of 120 megawatt]

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #177, 9.4.2007

  • Retired King Norodom Sihanouk And Queen Monineath Arrived In Cambodia [on 8 April to celebrate the Khmer New Year in Cambodia]
  • Some Garment Factories In Cambodia Declared To Deduct Workers’ Salaries If They Go To Vote [and do not return on time]

Sakal, Vol.15, #3172, 7-8.4.2007

  • For The Year 2008, The Cambodian People’s Party Does Not Need the 50+1 Formula!
  • Is The Mass Movement Of Democracy An Alliance To Fight To Take The Power From Hun Sen, Or To Swallow Up The Power Of Prince Norodom Ranariddh Or Of Prince Thomico?

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3011, 8-9.4.2007

  • A Foreign Language Newspaper [the Phnom Penh Post] Is Concerned That CPP Officials Are Having Their Children Marrying Each Other [establishing family unions by marriages between top-ranking CPP officials’ children]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, 374, 8.4.2007

  • US Ministry Of Foreign Affairs [through Mr. Eric G. John, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs] Praised The Victory Of The Sam Rainsy Party [the results of the Commune Council Elections]
  • Does Prince Norodom Ranariddh Hope To Cheat The Democrats Again?

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Saturday, 7.4.2007: Headlines, Apologies, and Scheduling

Posted on 11 April 2007. Filed under: Week 502 |

Sorry, my severe cold and fever – in Germany – kept me longer and more away from the computer than I had thought.

Now, on Tuesday, 10 April, I finally could post some material for Saturday, 7 April – headlines only for this day, no text translatoins.

I hope to catch up soon – but I cannot make a promise.

From 14 to 17 April many offices and businesses and newspapers will be closed in Cambodia for the Khmer New Year. There will also be no new texts published on this Mirror. Normal, daily publications after the Khmer New Year are scheduled to start, therefore, on 18 April. And by that time I hope be well again, and back in Phnom Penh.

Norbert Klein

= = =

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 502

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 31 March 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1311, 7.4.2007

  • [Mr. Muth Chantha] A Spokesperson Of Prince Norodom Ranariddh Sued [Mr. Nouv Sovathero] A Spokesperson Of Funcinpec For Treating The Prince With Contempt Using The Word “Dog”
  • A Seventh Person In Cambodia Died Of Bird Flu [a girl, aged 13, Kompong Cham]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6011, 7-9.4.2007

  • Funcinpec Continues To Strengthen The Position Of Its Party Members After Samdech Hun Sen Said To Consider Funcinpec As A Partner Of The Cambodian People’s Party
  • The Fates Of Born Samnang And Sok Sam Oeun [who were accused of murdering Mr. Chea Vichea, the former leader of the Free Trade Union of the Kingdom of Cambodia]: The Appeals Court Plans To Decide On 21 April
  • The President of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Paid A Visit To Cambodia [to strengthen the solidarity and cooperation between the two countries, and met with Samdech Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly and also President of the Solidarity Front for the Development of the Cambodian Motherland]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3130, 7-8.4.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Seriously Appealed To Increase More Parliamentary Seats For The Fourth Legislature
  • The Current Government Will Lose Its Face If The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Fails
  • The US Government Found Illegal Immigrants In The USA And Foreigners Who Held Cambodian Passports

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4256, 7.4.2007

  • Mr. Kem Sokha [the director of the Cambodian Center For Human Rights], Left His Civil Society Organization To Enter Politics In May
  • The US Government Wants To Help Cambodia To Eliminate The Gap [between old and new members] Within ASEAN
  • The Delegation Of The French Senate [led by Ms. Catherine Tasca, former Minister of Culture] Ended Their Visit To Cambodia
  • [Ministry Of Agriculture, Forestry And Fisheries] Encouraging Pig Raisers To Use Local Natural Products And Raw Materials [so that it will not affect the health of people who eat pork, and to promote economic activities in the country]
  • [Mr. Qin Guang Rong] The Yunnan Province Governor [China] Discussed Sectors Of Trade And Investment With Cambodia

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #373, 7.4.2007

  • A Member Of The Royal Family Wants The Father King To Witness That Prince Norodom Ranariddh Will Really Stop Betraying Mr. Sam Rainsy [interview by phone, royal family members want to cooperate with Mr. Sam Rainsy to win against the Cambodian People’s Party in the 2008 National Elections]

Go to last week’s editorial

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Friday, 6.4.2007: Mr. Sam Rainsy Appealed To Create A Mass Movement Of Democracy To Win Over The Communist Party In 2008

Posted on 11 April 2007. Filed under: Week 502 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 500

“Mr. Sam Rainsy, the famous leader of the opposition party in Cambodia in the morning of Thursday, publicly appealed to those who are democratic to gather to create a mass movement of democracy to win over the communist party in the 2008 National Election.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy told the media outside the meeting hall of the National Assembly that, ‘if we want to win over communists, we the democrat have to unite; this is the experience of the world. All countries across the globe show that they can overthrow communists provided that democrats have to unite.’

“This opposition leader calculated the chance of victory over the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] – which has the communist trend – in the 2008 National Election, saying, ‘In the Second Mandate Commune Council Election in 2002, the CPP received only 61% of votes, but in the 2003 National Election, the CPP’s votes declined by 47%. I believe that the CPP will receive such a result in the upcoming elections, because the recent Commune Council Election in 2007, the CPP received 61% of votes like in 2002, and in 2008, the CPP will receive at least 43% like in 2003. So it means that the Sam Rainsy Party which is the only party to compete with the CPP will receive 53% of votes – that is 50% plus 1. Therefore, this trend is very, very good.’

“Meanwhile, this opposition leader expressed optimism in a realistic way, ‘Based on the [political] trend and figure, we previously noted that the CPP gathered 61% of votes, through vote-fraud, vote-buying, vote-destroying, and threat and intimidation. But in the very year 2008, if the CPP receive only 47%, to which party will another 53% go? If there is only one competing party, the 53% will go to the Sam Rainsy Party.’

“The appeal to have the unification of democratic movements was made by the opposition party leader without considering any individuals or any parties that had had bitter problems with him. In this statement, Mr. Sam Rainsy referred to Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the former strong antagonist in the process of democracy, because the prince had disappointed and hurt the people two times already. But Mr. Sam Rainsy confirmed that the situation of this time was totally different.

“Concerning this difference, Mr. Sam Rainsy confirmed, ‘In 2003, Funcinpec was the major party, and the Sam Rainsy Party was just after Funcinpec. Up to 2007, Funcinpec has been separated, and there is the Sam Rainsy Party left. Therefore, the word called ‘Mass Movement Of Democracy’ stated that the Sam Rainsy Party is the core party and the leader, who had not swung back and forth like before.’

“Additionally, Mr. Sam Rainsy express his belief that his opposition party would govern the engine of the mass movement of democracy: the Sam Rainsy Party would receive 2,600 seats in the Commune Council Election, the Norodom Ranariddh Party would receive 400, and Funcinpec would receive 300. Therefore, the Sam Rainsy Party’s votes are equal to nearly four times of the votes of the combination of the Norodom Ranariddh Party and Funcinpec. The governing power of a mass movement of democracy relies on the actual situation and the actual force.

“However, Mr. Sam Rainsy’s mass movement of democracy openly requires the participation of Prince Norodom Ranariddh, but it made a number of the citizens concerned about the repeated betrayals of the prince in the Second and Third Mandate which made the democrats very disappointed and painful.

In regard to this case, Mr. Sam Rainsy stated, ‘Even though it does not matter what kind of person Samdech Krom is, it is the most important whether how much force we have together. The Sam Rainsy Party has the predominant force, compared to the Norodom Ranariddh Party and Funcinpec. Therefore, there is nothing to compare, the Sam Rainsy Party has to be leading, and will lead the core movement for initiatives, directions, patriotism, and democracy. Mr. Sam Rainsy added, ‘The division of roles depends on the actual force of each party.’

“Apparently, the opposition party leader had only one option to overthrow the communist regime – there is only the unanimous unification of democrats. Mr. Sam Rainsy mentioned the victory over the communist regime in 1993 – In 1993, the democrats were united into one, and they won against the CPP, and in 2008 they will do the same.

“He also showed the sign of commencing the mass movement of democracy: In a few days, one would see the mass movement of democracy that has the Sam Rainsy Party – the core party – would emerge on the Khmer political stage. And it is also the mass movement aimed to overthrow the communist party in the 2008 National Election.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3129, 6.4.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 6 April 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1310, 6.4.2007

  • Australia Will Provide A Fund Of US$12 Million For De-Mining In Cambodia [through AusAID]
  • Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen Appealed To All Institutions To Quickly Pay Civil Servants Before The Khmer New Year Day [14 April 2007]
  • Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen Granted An Audience To US Peace Corps Director [Ronald Tschetter]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6010, 6.4.2007

  • The World Bank Estimated That The Cambodian Economy Will Have 9% GDP Growth [export of clothing, tourism, construction, and expansion of agricultural sector]

Khmer Mekong, Vol.5, #257, 5-6.4.2007

  • [Funcinpec Secretary General] Nhek Bunchhay Welcomed Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Statement: Funcinpec Is Still A Reliable Partner For The Fourth Mandate [in forming the government]
  • The Cabinet Office Of Deputy Prime Minister Nhek Bunchhay Denied The Information Charging Him Of Producing Drugs On A Large Scale In Kompong Speu
  • [Mr. Eric G. John] US Deputy Assistant Secretary For East Asian And Pacific Affairs Paid A Three-Day Formal Visit To Cambodia [from 4 to 7 April, part of his visit to countries in the region]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3129, 6.4.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Appealed To Create A Large Democratic Movement To Win Over The Communist Party [sic – The Cambodian People’s Party] In The 2008 National Election
  • A Human Rights Organization [Human Rights Watch, New York] Said Mr. Hun Sen’s Government Hindered The Process Of The Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4255, 6.4.2007

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh And Prince Thomico Will Meet In Malaysia To Merge Royalist Parties
  • A Storm Destroyed 30 Houses In Ek Phnom [in Battambang]
  • A Man Who Dropped His Cigarette End Into A Ballot Box [where it burned all votes] Was Punished By Suspending His Voting Rights For Five Years

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #176, 6-7.4.2007

  • A Land Revolution Began: The Citizens Of Kien Svay [Kandal]
  • Demonstrated By Blocking National Road 1 For Nearly One Hour [to demand an appropriate solution, because the Phanimex Company, with the help of ruling party officials, grabbed over 700 hectares of land from more than 300 families]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #372, 6.4.2007

  • [Opposition party leader] Sam Rainsy Agreed To Save Prince Norodom Ranariddh Again; The Force Of Mass-Democracy Will Materialize In A Few Days [statement made in the National Assembly]
  • Prime Minister Hun Sen Requested Opposition Party Leader Sam Rainsy To Reduce His Opposition [in the ground-breaking ceremony of repairing a road in Sihanoukville]

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Thursday, 5.4.2007: Prime Minister Hun Sen Said ‘The Opposition Party Maintains Life-Long Opposition’

Posted on 10 April 2007. Filed under: Week 502 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 502

“Prime Minister Hun Sen said in the morning of 4 April, that the opposition party is a party which opposes throughout its whole life. He added that they had just said that presents make the citizens get rich for a while, but if they would receive work, they could work for the rest of their lives.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen also said that he knew that actually they had distributed vitamin tablets, but they criticized it as a distribution of presents.

“The Prime Minister’s statement showed that the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] responded to the Sam Rainsy Party, and the response also indicated the CPP position: that what it does is right and successful, without allowing anyone to criticize the CPP. The CPP considers the building of roads as really assisting the citizens. But according to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s statement about the building of roads, these activities provided profits to companies managed by the persons who have close relations with Prime Minister Hun Sen, because there are many companies, especially fuel companies such as Tela, which belongs to a child of the Prime Minister. Therefore, the building of roads helped corrupt people to commit more corruption.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen stated, ‘However, we never reject anyone, and never say that the CPP considers anyone as an enemy, but they consider us as enemies, so we have to get rid of them.’ He added, ‘If you cannot get rid of me, it means that you yourself will melt away like the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge protested against anyone even those no one knew; but the people who strongly protested against Hun Sen were the Khmer Rouge. Because of their protest, their political organization was destroyed, and its leaders such as Pol Pot and Son Sen died, and there were a number of leaders left who went to the courts; I am not afraid of the people who oppose, even if there is more opposition and stronger opposition.’

“It is likely that Prime Minister Hun Sen referred to Mr. Sam Rainsy who had criticized the ruling party during the Commune Council Election campaign, and who had also said that the 7 January Memorial Day is not to remember the second birth of Cambodia, but it is the day to remember that Yuon [Vietnam] invaded the Khmers instead.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen claimed that no one is more patient than the CPP and its members, and no one is more patient than he is, because during the campaign to seek votes, other parties attacked his party, and he was hurt.

“There were 12 parties which participated in the second mandate Commune Council Elections. One of the parties criticized the CPP politics, especially saying that CPP officials suppressed other parities.

“The CPP used all kinds of methods to inhibit local rights, and the CPP knew any citizen who voted for other parties, because, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen, a number of parties received from 5 to 6 votes in different communes, but those votes were from the same citizens.

“The CPP prepared documents accurately in each village and commune through population surveys, so that they could know how many citizens would vote for the ruling party and how many citizens would vote for the other parties. Recording names in lists of sharing power at night and using threats is a good method of this party.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the CPP working teams to continue to help the citizens, and he also thanked all local officials for having made the election process proceed well. Encouraging working teams to meet the citizens is a method to win in the 2008 elections. He said that the CPP would receive 90 seats among the 123 seats. This shows that the CPP has to be prepared in all forms to win over other parties, especially when succeeding in procedural fraud related to the procedures of the National Election Committee [NEC]. Such fraud happened through the lists of citizens, the election station code numbers of citizens, and the code numbers of commune offices, by arranging names wrongly, and by saying that this was due to technical problems. This kind of blame indicates that the NEC had the intention to follow the ruling party.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen said, ‘I would like to thank the CPP members for breaking a record – out of 5,100,000 voting citizens in 2003, the CPP received 2.4 million votes, and out of 5.1 million voters in 2007 the CPP received 3.1 million votes.’ He predicted that the number of these votes would increase to 61%, whereas in Sihanoukville, the number of votes increased already up to 62.3%, which was a significant number.

“After the elections, Mr. Sam Rainsy, the president of the Sam Rainsy Party, held a press conference to show the pride for the votes that his party had received, predicting that the votes of his party would increase doubly. Even though his party received less votes than the CPP (only 25% to 26%), he noted that for each election, some parties receive double votes. Therefore, his party which received from 25% to 26% at present would receive over 50% of votes at the national elections in 2008.

“The parties that competed in the Commune Council Elections which received much support are the CPP and the Sam Rainsy Party – it is assumed that the Sam Rainsy Party’s votes increased because of growing corruption and land disputes.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen knew that some officials under his leadership were corrupt, and he warned officials who grabbed land when developing new roads. Officials who grabbed land illegally were close to the CPP.

“The election was boastful of achievements, without considering corruption, and this is a method to lose the next elections. Prime Minister Hun Sen stated that if he won the elections in the new mandate, he would continue to take his big leap frog strategy for infrastructure development. The leap frog strategy is full of corruption, because the frog seems to be corrupt.” Reach Seima, Vol.2, #175, 5.4.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 5 April 2007

Areyathor, Vol.13, #1228, 4-5.4.2007

  • Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek [Dr. Kek Galabru] Did Not Expect That One Party Could Win 90% Of Communes In The Elections

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2668, 5.4.2007

  • The Prime Minister Ordered The Police To Stop Taking Money From Citizens Who Carry Goods Across the Poipet Border-Crossing

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1309, 5.4.2007

  • Samdech Hun Sen Expressed His Special Thanks To The Supporters Of The Cambodian People’s Party For Having Made The Elections Proceed Well
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Denied That He Met Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh], But [Sam Rainsy Party Secretary General] Mu Sochua Really Met Muth Chantha [the Norodom Ranariddh Party’s spokesperson]
  • Samdech Hun Sen Announced The Continuation Of The Infrastructure Policy [during the inauguration of two road sections in Sihanoukville]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6009, 5.4.2007

  • Patriarch Tep Vong Street At Prey Nup-Stung Hav [in Sihanoukville] Inaugurated [in the presence of Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • A National Anti-Human Trafficking Working Team Will Be Established On 6 April [funded by USAID]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4254, 5.4.2007

  • [Brunei] Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Arrived In Cambodia
  • Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association Launched A [three-year] Project To Disseminate Information About And Monitor The Khmer Rouge Tribunal And The International Criminal Court [funded by the European Community]
  • ASEAN Tourism Task Force Meetings Took Up Six Items [1-ASEAN tourism markets, 2-ASEAN investments, 3-Tourism by ships, 4-ASEAN Relations, 5-ASEAN Tourism Standards, 6-ASEAN Human Resources Development]
  • Fund For Rural Electrification Tried To Encourage Further Work [to create access to electricity in rural and remote areas]
  • The Khmer New Year Will Be Celebrated On 14 April At 12:48 P.M.

Reach Seima, Vol.2, #175, 5.4.2007

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen Said ‘The Opposition Party Maintains Life-Long Opposition’
  • European Union Pledged To Provide More Than US$10 Million For Dissemination Of Information About The Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3008, 5.4.2007

  • Foreign Judges Disappointed About The Insistence [on very high membership fees] By The Bar Association Of The Kingdom Of Cambodia

Sranlanh Khmer,Vol.3, #371, 5.4.2007

  • [US] Federal Bureau of Investigation Will Open A Permanent Office In Cambodia
  • Norodom Ranariddh Party Officials In Battambang Dismantled Their Headquarters To Distribute The Proceeds Among Themselves [after they knew their party completely lost in the commune council elections]

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Wednesday, 4.4.2007: Eight Civil Society Organizations Said The Elections Were So Confusing That The Number Of Voters Declined

Posted on 9 April 2007. Filed under: Week 502 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 502

“In the afternoon of 3 April 2007, eight civil society organizations held a joint press conference to evaluate events during the Commune Council Elections of 1 April 2007. In the conference, representatives from each organization raised irregularities related to the Commune Council Elections, which were caused by a lack of clarity in the management of the elections; therefore, there was a strong decline in the number of voters.

“Mr. Thun Saray, the director of the local human rights group Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC, said that, as a monitor of the Commune Council Elections, he met a number of irregular events himself. For example, some people took their voters’ information leaflets, and they were allowed to vote at once, but other people who took these leaflets were not allowed to vote, unless they had also identification cards or other identity cards. These problems made people hesitant and reluctant to go to vote. Other problems, such as not having their names on the voters’ lists, or having been assigned to a changed voting station without being informed in advance, made it difficult for people to understand what to do.

“Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek, [Dr. Kek Galabru], the President of the local rights group Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO, said that in Siem Reap, there were up to nine members of one family who did not go to vote. As far as she knew, that family had not changed their residence, but they could not find their names on the voting lists. When they asked officials of the National Election Committee [NEC], no one answered them, and then all nine of them decided to return home without voting.

“Besides the problems above, there were still many other problems such as setting up posts to check and monitor the electorate.

“The process of these Commune Council Elections is a further step to strengthen democracy and good local government in Cambodia. However, the civil society organizations which participated in monitoring the elections expressed their regret that the rate of voters declined by 20% compared to the rate in 2002. According to a preliminary report, this indicated that only about 60% to 70% among the 7.7 million registered voters came to vote. In 2002, over 86% of voters went to vote. Civil society organizations were disappointed that about 30% to 40% (equal to approx. 2,500,000) of those who had voting rights did not go to vote or encountered difficulties with complicated procedures during the election. There were many obvious problems: for example, a number of voters who did not receive the leaflets with voters’ information were reported to be confused, assuming that they had no voting rights. Additionally, some people went to vote, but they met difficulties because they did not receive clear information about their assigned voting station, and they had problems with wrong information related to documents to verify identities and names in voters’ lists, and so on. What confused some voters also was that voting cards were no longer used.

“Even though the management of the election process did not encounter so serious irregularities that they might obstruct the counting of votes in any of the offices, election monitors found a number of irregularities.

“One day before election day, on 31 March 2007, the climate was quiet. However, there were violations of many orders and procedures, especially doing campaigning, activities of vote buying by providing money, offering presents and other materials, organizing small parties for the electorate in a number of communes – for example in Poipet – and abnormal activities of mobilizing armed forces – for example representatives of the authorities and policemen rode their motorbikes without headlights at night (Takeo) which surprised villagers, and deploying many armed forces (Battambang), and sending police in uniform (up to 90 policemen) to vote – for example, in Baray, Kompong Thom. A hand grenade exploded near the house of a Sam Rainsy Party activist in Samaki Meanchey, Kompong Chhnang, but no one was injured. Concerning this case, the Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMFREL – is conducting an investigation in cooperation with other human rights organizations.

“Irregularities that occurred often in many voting stations were related to the organization and functioning of the election:

  • Voting station officials’ political discrimination, and lack of attention to assist voters to look for the locations of their assigned voting stations, names, and serial numbers, which made the people return home without voting.
  • Continued presence of representatives of the local authorities, and of armed forces, at district and commune levels, especially village authorities, around voting stations, which could influence voters, for example including instructing voters how to mark the ballots.
  • There were large scale preparations for the transportation of voters, made by some political party activists, especially from the ruling party.
  • “Some officials at voting stations did not understand the electoral procedures and guidelines very well, and they were careless, for example, some voters who had only leaflets with voters’ information were allowed to vote in a number of places, and some officials at other voting stations required voters to have such leaflets with voters’ information as a condition to be allowed to vote. Other officials at voting stations needed to first look for the code numbers of voting stations on observers’ cards before allowing them to enter voting stations to observe, or they put pressure on NGO observers and political party agents to sit at only one place without moving around to observe all activities in the offices. Some political party agents and observers were forced to sign the forms on the records of election results before the election were closed, leaving uncertainties in identifying the validity of the votes.

    “The Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMFREL, the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections – NICFEC, the Youth Council of Cambodia, and the People’s Forum on Cambodia, from Japan [having participated as election observers], continue to investigate the cases of various irregularities, and appealed to the NEC to pay attention to solving complaints transparently, also in a number of communes where less than 50% of the electorate went to vote, and there were many irregularities, such as in Poipet, and in other communes in Phnom Penh.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3007, 4.4.2007

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Wednesday, 4 April 2007

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1308, 4.4.2007

    • Samdech Hun Sen Claimed That There Is Stability In The Election Results, And He Is In Favor To Continue To Be In Partnership With Funcinpec [stated in a forum on the Asian economy in the 20th century]
    • In February 2007, There Were 26 Victims, Killed By Mines And Unexploded Ordnance

    Khmer Mekong, Vol.5, #256, 3-4.4.2007

    • Analysis: Why Did The Opposition Party Lose Seats In The Economic Zones? [in three communes in Phnom Penh and in Poipet in Banteay Meanchey, some leaders of the Sam Rainsy Party were accused of nepotism, and possible involvement in corrupt practices]
    • Officials Of The Ministry Of Land Management, Urbanization, And Construction Took From US$1,200 To US$2,000 Per Hectare From Citizens In Dangkor

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3127, 4.4.2007

    • Embassies And Foreign Observers Do Not Dare To Evaluate The Situation Of The Commune Council Elections Yet [because of irregularities]

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4253, 4.4.2007

    • Prince Norodom Ranariddh Met Mr. Sam Rainsy [the opposition party leader] After The Elections To Gather Forces [to seek a joint strategy to create a movement of democrats and patriots to compete with the Cambodian People’s Party]
    • The KMTL Company Did Not Provide Rations Of Rice To The Army As Contracted

    Reach Seima, Vol.2, #174, 4.4.2007

    • [Mr. Kumaoka Michiya] President of the Japan International Volunteer Center, Declared To Claim Again Funds for Registering The Electorate Anew [because of irregularities, such as names missing in voters’ lists etc.]

    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3007, 4.4.2007

    • Eight Civil Society Organizations Said That The Elections Were So Confusing That The Number Of Voters Declined
    • The Election Victory Of The Ruling Party Gives Hope To Yuon [Vietnamese] Immigrants That They Can Live Illegally In Khmer Territory

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    4.4.2007: Apologies

    Posted on 5 April 2007. Filed under: Week 502 |

    Please accept my apologies – for health reasons I cannot publish today – but I hope to publish the Wednesday and Thursday sections within 24 hours, hoping my health will improve.

    Norbert Klein
    Editor of the Mirror

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    Tuesday, 3.4.2007: Sam Rainsy Appealed To Members Of Other Parties To Unite With The Sam Rainsy Party

    Posted on 4 April 2007. Filed under: Week 502 |

    The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 502

    “Mr. Sam Rainsy, the president of the Sam Rainsy Party, appealed to minor political parties and to the Khmer people who were victimized by the powerful and the rich, to unite with the Sam Rainsy Party in order to win victory in the 2008 National Elections. This appeal was made when it was known that, as the tentative results of the Commune Council Elections came in, the votes for the Sam Rainsy Party were increasing in all communes across the country.

    “Mr. Sam Rainsy appealed, ‘We would like the compatriots to unite with the Sam Rainsy Party, because this is the only choice to win over the ruling party. Therefore, if we were all united with the Sam Rainsy Party to restore our country, we would have a very good political geography and a good political situation to reach the final goal in the 2008 elections.’

    “The president of the opposition party stated that the preliminary results of the elections were very good. It was seen that the Sam Rainsy Party was prominent – one to one with the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP]. Mr. Sam Rainsy said, ‘This is the result of our effort, and we will continue to struggle until the Khmer people receive victory.’

    “Having responded to reporters’ questions as to whether or not the Sam Rainsy Party leadership will plan to meet with the CPP leadership to hold a discussion about a partnership or alliance, Mr. Sam Rainsy said, ‘It is necessary that we have to make decentralization proceed forward. Now, there are two partners in decentralization in the commune councils across Cambodia – the CCP and the Sam Rainsy Party. He stated that both parties had to work together so that the commune councils would move forward to serve the interests of the people in each commune. He also said, ‘If the CPP wants to avoid the Sam Rainsy Party, it will be impossible to do so, and if the Sam Rainsy Party wants to avoid the CPP, it will be impossible to do so too, because there are only two parties left in the commune councils. Therefore, we have to cooperate to make decentralization move forward. This move will bring fruitful results to the poor people in each commune.

    “In regard to the question as to whether or not he will plan to write a letter to talk with Mr. Hun Sen about establishing an alliance, Mr. Sam Rainsy said, ‘I understand that any work we have to discuss, we are not deadly enemies, we are Khmers, we want our country to be developed, and we each claim to serve the interests of the people. In the commune councils, there are only two parties that we consider valid, not considering other parties (like Funcinpec and the Norodom Ranariddh Party); therefore, there are only two major parties which have to cooperate, so that we will not have a standstill. We have to find ways to encourage the decentralization process to go forward, and to encourage development in a fair manner.’

    “Mr. Sam Rainsy admitted that he did not discuss meeting or not meeting with Mr. Hun Sen, but he needed to consider this issue in the future. However, what was most important was to move the decentralization forward. There were ways of working, there were procedures, and the initiative would come from both sides in a meeting. He said that to be able to have partners in the international community, and in order to encourage decentralization, the two sides had to cooperate. He said, ‘One day, we will meet to discuss our work to find ways to move decentralization forward.’

    “Having received much support in the Commune Council Elections, Mr. Sam Rainsy said that this was not related to the disputes between Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] and Mr. Nhek Bunchhay, the Secretary General of Funcinpec. He said that he regretted that more than one million Khmer people failed to vote. He said, ‘I regret that at least 1.5 million Khmer people who have the right to vote and who had the intention to vote could not find their names on voter’s lists, or they could not find their voting offices, or they did not have sufficient documentation to vote, and finally they were disappointed.

    “In regard to the question as to whether or not the Sam Rainsy Party would build up an alliance with the CPP, Mr. Sam Rainsy said, ‘We do not speak about an alliance, before we talk about it we have to talk about ourselves first.’ He confirmed that during the 2002 Commune Council Elections, the Sam Rainsy Party received much support because the Sam Rainsy Party got more than 900 commune chiefs and members of commune councils voted in. But as for this Commune Council Election, the Sam Rainsy Party won about 30 communes and has more than 1, 500 members in the commune councils among the 1,621 communes across the country. Therefore, the Sam Rainsy Party could win a landslide victory in the 2008 elections.

    “According to the result of the second mandate Commune Council Elections, the ruling party lost much support, whereas the Sam Rainsy Party received increasing support across the country. Mr. Sam Rainsy appealed that the citizens and the other party members should unite with the Sam Rainsy Party for a 2008 victory.” Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #369, 3.4.2007

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Tuesday, 3 April 2007

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6007, 3.4.2007

    • Preliminary Results Of The Commune Council Elections Across The Country: The Cambodian People’s Party Won 1592 Communes, The Sam Rainsy Party Won 27, And Funcinpec Won 2
    • Dispute About 60 Hectares Of Land Of Citizens From 39 Families Who Accused A Village Chief Of Having Sold Their Land [in Oddar Meanchey]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1307, 3.4.2007

    • Election Result In Sihanoukville: Some Parties Had No Support

    Reach Seima, Vol.2, #173, 3.4.2007

    • National Election Committee Officials Did Not Accept The Party’s’ Complaints [from Mr. Ho Van, Sam Rainsy Party member]
    • The CDM Company [in Prey Veng] Took Nearly US$200 From Many Khmer Laborers, But Then Closed Down Its Office [it had promised to issue passports to work in Thailand]
    • The Committee For Free and Fair Elections In Cambodia Reported That The Rate Of Voters Was Low And The Number Of Those Who Had Not Received The Leaflets With Voters’ Information Was 1.4 Million

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3126, 3.4.2007

    • Nearly 3 Tons Of Drugs Were Found By Police [in Kompong Speu], Related To [Funcinpec Secretary General] Nhek Bunchhay

    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3126, 3.4.2007

    • All Teachers Of Bilingual Classes [in public schools in Battambang] Threaten To Stop Teaching If There Is No Solution [they have not received their salaries since January 2007]

    Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #369, 3.4.2007

    • Sam Rainsy Appealed To Members Of Other Parties To Unite With The Sam Rainsy Party

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