Archive for May 27th, 2007

Saturday, 26.5.2007: League of Civil Society Organizations Requests Increase of Parliamentary Seats

Posted on 27 May 2007. Filed under: Week 509 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 509

“The League of Civil Society Organizations regrets that most members of the committee responsible for deciding on the number of seats decided not request an increase in the number of parliamentary seats to the Royal Government. However, the League of Civil Society Organizations insists on requesting the leaders of the Royal Government and the National Assembly to check the possibility to increase the number of parliamentary seats for Term 4 (2008 to 2013 [of the National Assembly from 123]) to 130. Based on the increase of the population, the social geography, and the economy of some population centers, the number of parliamentary seats should be increased at least by seven additional seats, each one for Battambang, Kompong Speu, Koh Kong, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville.

“The request mentioned above responds to the following reasons:

“1. To increase the representation of the parliamentarians in response to the population appropriately and legally.

“The population increased by approximately 2 million – i.e. from more than 12 million in 2003 to approximately 14.5 million in 2008. It should be noticed that the National Assembly has increased the number of seats from one term to another, and the increase is in harmony with Article 7 of the parliamentary election law, which states: ‘Every third year of a National Assembly term, the Council of Ministers must set up a commission to decide on the number of parliamentary seats, in order to adjust the number of seats and the allocation of seats to provinces and towns.’ In fact, the number of parliamentarians who play a role as parliamentarians properly is about 112 only, because at least 11 parliamentarians are members of the Royal Government, so they are very busy with the Royal Government’s work, and they seldom play a role as parliamentarians properly. There should be an amendment of the Constitution to regulate the relation more clearly between the members of the legislative body and the members of the executive body.

“2. To increase the number of parliamentarians, so that the parliamentarians can appropriately visit and help solve the problems of the people and the centers [of the towns or provinces where they were elected.

“The reports from public forums of some non-government organizations and reports of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia [COMFREL] about the National Assembly, find that the people in each population center [the provinces or towns] really need many parliamentarians to help protect the people’s interests and welfare. Though many parliamentarians visit and help solve the problems of the people in their centers actively, the number of parliamentarians is still not sufficient for the big range of people’s needs, especially in remote areas, where parliamentarians are needed to help solve the problems of the people.

“3. To make a balance between the number of members of the National Assembly committees, and the number of members of the institutions of the Royal Government, in order to inspect the implementation of work of the ministries and other state institutions.

“The current number of parliamentarians is not sufficient for the scope of work of the committees. From Term 1 up to now, the Royal Government has created many ministries and committees, and the number of members of the Royal Government has doubled compared to of what it was before.

“4. To strengthen the inspection of income and expenses of the national budget.

“Raising the issue of funding is not an appropriate reason to oppose the increase of the number of parliamentarians, because spending additional funds for the people’s benefits should be a priority to be considered, and the increase of the number of parliamentarians by at least seven persons does not cause much increase in the spendings from the national budget, compared to the increase of the national budget each year. In addition, the Royal Government has recently expressed satisfaction about the general economic growth, and declared to also increase the salaries for the armed forces by 20% next year. Therefore, the increase of the number of seats will not cause any negative impact to the economy and the national budget, based on the Cambodian economic growth at the present time, and the vow of the Royal Government to increase the income for the national budget, as well as taking action against corruption, and to increase the collection of funds from potential natural resources.

“Thus, in view of the reasons stated above, the League of Civil Society Organizations still insists on its request to the Royal Government to check the possibility to increase the number of parliamentary seats for Term 4 and for the following terms.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3045, 26.5.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 26 May 2007

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2683, 26.5.2007

  • Phnom Penh Residents Want Government to Close Slot Gambling Machines

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1349, 26.5.2007

  • Officials of Ministry of Public Works and Transport Criticize Bus Drivers [because some drivers transport wood and wildlife illegally]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #477, 26.5.2007

  • Chief Trader Yeay Phou [Chheung Sopheap, Director of Pheapimex] Conducts Gold Mining Illegally at Phnom Chi, Kompong Thom
  • International Human Rights Organization [based in Hong Kong – name not mentioned] Calls for Release of Duch [chief of Tuol Sleng Prison]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6049, 26-27.5.2007

  • Plan to Discuss Draft Anti-Terrorist Law in June
  • Young Woman Bitten by Snake, Dies Two Days before Her Scheduled Marriage Day; Her Fiancé Asks for Living in Her Room with Her Remains for One Year [Baribour, Kompong Chhnang]
  • Prince [Azim] of Brunei Gives Michael Jackson $10 Million for Attending His Birthday Ceremony
  • Russian Pickpocket Snatched [former Thai Prime Minister] Mr. Thaksin’s Wallet While He Visited Moscow [on 24 May]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3168, 26-27.5.2007

  • Prince Ranariddh Gives One-Month Deadline for Funcinpec to Remove His Title as Historical Guide
  • Prime Minister Warns about Chaktomuk River Water Level [that it may go up to 10.45 m – then Phnom Penh would be flooded]
  • Court Officials’ Corruption Causes More Impunity
  • The More Weapons Destroyed the More Illegal Use of Guns Exists Mostly by High Ranking Officials’ Bodyguards

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4294, 26.5.2007

  • French Ambassador Is Concerned that [three year’s] Time for Khmer Rouge Tribunal May Not Be Enough
  • Government Considers Issuing of Land Titles to Foreigners

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3045, 26.5.2007

  • League of Civil Society Organizations Requests Increase of Parliamentary Seats

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #410, 26.5.2007

  • Prince Ranariddh and Sou Phirin [Siem Reap Governor] Are Better Than Other Excellencies and Samdechs of Teenage Attitudes [whose mistresses were killed or wounded by shooting or attacked by acid, but Ranariddh just divorces his wife and Sou Phirin jails his wife]

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Friday, 25.5.2007: Amnesty International Reveals Four Scandals in Cambodia

Posted on 27 May 2007. Filed under: Week 509 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 509

Amnesty International released its annual report, also raising four main weak points in Cambodia. The report shows human rights violations in many countries in the world, including Cambodia.

“The report particularly focuses on four negative points in Cambodia: land disputes; the expulsion of people from their houses moving them to live on the outskirts of the city; law enforcement and torture by cross-examining; and disrespecting press freedom.

“Concerning the legal system, Amnesty International wrote in its report that the status of proclaimed judicial reforms is not clear. Some laws, which were adopted by the National Assembly, have not been regarded so they cannot serve the nation’s benefits.

“Amnesty International wrote that the anti-corruption law, that the Cambodian Government promised to donor countries to be created, has not been adopted either. In contrast, the government created an anti-corruption body which is under the control of powerful officials at the Council of Ministers.

“Amnesty International wants to see the Khmer court system to be independent from powerful people, and it wants journalists to have freedom of expression when working in their profession. The report also raises the stand-still of the Khmer Rouge tribunal, as meetings have been paralyzed in Cambodia, and the authorities tightened up after the anti-Thai riots in January 2003.

“Amnesty International wrote that Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government used problematic laws to threaten journalists. The report was released after the head of the Khmer government had threatened Mr. Keo Nimol, a Radio Free Asia reporter, on 17 May 2007.

“In the past, government officials have reacted against the reports of Amnesty International and of human rights organizations. However, officials of the Sam Rainsy Party and of non-government organizations said that the annual reports of Amnesty International are true.

Mr. Chea Sochenda, a Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Kandal, affirmed that the report is really right, but the government does not have the will to correct the negative points raised by Amnesty International. Mr. Sochenda continued that the government did not take measures to prevent the land disputes caused by powerful and rich people who grab people’s land, it does not intend to conduct court reform, nor pushing the anti-corruption law to be adopted, and it does not provide the right to journalists to express opinions as is their profession.

“The opposition parliamentarian stated that to correct the negative points raised by Amnesty International, the only way is a change of leadership.” Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #409, 25.5.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 25 May 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1348, 25.5.2007

  • Cambodia Has More Than Three Million Mines Remaining in the Ground [according to Khem Sophorn, Director of CMAC]
  • A Colonel, Who Is a Trainer at the Kamboul Military Training Center, Had a Conflict with a Traffic Policeman; Both of Them Are Wounded [in fighting, they beat each other with guns and batons after the police tried to stop the colonel’s car because he had broken the traffic law – Phnom Penh]
  • 2,428 Guns Destroyed and Burned in Kompong Thom
  • Economic Police Set Up Checkpoints on All Roads in Oddar Meanchey for Money Extortion

Khmer Mekong, Vol.5, #274, 25-26.5.2007

  • ACLEDA Bank Has Developed Itself from a Capital of $4 Million to $293 Million for 14 Years

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6048, 25.5.2007

  • Cambodia Prepares to Host ASEAN Football Match of Under 17 Years Olds

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3167, 25.5.2007

  • [Vice-President of Sam Rainsy Party] Mr. Kong Korm Demands the Khmer Rouge Tribunal to Punish the Responsibles at the Area and Regional Levels of the Genocide Regime
  • Hun Neng, Kompong Cham Governor [Prime Minister Hun Sen’s brother] Only Looks at Yuon [Vietnamese] Soldiers Harming Khmers at Border Every Day
  • Specialist [Michael Smith, Technical Director at Energyfiles] Says Cambodia May Get Income from Underground Oil of 750 Billion Barrels and 300 Billion Cubic Meters of Gas

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4293, 25.5.2007

  • Sangkum Jati Niyum to Hold Congress to Join with Norodom Ranariddh Party
  • Wife of Heng Pov [former Phnom Penh Municipal Police Commissioner who is in jail] Leaves Singapore for Finland [after Phnom Penh Municipal Court has issued an arrest warrant for her to question her about counterfeit dollars]
  • Samdech Chea Sim Asks France to Provide More Aid to Cambodian Legislative Body
  • National Assembly Starts Discussion on Adoption of Draft Criminal Code

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3044, 25.5.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Party Officials Compete with Each Other to Organize Partisans at Local Levels

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #409, 25.5.2007

  • Amnesty International Reveals Four Scandals in Cambodia

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