Sunday,2007-06-24: A Financially Successful Cambodia Development Cooperation Forum Meeting

Posted on 25 June 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 513 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 513

The financial results of the two days Cambodia Development Cooperation Forum meeting – pledges of assistance by the international community of more than $689 million for Cambodia in the coming year – is being welcomed by many voices, in the country and abroad. But many press reports about this event in many different countries, which can also be found on the Internet, mention prominently in their headlines that the pledges of financial assistance were combined with a lot of criticism about the scale of corruption in the country. Often it is also added in these international reports that the promise of the Cambodian government, repeatedly made during past years, to adopt an anti-corruption law, was again not kept. And while the report by Global Witness, with detailed allegations of illegal deforestation activities, committed by persons with high standing in society, has been banned from distribution in Cambodia, the media in many other countries reported part of its content, and especially also that it was banned.

The financial success of the meeting with donors, and the negative international image created by the banning of this report, together with other allegations, stand in sharp contrast to each other.

Recent reports about the huge discrepancy between the development aid given to Cambodia by Japan – from 1992 to 2006 approximately $1,177 million – and the amount of private investment from Japan – only $22 million – show that a negative image can have very real consequences; we presented details about the reasons for this gap on 23.6.2007.

To focus mainly on the financial aspects of international cooperation will not help to face the real problems that exist, which also the Prime Minister acknowledged. Two cases can serve as reference.

  • The NGO Forum of Cambodia had elaborated a statement with the intention to make a constructive contribution to the development of Cambodia, but it was rejected by the Cambodian People’s Party, saying that this NGO statement will not reduce international donor’s aid. The NGO paper had not recommended at all that the amount of aid should be reduced.
  • When a group of eight persons – why does it matter that they are foreigners from different countries? – peacefully drew the attention of the public to the fate of two people arrested and imprisoned under the accusation of having murdered a labor union leader, the President of the National Assembly is quoted to have said, “They do not want the donors to give money to develop the country” – but what they had actually appealed for was not a reduction of assistance, but a revision of the court decision which has widely been seen as having not been achieved as a result of taking account of many defense witnesses. Also the former King had, at other times, expressed his doubts whether justice has been done in this case.

We present here events from our neighboring country of Thailand from this week, where severe allegations of corruption are being investigated.

Allegations were made that senior judicial officials related to the Constitutional Tribunal, which recently had dealt with the accusation of electoral fraud against the two most important political parties, had been approached with bribery in order to influence the decisions of the Constitutional Tribunal. As could be expected, the judiciary reacted negatively to this accusation, which was worded vaguely and did not contain any elaborate documentation – as in the case of the prohibited report in Cambodia – neither mentioning the names of persons alleged to have offered, or of the persons alleged to have received bribes.

Instead of dismissing these generally worded allegations as a rumor, the President of the Supreme Court of Thailand established a high-power panel to investigate the allegations. And he declared that he too is prepared to be investigated, if the panel should find reason to suspect him also.

The Bangkok Post, a Thai newspaper, commented:

“Allegations have been whispered from time to time about judges taking bribes. Rarely do such allegations make it into print or are made public for fear of being slapped with contempt of court.
In light of the judiciary’s increased role and the widely held belief in the judiciary as the last resort for the public, it is essential that all its officials be seen as clean, honest, fair, and impartial.”

When representatives of rural communities come to Phnom Penh to appeal for justice, after the land on which they used to live or which they used to farm was taken away from them, they are mostly reported to try to present their case to the Prime Minister and not to the court. This reflects their assumption that their last resort is not the judiciary, but the head of the government. The fact that they believe in him as the last resort of justice is proven by the fact that they often carry pictures of the Prime Minister.

The Thai press comment continues:

“The new investigation will be beneficial to the judiciary as a whole and to the Constitutional Tribunal in particular. If the allegation is proven baseless, the probe will enhance their credibility and image. On the contrary, if it is proven true, then it would provide an opportunity for the judiciary to weed out any black sheep among them.”

Sooner or later, similar lines of argument – to investigate even vague accusations and not to suppress even those ones which come with detailed documentation – can hardly be avoided also in Cambodia.

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i’m eric. joining a couple boards and looking
forward to participating. hehe unless i get
too distracted!

eric

Hey,
I’m Gerald.

Just saying hi – I’m new.

thanks

To read latest news about Cambodia, go to Cambodia.

Thank you so much!

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Look how they put name on flowers? like here speaking roses

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. says it will modify the terms of $70 billion in troubled, mostly adjustable-rate mortgages it holds.

The New York bank inherited many of the loans as part of its September purchase of a failed competitor, Washington Mutual Inc. (NYSE:WM), and its move will cover as many as 400,000 borrowers. J.P. Morgan said Friday the borrowers will be moved into loans carrying lower interest rates, smaller principal amounts or other more-affordable terms, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The move came shortly after the bank received a $25 billion capital infusion from the U.S. Treasury’s program to strengthen financial institutions and get credit flowing.

“Our goal in doing this was to come up with something that we think will lead the industry in helping as much as possible on this issue,” said J.P. Morgan executive Charles Scharf.

John Taylor, chief executive of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, said the action was “a gutsy move on their part. They are bending over backward to try to reach out to these people.”

Well, thought it was time to introduce myself, been reading so much about this place I thought best to signup and participate and helpout if I can.
So..hello and I hope to learn and help others out..peace 🙂

G’day everyone, I figured it was about time I stopped lurking around and said hello. So here is my very first post and hopefully the first of many…

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Just saying hello to you all .. Still a bit confused about the goings on here, but I guess I’ll keep poking around.

Всем привет! Пару недель назад я начинал тему о превращении СМИ из бумажной в электронную. Интересно тот факт, что после опубликования сообщения на форуме, мне на имейл начали приходить письма от разных редакций газет. Успокаивали меня и гарантировали, что любимая Газета Нижний Новгород будет выходить в продажу, но также и электронный аналог gazetann.ru будет совершенствоваться! Так что поздравьте меня маленькой, но победой )

Всем привет! Пару недель назад я начинал тему о превращении СМИ из бумажной в электронную. Интересно тот факт, что после опубликования сообщения на форуме, мне на имейл начали приходить письма от разных редакций газет. Успокаивали меня и гарантировали, что любимая Газета будет выходить в продажу, но также и электронный аналог gazetann.ru будет совершенствоваться! Так что поздравьте меня маленькой, но победой )

This looks cool so far, what’s up people?
If there’s anyone else here, let me know.
Oh, and yes I’m a real person LOL.

Peace,

New here. Wanted to say hello.
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Andrew McFaulAndy McFaul

А если посмотреть на это с другой точки зрения то не все так гладко получается

Текст действительно понравился, особенно последний абзац хорош 🙂

DEEP-SPACE TRAVEL If the launching of LightSail-1 goes off according to plan next year, humans may soon be solar-sailing, as shown in this illustration.

About a year from now, if all goes well, a box about the size of a loaf of bread will pop out of a rocket some 500 miles above the Earth. There in the vacuum it will unfurl four triangular sails as shiny as moonlight and only barely more substantial. Then it will slowly rise on a sunbeam and move across the stars.

LightSail-1, as it is dubbed, will not make it to Neverland. At best the device will sail a few hours and gain a few miles in altitude. But those hours will mark a milestone for a dream that is almost as old as the rocket age itself, and as romantic: to navigate the cosmos on winds of starlight the way sailors for thousands of years have navigated the ocean on the winds of the Earth.

“Sailing on light is the only technology that can someday take us to the stars,” said Louis Friedman, director of the Planetary Society, the worldwide organization of space enthusiasts.

Even as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration continues to flounder in a search for its future, Dr. Friedman announced Monday that the Planetary Society, with help from an anonymous donor, would be taking baby steps toward a future worthy of science fiction. Over the next three years, the society will build and fly a series of solar-sail spacecraft dubbed LightSails, first in orbit around the Earth and eventually into deeper space.

The voyages are an outgrowth of a long collaboration between the society and Cosmos Studios of Ithaca, N.Y., headed by Ann Druyan, a film producer and widow of the late astronomer and author Carl Sagan.

Sagan was a founder of the Planetary Society, in 1980, with Dr. Friedman and Bruce Murray, then director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The announcement was made at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington at a celebration of what would have been Sagan’s 75th birthday. He died in 1996.

Ms. Druyan, who has been chief fund-raiser for the society’s sailing projects, called the space sail “a Taj Mahal” for Sagan, who loved the notion and had embraced it as a symbol for the wise use of technology.

There is a long line of visionaries, stretching back to the Russian rocket pioneers Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Fridrich Tsander and the author Arthur C. Clarke, who have supported this idea. “Sails are just a marvelous way of getting around the universe,” said Freeman Dyson, of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and a longtime student of the future, “but it takes a long time to imagine them becoming practical.”

The solar sail receives its driving force from the simple fact that light carries not just energy but also momentum — a story told by every comet tail, which consists of dust blown by sunlight from a comet’s core. The force on a solar sail is gentle, if not feeble, but unlike a rocket, which fires for a few minutes at most, it is constant. Over days and years a big enough sail, say a mile on a side, could reach speeds of hundreds of thousands of miles an hour, fast enough to traverse the solar system in 5 years. Riding the beam from a powerful laser, a sail could even make the journey to another star system in 100 years, that is to say, a human lifespan.

Whether humans could ever take these trips depends on just how starry-eyed one’s view of the future is.

Dr. Friedman said it would take too long and involve too much exposure to radiation to sail humans to a place like Mars. He said the only passengers on an interstellar voyage — even after 200 years of additional technological development — were likely to be robots or perhaps our genomes encoded on a chip, a consequence of the need to keep the craft light, like a giant cosmic kite.

In principle, a solar sail can do anything a regular sail can do, like tacking. Unlike other spacecraft, it can act as an antigravity machine, using solar pressure to balance the Sun’s gravity and thus hover anyplace in space.

And, of course, it does not have to carry tons of rocket fuel. As the writer and folk singer Jonathan Eberhart wrote in his song “A Solar Privateer”:

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No stormy blast to rattle the mast, a sober wind and true.

Just haul and tack and ball the jack like the waterlubbers do.

Those are visions for the long haul. “Think centuries or millennia, not decades,” said Dr. Dyson, who also said he approved of the Planetary Society project.

“We ought to be doing things that are romantic,” he said, adding that nobody knew yet how to build sails big and thin enough for serious travel. “You have to get equipment for unrolling them and stretching them — a big piece of engineering that’s not been done. But the joy of technology is that it’s unpredictable.”

At one time or another, many of NASA’s laboratories have studied solar sails. Scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory even once investigated sending a solar sail to rendezvous and ride along with Halley’s Comet during its pass in 1986.

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И в том, и в другом случае все, что бы вы ни делали, потом падет на удобренную и хорошо орошенную почву. Таким образом, оральный секс может рассматриваться с точки зрения предварительной игры. Но в половине случаев этого оказывается мало. И тогда вы поймете, почему говорят, что любовь – это большой труд.


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