Archive for June, 2007

Monday, 18.06.2007: King Mother’s Birthday

Posted on 18 June 2007. Filed under: Week 513 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 513

Sorry, we had forgotten to inform our readers/visitors that 18 June is a public holiday: it is the King Mother’s Birthday.

So we will have the next translations only on Tuesday, 19 June 2007.

Norbert Klein

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Sunday,2007-06-17: “…illegal logging, corruption, and land grabbing, are serious problems…”

Posted on 18 June 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 512 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 512

The public in the United States of America is nowadays more divided when it comes to the war in Iraq than it was four years ago, when, on 1 May 2003, the US president landed on an aircraft carrier in a navy plane to declare “Mission accomplished.” During the first week in June 2007, the death toll of U.S. military personnel in Iraq passed 3,500 persons killed.

A former US top military commander had said, “We don’t do body counts.” The number of civilians killed since the international military intervention in Iraq is much higher. But there are unofficial counts: one non-government organization collects information from media reports, from hospitals, from wherever possible, and they put their findings onto the Internet as Iraq Body Count; as of the time of this writing, this site says:

“Civilians reported killed by military intervention in Iraq: at least 65,411, maybe up to 71,665.”

Others have questioned these figures, “they are not officially verified and exaggerated” – so there are additional references given, where others – again not officially – have done their counting, with the goal of “Keeping Civilian Deaths in the Eye of the World.”

These figures relate to a bitter reality. These figures are not just abstract statistical data, they represent – every one – a human life lost.

But these data are not official, they are not correct in detail, and definitely their public availability is not welcome to some people with authority in related fields. So a high-ranking US military officer, Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, was quoted in the New York Times and now on the web site, to have given the advice to Iraqis, who see images on television of innocent civilians killed as a side effect of the war: “Change the channel!” Look away.

Not everybody is prepared to look away from a deeply unpleasant reality. A group of American high school students in the small town of Wilton in the state of Connecticut – a place of less than 20,000 people – in a class working every year on some theater project, decided to consider the war in Iraq. They collected the writings of soldiers who had served in Iraq and of Iraqi civilians, from personal letters, from newspapers reports, and from web sites, including from people who had in the meantime lost their lives or some limbs, and from people who said that they would definitely want to continue to fight in Iraq – mirroring a broad range of opinions, calling it Voices in Conflict.

When the text for this theater performance – only original words of others quoted – was finished, the principal of the high school prohibited the performance.

The result?

“The story subsequently appeared in the New York Times, and the students received thousands of supportive messages – including some from soldiers currently serving in Iraq. Music Theater International recognized the students with its Courage in Theater Award, the first such honor in the organization’s history. Many in the theatrical community also offered to help, including the Fairfield Theater Company in Connecticut, Art Meets Commerce, and the Vineyard Theater, The Public Theater, and the Culture Project, all in New York.”

The students were invited to perform their reflection of reality in a number of highly respected theaters – last week and next week – and there is an ever widening public debate about the realities reflected by individual voices in this work of high school students, which never would have happened, if their work would not have been forbidden.

Not in relation to violence of war and the dramatic loss of thousands of human lives, but in relation to a report by Global Witness about supposedly illegal logging activities in Cambodia, the Cambodian public also experienced some similar dynamics. The fact that the distribution of this report was forbidden by the government resulted in a much stronger interest in this report, which can be read, in both the English and the Khmer language, on the web site of Global Witness on the Internet.

And it is no surprise that the Khmer press quoted the German ambassador not only as having said that “the vision for the Cambodian economy is bright” – on the condition that some negative problems come under control: like corruption, illegal logging, and the fact that there is no real separation between the executive, the legislative, and power of the courts. And he subsequently was quoted as having criticized the government for confiscating the Global Witness report, while illegal logging spreads in Cambodia and positions in forestry administration are sold or put up for bid.

The US ambassador was finally quoted – in our Saturday translations – as saying, “I am concerned about illegal logging, corruption, and land grabbing, which are serious problems against which the Cambodian Government should take action…. I believe that it would be better if the Cambodian Government and Global Witness would discuss with each other.”

The massive deaths in Iraq can not be denied, and to look the other way will not contribute to finding a way out of the presently ever increasing violence. Neither will the allegations in the Global Witness report be discarded as not important or wrong, as long as the many details contained in the report are not being publicly investigated and clarified.

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Saturday, 16.6.2007: US Ambassador Calls for Government Officials to Negotiate with Global Witness in Order to Find the Facts

Posted on 17 June 2007. Filed under: Week 512 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 512

“The US Ambassador in Phnom Penh calls for the Cambodian Government to cooperate with Global Witness to investigate forest crimes at the Prey Lang area and in the Tum Ring Commune, Sandan District, Kompong Thom. Some opinions want Mr. Hun Sen to take Global Witness to a British court, in order to protect the reputation of the nation and to demand that Global Witness compensate the Khmer leaders, which this organization calls to be involved in stealing from the nation, or a group of thieves who steal from the nation.

“Mr. Joseph A. Mussomeli, the US Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, told Radio Free Asia on Thursday that the illegal logging in Kompong Thom is a serious problem, among other crimes. However, Mr. Mussomeli did not say that the Global Witness report is true or not. He asked for cooperation to suppress illegal logging which exists in Cambodia these days.

“The Ambassador said, ‘I am concerned about illegal logging, corruption, and land grabbing, which are serious problems against which the Cambodian Government should take action…. I believe that it would be better if the Cambodian Government and Global Witness would discuss with each other.’

“On 8 June 2007, Mr. Simon Taylor, the director of Global Witness, said he is ready to cooperate with the Cambodian Government to investigate illegal logging and corruption which his organization revealed in its report earlier this month. But Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the Minister of Information and the government’s spokesperson, said that Global Witness first hit the government, then later asked for cooperation.

“Mr. Taylor said in his statement which was released last Friday, ‘We are ready to support the investigation in whichever way it will be conducted.’

“This statement was made, after the government had announced, not very publicly on 14 June 2007, that it had created a committee to study the report. Before it announced the creation of the committee, the government issued a press release requesting the Ministry of Interior to prevent the distribution of the report, saying that the Global Witness report attacks leaders and senior government officials.

“Up to now, the government has not shown a position of cooperation with Global Witness in order to prevent logging in Cambodia, but it took action by prohibiting Sralanh Khmer from publishing the content of the report, which has more than 100 pages.

“Mr. Taylor said, ‘We must not forget that everything we include in the report relates to very serious crimes.’ Concerning the crimes, the government should open ways for the court and the police to conduct a complete investigation, and any related intervention should be conducted effectively.’ Mr. Taylor welcomed the creation of this committee by the government.

“However, observers, who seem to know well the attitude of the head of government, affirmed that the measures of the government of creating this committee is just a trick to deceive the donors before the [Consultative Group] meeting in the third week of this month, in order to avoid that the donors put pressure on the government leaders who are accused of involvement in forest crimes.

“The Kyodo new agency reported that Mr. Taylor sent an e-mail message from London, England, affirming, ‘Our Global Witness report is always written with the will to coordinate with any subsequent investigation and punishment, in this case of relatives of dignitaries and senior officials, as well as of generals who are guilty of involvement in organized forest crimes. If the government guarantees that an investigation will be conducted this time, we greatly support and admire this.’

“The report of more than 100 pages entitled “Cambodia’s Family Trees – Illegal logging and the stripping of public assets by Cambodia’s elite” makes accusations of illegal logging and of taking public property, to share it among some dignitaries.

“An official, who believes that the Global Witness report is probably completely true, said that it is not likely that Mr. Hun Sen wants that Global Witness cooperates in an investigation, as he had also refused to meet with an United Nations official. Mr. Hun Neng, Mr. Hun Sen’s brother, had warned that if he would meet Global Witness staff members, he would hit them on the head so that they bleed, which is a threat to commit violence; it is not likely that Global Witness will participate in the investigation.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen, Mr. Chan Sarun, the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Ty Sikun, Director-General of the Forestry Administration, Madame Bun Rany, Mr. Hun Sen’s wife, Mr. Sao Sokha, the Commander of the National Military Police, Mr. Seng Kok Heang nicknamed Ta 95 [Grandfather 95], Ms. Sen Keang, the former wife of Mr. Dy Chouch called Hun Chouch, and the head of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s bodyguards, Lieutenant General Hing Bun Hieng, whose pictures Global Witness placed on the ‘family tree,’ should go to see the sites of forest crimes, which Global Witness mentions in their accusation, to see whether illegal logging really exists. If they do not find these illegal logging sites, they may take Global Witness to a British court, in order to provide justice to the Khmer nation, especially to demand that this environment protection organization compensate the nine well-known dignitaries mentioned in the report.

“But Mr. Hun Sen and the involved officials do not take legal action; instead they use dictatorial means not to allow the distribution of the Global Witness report, and they prohibited that Sralanh Khmer could publish the report.

“Mr. Joseph A. Mussomeli, the US Ambassador, called on the government to cooperate with Global Witness to prevent illegal logging in Cambodia. This request of the US Ambassador will probably not be followed by the Khmer government, because – according to the report – it is not even necessary to conduct an investigation, because the names of those who committed the crimes, their activities, and the sites, are given in detail.” Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #428, 16.6.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 16 June 2007

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2689, 16.6.2007

  • The Khmer Ambassador to Switzerland [Chheang Von], Reacted against Yash Ghai’s Report, Which Calls the Preah Monivong Bridge the “Vietnamese Bridge” [which leads to the road to Vietnam]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1367, 16.6.2007

  • Samdech Hun Sen Wants Aid and Investments from Japan and China
  • The Thai Ambassador Says Visa Regulations for Khmer Citizens Will not Be Made More Strict
  • 16-Year-Old Boy Rapes 9-Year-Old Girl; He Is Arrested by Police [Pailin]
  • Thailand Plans to Deploy 13,000 Troops to Resist Demonstrators [against the government]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6067, 16-17.6.2007

  • In 2007, More Than 7,000 Cases of Dengue Fever Occurred, and More than 100 Children Died [countrywide – according to Mam Bunheng, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Health]
  • World Food Program Receives Rice Aid form Germany to Provide Food at Schools [in Cambodia]
  • Three Battalions of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Train, Preparing to Work for the UN

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3186, 16-17.6.2007

  • Illegal Logging at Prey Lang Area and in Tum Ring in Sandan, Kompong Thom, Continues Every Day

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4312, 16.6.2007

  • Battambang Court Holds Hearing of Case of Three Generals and Their Partisans [accused of armed robberies]
  • Former Miss Belgium [Tatjana Silva] Calls for Cambodian Citizens to Participate in Reduction of Traffic Accidents [she said that traffic in Cambodia is worse than in any other country she has ever visited]
  • Thai Rebels Kill Seven Soldiers and Continue to Burn Down School Buildings [in southern Thailand]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3063, 16.6.2007

  • SGS [Société générale de surveillance] Calls Itself a Dog That Does Not Bark, and Its Calls Global Witness a Dog That Barks to Get Attention for Itself , Related to Logging
  • If There Were no Corruption, Employees Could Increase Workers’ Salaries Up to More than $100 [according to Monh Saphan, parliamentarian from Funcinpec, at a World Vision forum]

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Friday, 15.6.2007: Cambodian Prime Minister Attracts Japanese Investments by Promising to Combat Corruption

Posted on 16 June 2007. Filed under: Week 512 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 512


“Phnom Penh: Prime Minister Hun Sen and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzô signed on 14 June an agreement to encourage and protect investments. In the meantime, Samdech Hun Sen also met with Japanese big business, and he promised to combat corruption, in order to attract them to invest in Cambodia.

“Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen’s speech is quoted by Reuters, ‘I certainly believe this pact will serve as a source of great confidence for those who invest in Cambodia … This will open a new page for deep relations between Japan and Cambodia.’

“According to a report by Agence France Presse on 14 June, during the first official visit of four days to Japan, the head of the Royal Government of Cambodia led the [Cambodian] delegation to meet with Japanese big business.

“At a luncheon with business leaders, he said, ‘By strengthening good governance, we will continue to thoroughly manage public agencies and to eradicate corruption and reduce costs for investors.’

“Samdech continued, ‘I firmly believe that Japanese investment is essential for further development of Cambodia.’ Hun Sen said, ‘We are aiming to stabilize the political, economic, and security environment so that investments can be made with confidence.’

“According to Japanese official documents, Japan is the biggest donor for Cambodia, but the world’s second largest economy has almost no investments in Cambodia. The figures of investments in Cambodia show that the biggest foreign investor in Cambodia in 2006 was South Korea with approximately more than $1 billion, China comes second with approximately more than $700 million, Russia with approximately $300 million, and Thailand with approximately $100 million, but Japan had only approximately $2 million.

“In contrast, Samdech Hun Sen said that Japanese grant aid to Cambodia was over $1,170 million since 1992, and Japan has also provided credits to the tune of $137 million during the same period.

“The head of the Royal Government of Cambodia continued that the discovery of natural resources, such as oil and gas, is one factor to boost Cambodia’s international standing, but private sector participation is essential, and the Cambodian economy will grow further if there is participation from Japanese companies and investors.’

“The head of the Cambodian Government went on to say, ‘Cambodia historically had had difficulties and struggles. But we have overcome the difficulties with our strong will to develop the nation under democracy.’ He was proud that Cambodia had an economic growth of up to 13.5% in 2005, and 10.8% in 2006. Samdech said that the GDP almost doubled to $513 per capita in 2006, while in 2000 it was only $288 per capita.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4311, 15.6.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 15 June 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1366, 15.6.2007

  • Group of Prince Norodom Chakrapong’s Son [accused of illegal use of guns] Released after Intervention from High Level
  • Hundreds of Hectares of Trees in Samlot Are Destroyed [by Chem Lorn, a military officer claiming land – Battambang]
  • 69 Cases of Traffic Accidents Happened in Phnom Penh in May: 25 People Died and 115 Are Injured
  • Parts of Ancient Oxcarts Are Collected by Businesspeople to Export to Thailand [Banteay Meanchey]

Khmer Mekong, Vol.5, #280, 15-16.6.2007

  • ASEAN Decides to Correct Size of Cambodia [from “181,0 in thousand sq km units” to “181,035 sq km” on a web site, not using the “thousand sq km unit” any longer for all member countries, which had been in use for all countries] after a [Cambodian] Protest

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6066, 15.6.2007

  • Khmer Teenage Boy’s Achilles’ Tendon Cut by Thai Black-Clad Soldiers [special border protection unit – on accusation of entering land illegally – Poipet, Banteay Meanchey]
  • Dengue Fever Invades Basedth, Kompong Speu: Ten Children Die
  • Angel Has [helping] Eyes: Very Poor [72-year-old] Man Finds Nearly 50 Chi of Gold Necklace [approx. US$3,900 – while he builds his rice field dike – Banan, Battambang]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3185, 15.6.2007

  • US to Help Train Khmer Troops to Have International Standard
  • Forestry Administration Officials under Power of Ty Sokun [Director-General of the Forestry Administration and an adviser to Prime Minister Hun Sen] and Chan Sarun [Minister of Agriculture] Are Considered to Be Special Group of Blood Suckers [to people because they extort money from people who transport firewood or small amount of wood only – Kompong Thom]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.14, #1191, 15.6.2007

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4311, 15.6.2007

  • Cambodian Prime Minister Attracts Japanese Investments by Promising to Combat Corruption
  • US Ambassador [Joseph A. Mussomeli] Does Not Support Global Witness Report That Accuses Individuals [without sufficient evidence]
  • Germany Provides Aid of €14.5 million [US$19.3 million] to Cambodia for a Number of Development Projects [management of land, raising the quality of health sector services, promote private sector activities in rural areas, strengthen women’s rights, and improve the identification and targeting of poor households. Additionally “Green Belt Siem Reap,” for effective poverty alleviation in one of the poorest provinces]

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Thursday, 14.6.2007: Yash Ghai Says Land Law Is Good, but the Government Doesn’t Care about Implementation

Posted on 15 June 2007. Filed under: Week 512 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 512

“On Tuesday 12 June, Mr. Yash Ghai, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia, released a report regarding land issues in Cambodia which are in trouble, because rich and powerful people grab people’s land – but the government does not solve the issue. However, Hun Sen announced loudly at a meeting at the Inter-Continental Hotel that the government has canceled the contracts with five concession companies which violate the contracts. This situation is difficult for donor countries to trust, and therefore he calls Hun Sen’s speech a shout before the Consultative Group [donors] meeting, in order to attract the donors’ feelings only.

“The land issue has existed for a long time; even the Central Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party gave Hun Sen the power to wage war against land grabbing, but finally it was still impossible to achieve much, because the land grabbers are not people in general, but they are those who are close to Hun Sen. Because everything is not addressed frankly, Hun Sen cannot solve the issue, although the Khmer people, whose land has been grabbed, come to ask for help from Hun Sen, confidently holding the portraits of Hun Sen and his wife.

“On 12 June, in front of diplomats and the World Bank representatives for Cambodia, Hun Sen firmly promised to solve the land issue soon; but it is difficult for the donors to believe him. Hun Sen spoke about the elimination or the reduction of poverty of the citizens. However, the government cannot solve the issue that the rich and powerful people grab poor people’s land. On the contrary, the government even uses force to suppress poor people and helps to take their land for the rich. Thus, it makes the powerful and rich people to have armed forces at their disposal to increasingly harm the poor.

“Mr. Yash Ghai, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia, released a report regarding land concessions in Cambodia. He affirmed that land concessions do not help to develop the economy of the country, but they cause the citizens more sufferings.

“Mr. Yash Ghai agreed that the land law of Cambodia is good, but the government ignores the implementation of this law, allowing the powerful and the rich to grab other people’s land as they like. He said, ‘Khmer people have never received public information about the issue of land concessions, so the rich and powerful people can often deceive the citizens and take their land to make it their own property. And the original inhabitants lose their farmland.

“According to a report from the Ministry of Agriculture, Chinese and Yuon [Vietnamese] companies got the rights to take over tens of thousands of hectares of land in different places, making the Khmer inhabitants lose their land. On 12 June, Chan Sarun, the Minister of Industry [sic – actually he is the Minister of Agriculture], told journalists that on 14 June, he will lead an ASEAN delegation to inspect those forest concession areas where he is accused of corruption, relating to logging.

“According to diplomats of donor countries, concerning the land issue in Cambodia, donors should pay attention to urge the government to conduct reforms and to prevent the grabbing of citizens’ land, because the Khmer people in rural areas are very poor, they survive by farming. However, if all their land is grabbed, how can they survive? Therefore, foreign aid should be given under the condition for the government to prevent the grabbing of people’s land: Just as Mr. Yash Ghai had said, that the Cambodian land law is good, but the government ignores the implementation of this law, making Khmer people suffer without end.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3184, 14.6.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 14 June 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1365, 14.6.2007

  • Japan Welcomes Adoption of Internal Rules of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
  • US International Republican Institute Survey Says [Cambodian] Government Moves on Good Way; Sam Rainsy Party Boasts that if It Governed [the country], It Would Do Ten Times Better
  • World Bank Supports Program “Our Lives, Our Society” of Cambodian National Radio [because they find the program is democratic]
  • Samdech Krom Preah’s Daughter Rattana Devi Resigns as Secretary of State of Ministry of Tourism [reason not mentioned]
  • Deputy Prime Minister Sok An Receives New Laotian Ambassador
  • US Troops Kill 14 Afghan Police [in an attack by mistake]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6065, 14.6.2007

  • Cambodia Still Classified Second Tier on US Human Trafficking List
  • League of Civil Society Organizations Calls for Authorities to Provides Documents for Voters
  • Two Khmer Boys Paid to Look After Cattle for Thai Traders; They Are Shot by Thai Police: One Is Dead and Another Is Wounded [Aranyaprathet, Sakaeo, Thailand]
  • Thailand Invests $6 Billion in Nuclear Center

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3184, 14.6.2007

  • Yash Ghai Says Land Law Is Good, but the Government Doesn’t Care about Implementation
  • Ty Sokun [Director-General of the Forestry Administration and an adviser to Prime Minister Hun Sen] Tries to Condemn Global Witness in Order to Protect Corruption of Himself and His Partisans

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4310, 14.6.2007

  • Mr. Kem Sokha [President of Human Rights Party and former President of Cambodian Center for Human Rights] Is Summoned to Appear in Court on 28 June for Questioning about Defamation [against his former staff]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3061, 14.6.2007

  • Hun Sen Leads Cambodia, Increasing Number of Poor People from 3 Million in 1994 to 5 Million Now

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #4226, 14.6.2007

  • Civil Society Organizations Ask Kem Sokha to Change Party Name [so it is not confusing between NGO and party human rights work]

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Wednesday, 13.6.2007: Samdech Hun Sen Says Social and Economic Inequalities Encourage Society to Be Progressive

Posted on 14 June 2007. Filed under: Political Parties, Week 512 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 512

“Phnom Penh: Samdech Hun Sen said on 12 June that although Cambodia is proud about the social development during the last few years, the Royal Government of Cambodia still has some concerns, because while poverty declined, the social and economic inequalities grow.

“Samdech Prime Minister said at the launch of the World Bank document “Cambodia Equity Report 2007: Sharing Growth” that in fact, we know that in our world there might be no society or government that can guarantee that the social and economic inequities will be solved 100%. We are all witnesses of failure in the efforts to construct a society with 100% equity.

“Samdech said that social and economic inequalities, within certain appropriate limits, are also a fundamental factor and result in an encouragement to society to move ahead by overcoming them and to develop.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia and the World Bank cooperated to arrange the launching of this report about equity in Cambodia in 2007.

“Deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon, the Minister of Finance and Economy, said that the theme and time of the arrangement of the launch is really appropriate to the situation and to the circumstances of development of Cambodia, which is strongly moving forwards and maintains a two digits economic growth rate during the last three years.

“Mr. Keat Chhon said that it is not just by chance that the Rectangular Strategy contains the word “equity;” therefore, to continue to solve problems faced, especially to reduce the gaps and inequities, the Royal Government of Cambodia operates development projects and conducts big reforms in the fields of economy and finances, including public financial reforms, and a strategy for financial development 2006-2015, and it is also strengthening partnerships according to the declarations of the Royal Government with bi-lateral and multi-lateral partners, aiming to achieve harmonized and equalized results.”

“Ms. Nisha Agrawal, the World Bank Country Manger for Cambodia, said that the report evaluating poverty, which was made public in early 2006, is very important, which shows that in general the poverty did decline in Cambodia in the last decade. She said, ‘The present report on equities is also an important report, and we hope that there will be a change, according to the views about inequities in the report.’

“Ms. Nisha Agrawal said that the two reports show the importance of basic analysis, and that the policies have to consider data both relating to quantity and to quality. Especially the two reports show the important work of the National Institute of Statistics, and the need to conduct observations of high quality, and regularly observe the situation of families in the future, as these data can be used to observe the development of overcoming poverty, and the achievement of equity.

“Samdech Hun Sen said that it is important at this time not to guarantee a definite equity in society, but to try to guarantee social equity – i.e. to guarantee to provide the people of all social classes equity and justice, that means that they receive the opportunity for development and for participation in all activities for their whole life, and it is important to guarantee that the people in poverty are definitely not to be left out, and without any care.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1364, 13.6.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1364, 13.6.2007

  • Samdech Hun Sen Says Social and Economic Inequalities Encourage Society to Be Progressive
  • Ministry of Interior Decides to Register Kem Sokha’s Party Officially
  • Pornographic CDs Sold on Top of Dangrek Mountains [Oddar Meanchey]
  • Floods in Bangladesh Kill Nearly 100 People
  • Heat Wave Kills 26 People in Pakistan

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6064, 13.6.2007

  • Norodom Ranariddh Party Decides to Appeal [over Ranariddh’s case]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3183, 13.6.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Demands Hun Sen to Solve Issue of 1,554 Families Evacuated from Sambok Chap Village [Phnom Penh – because most of them do not have accommodations]
  • Asian Human Rights Commission Urges Donor Countries to Pressure the Cambodian Government over Procedures and the Independence of the Courts

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4309, 13.6.2007

  • Thai General [Wattanachai Chaimeunwong] Denies to Have Made the Accusation that Khmer Muslims Are Involved with JI Terrorist Group
  • NGOs Urge Government to Speed Up Law on Access to Information

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3060, 13.6.2007

  • Government Decides to Cancel Five Forest Concessions formerly Given to Companies [reason not mentioned]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #425, 13.6.2007

  • Ky Tech, President of the Cambodian Bar Association, Says Global Witness Report on Thieves’ stealing “Cambodia’s Family Trees” Is Not True

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Tuesday, 12.6.2007: Cambodia Asks Thailand to Show Evidence over Accusation that Khmer Muslims Are Involved in Terrorism in Southern Thailand

Posted on 12 June 2007. Filed under: Week 512 |

Tuesday, 12.6.2007: Cambodia Asks Thailand to Show Evidence over Accusation that Khmer Muslims Are Involved in Terrorism in Southern Thailand

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 512

“Concerning the accusation by a security aide to the Thai Prime Minister against Khmer Muslim citizens, that they are involved in the Jemaah Islamiyah [JI] terrorist network, the head of the Royal Government of Cambodia reacted against the accusation by asking the Thai Government to find the facts and to give evidence, before making an accusation. However, in order to prevent the situation to get worse and worse between the two countries, the head of the Royal Government of Cambodia considers the accusation to be a personal issue of the Thai spokesperson, and not an issue between Cambodia and Thailand.

“Samdech Hun Sen, the head of the Royal Government of Cambodia, reacted in a statement at the inauguration of the construction site for the Prek Kdam Bridge, which is built with grant aid from China, on the morning of 11 June 2007. During the ceremony, Samdech Prime Minister said about the rebellion in the south of Thailand, that previously Thailand accused Malaysia and Indonesia, and now it turns to accuse Cambodia. Regarding the accusation, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen asked Thailand to find the facts and to give clear evidence before making such accusations. Samdech said that Thailand should not try to internationalize its internal problems. Nevertheless, Samdech appealed for the two countries and the people of the two countries to continue to strengthen solidarity with each other, by considering the issue to be a personal issue of the Thai spokesperson only, and not an issue between Cambodia and Thailand.

“Please be informed that a couple of days ago, General Wattanachai Chaimeunwong, a close aide to the Thai Prime Minister, told the media published in their country, that he is accusing that Khmer Muslims are involved in the JI terrorist network and rebellion in Southern Thailand. According to the Bangkok Post, which quoted the speech of the close aide to the Thai Prime Minister, who linked some Cambodian Muslims to the JI terrorist group and said that this issue needs cooperation between Thailand and its neighbor. The close aide and adviser in charge of security said that many Cambodian Muslims join the Gerakan Mujahideen Islam Pattani group. Moreover, the adviser said that terrorist suspects had often been arrested in Cambodia.

“According to an investigation, the adviser also said that a number of Cambodian Muslims entered Thailand legally to continue to find jobs in Malaysia, without a record about their departure from Thailand. It is not known where they have gone. Some go to religious schools and continue religious studies in the far south. It is believed that they are now related to Muslim schools. The report also said that the Cambodian authorities know about the JI movement in Cambodia, because Cambodian nationals had often been arrested on suspicion of involvement with Asian terrorist groups.

“Relating to the accusation, Deputy Prime Minster and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hor Namhong also rejected the accusation, saying that the accusations are groundless and irresponsible. With regard to the accusations, Mr. Hor Namhong also asked the general and adviser to be careful with such accusations, and not to use his own inability to make others a scapegoat, as a pretext to hide his own inability.” Chakraval, Vol.15, #2688, 12.6.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2688, 12.6.2007

  • Cambodia Asks Thailand to Show Evidence over Accusation that Khmer Muslims Are Involved in Terrorism in Southern Thailand
  • Ministry of Information Prohibits Newspapers from Publishing Global Witness Articles

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1363, 12.6.2007

  • Thailand Accuses Cambodia that Nine Casinos at Border Stock Drugs and Conduct Money Laundering
  • Samdech Hun Sen Opens Construction Site for Prek Kdam Cambodian-Chinese Friendship Bridge [Kandal]
  • Radio Free Asia Reporter Mr. Um Sarin [who was threatened by Prime Minister Hun Sen] Went to Attend an International Federation of Journalists’ Conference in Moscow; He Denies Seeking Asylum
  • Malaysian Government Provides 500,000 Copies of Koran to Cambodian Muslims [Phnom Penh]
  • Heat Wave Kills 74 People in India
  • 66 People Die and 600,000 Are Displaced because of Floods in China

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6063, 12.6.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Party Asks National Election Committee to Push Issuing of National Identity Cards, and Stop Issuing Form 1018 [for people who do not have identity cards so they can vote, because it causes people many difficulties]
  • Sam Rainsy Party Announces Support for Royal Family Not to Enter Politics
  • Thai Chargé d’affaires [Surasak Suparat] Promises to Send Cambodia’s Request to Bangkok [over accusation that Cambodian Muslims are involved in terrorism in Southern Thailand]
  • 18 Cambodian Students Get [US post-graduate] Fulbright Scholarships
  • Little Children at Ou Smach Earn Their Living by Pulling Logs from Forest [Banteay Meanchey]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3182, 12.6.2007

  • Parliament Plans to Summon So Khun [Minister of Posts and Telecommunications] for Questioning about State Phone Gateway Theft by Nhek Korsal Vithyea, Director-General of Camintel

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4308, 12.6.2007

  • Most Luxury Wood Furniture Workshops in Stung Treng Are Illegal
  • Two [drunken] Military Police Beat [45-year-old] Monk until He Is Seriously Wounded and Unconscious [military a police chief says because the monk attempted to fight the military police – Tbaeng Meanchey, Preah Vihear]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3059, 12.6.2007

  • Cambodia and Cambodian People Need Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] to Stay in Politics to Save the Nation and the People

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #424, 12.6.2007

  • Seng Keang [logger] Owes Wood Transportation Fees to Residents; Chain Saws Still Sound at Prey Lang, Tum Ring Commune, and in Mean Ritth Commune [Kompong Thom]

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Monday, 11.6.2007: Samdech Krom Preah Moves Towards Being Lonely

Posted on 12 June 2007. Filed under: Week 512 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 512

“Three royal family members of the Norodom line decided to leave politics. This decision shows publicly that three of them follow Samdech Euv [the Father King], who had appealed in February to the royal family members to stay outside politics.

“Princess Norodom Vacheara, the older sister of Prince Norodom Sirivuddh and the younger sister of Samdech Euv, told a local newspapers yesterday, ‘I decided that from 2008 on, I will stop entering politics.’ The Princess stated that she does not want to be with remorse in the future, and she does not want to go back and forth [between different parties?]. She joined Funcinpec in 1998, because Funcinpec followed the political line established by Samdech Euv, Preah Norodom Sihanouk. The Princess said that her decision to leave politics is to follow Samdech Euv, who had appealed for this earlier this year.

“Considering that the monarchy declines because of a number of royal family members, Samdech Euv wanted the royal family to stay outside politics and get special allowances for them. However, some royal family members, such as Prince Norodom Ranariddh and Prince Sisowath Thomico, do not welcome this idea.

“Mr. Hun Sen, the head of the Royal Government, follows Samdech Euv Preah Norodom Sihanouk who wants the royal family to stay outside politics. Mr. Hun Sen also agrees to spend the funds for special allowances for the royal family members, according to their titles. But the royal family members said that if there is a law for the royal family members to stay outside politics, the head of the Royal Government should give them functions for institutions of charity and social affairs, such as the Red Cross .

“Speaking to journalists at Chaktomuk Theater in February, Mr. Hun Sen supported Samdech Euv’s idea by scolding, ‘Some display themselves to be the protectors of the monarchy, while they cannot even protect themselves. How can they protect the monarchy?… How many royal family members are there who display themselves to be protectors of the monarchy? I used to say that the monarchy can be great, it doesn’t depend on a small number of royal family members, but it depends on the participation of the people countrywide and the political parties, especially the parties in power, which have to take responsibility.’

“Ms. Mu Sochua, the Secretary-General of the Sam Rainsy Party, said that Mr. Sam Rainsy once said about this issue that the royal family members have the same right to enter politics like any other people. But in politics there may be criticism against each other, that may affects the monarchy. She stated that the royal family members have a role to protect the symbol and the name of the King.
“Samdech Euv’s message, asking the royal family members to stay outside politics, blamed some royal family members: that they enter politics and display themselves to oppose the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP], while the CPP does not oppose any party. This message was used by Mr. Hun Sen to reply sharply to the royal family members who are political competitors, stating that the CPP had never opposed other parties which declared as their goal to oppose the CPP.

“Mr. Hun Sen boasted that the CPP is protecting the monarchy and the royal family members, even those who declare to oppose the CPP. Mr. Hun Sen said, ‘If you oppose the one who protects the monarchy, it means that you oppose the monarchy… some royal family members, who are shouting noisily, cannot even protect themselves. Some owe debts, some have been [legally] charged, some have this problem and some have that problem. How can they protect the Khmer monarchy when they cannot protect themselves? Those who declare to protect the monarchy actually work against it.’ Mr. Hun Sen added that he never opposes the monarchy, but some demonstrations are unreasonable.

“Mr. Hun Sen stated that the compromise for the royal family to stay outside politics and get special allowances could be implemented only before the national election in 2008. After losing in the elections it could not be possible, because if the royal family members withdraw themselves from politics, they should do with honor before the election, but if they did it it only after they had lost in the election, it is not necessary to create such a special law.

“The head of the Royal Government also spoke about the discussion with Princess Vacheara about a law for the royal family members to stay outside politics. But he did not dare to promote this because he is concerned over criticism that he is afraid of the royal family entering politics.

“Samdech Euv’s request was rejected by Prince Norodom Chakrapong, Prince Sisowath Thomico, and Prince Norodom Ranariddh. Samdech Krom Preah once announced that he would rather give up the royal blood of his body, so that he could stay in politics.

“But now, Prince Chakrapong and Prince Thomico agree for the royal family to stay outside politics, like Mr. Hun Sen too suggests. Therefore, only Samdech Krom Preah, who wants to continue the career as a politician, remains; and this is also a sign that he moves towards being lonely.” Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #4, 10.6.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 11 June 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1362, 10-11.6.2007

  • 015 and 016 Phone Company Plans to Ad Other 500 Areas of Coverage in Cambodia
  • Royal Government Considers Clean Water to Be Priority
  • US Provides $6.4 Billion Aid to Afghanistan

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #482, 11.6.2007

  • Government Orders SGS [Société générale de surveillance] to Investigate Logging in Order to Reflect Global Witness Report

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6062, 11.6.2007

  • Meeting of Judges and Prosecutors for Khmer Rouge Trial on Internal Rules Progresses
  • [19-year-old] Woman Raped and Attacked by a Blade Nine Days before Her Marriage Day; Perpetrators Are Her Former Sweetheart and a Blind Man [who are arrested – Krouch Chhmar, Kompong Cham]
  • Many Naked Cyclists Ride through Many Cities [in the world] Demonstrating against Pollution of the Atmosphere by Motor Vehicles

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3181, 11.6.2007

  • Radio Australia ABC Broadcasts Global Witness Report [about illegal logging in Cambodia]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4307, 10-11.6.2007

  • Cambodia Asks for Preah Vihear Temple to Be Designated as World Heritage
  • Pilgrimage of Kampuchea Krom Khmer Monks and People Postponed, Because It Is Not Permitted by Ministry
  • Samdech Hun Sen Asks Japan to Open Construction Site for Neak Loeung Bridge Soon

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3058, 10-11.6.2007

  • SGS Finds Illegal Logging Like Global Witness Does
  • International Community Must Push Cambodian Government to Solve Land Disputes and Combat Corruption Soon
  • Declaration of Government Officials’ Wealth Seems Not to Have Been Included in Anti-Corruption Law

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #423, 10-11.6.2007

  • Samdech Krom Preah Moves Towards Being Lonely
  • Simon Taylor [Director of Global Witness] Disappointed that Authority Prohibits Sralanh Khmer from Publishing Global Witness Report

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Sunday,2007-06-10: Why Are Cambodian Oil Concession Contracts the Most Unfavorable in the Region?

Posted on 11 June 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 511 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 511

On 17 February 2007, we mirrored the headlines of two articles in the same newspaper, one saying that “the stock market might move down” and the other speaking about a “good climate for investment in Cambodia.”

The two examples above are from astrologers. However, we can frequently find such contradictory statements originating from well reputed economists. This reflects a general difficulty in economics as a science: there is a vast range of data to be collected and evaluated before a somewhat solid prediction can be made – and such predictions are often combined with a series of “IF’s” – describing the conditions under which the prediction is made.

Last Friday, we mirrored the positive outlook the German ambassador has after three years in Cambodia: “German Ambassador Predicts Bright Future for Cambodian Economy” – however, his statement is made with an important condition: “…but He Warns of Corruption.”

Economics – the effort to analyze and describe economic activities through a set of rules, and to develop the rules into elaborate theories, delivers less predictable results than natural science. Even so, economics does show the way to confront statements or claims related to the economy: through rigorous verifying questions and collection and analysis of facts, similar to the ways in which claims about the laws underlying the dynamics in nature are tested.

There are now several threads of public discussion in Cambodia for which such rigorous checking and open exposure of facts and balancing of different elements would be useful.

High level leaders of the Cambodian government have repeatedly spoken about plans to create a stock market in Cambodia – in July 2005 Singaporean Stock Market experts came to provide their experience, and recently international broadcast media reported the Prime Minister’s announcement that in 2009 a stock market will be set up in Cambodia, in order to “mobilize Cambodian people’s savings and channel them into long-term investments in social, economic and infrastructure projects.” – But to entrust one’s savings to such a venture requires trust in, and transparency about, the financial performance of the institutions which could benefit from such investments. As long as many of the major economic actions of the government are kept secret from the public – as are the contracts between the Cambodian government and the companies engaged in oil exploration, for example – it is difficult to imagine how a stock market could find investors.

Article 90 of the Constitution stipulates: “The National Assembly shall approve the national budget, State planning, loans, financial contracts, and the creation, modification and annulment of tax.” Questions are raised by the sudden announcement, in international media on 9 June 2007, that the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, China’s dominant offshore oil and gas producer, has been awarded exclusive exploration and production rights to a 5,000 square kilometer section off Sihanoukville. Has the National Assembly already approved the related state plans and financial contracts, as required in the Constitution? If so, why was it not reported thoroughly in the Khmer language press? If not, when will the details of the contract be sent to the National Assembly for approval? These questions seem especially important because it is reported that the Director of Exploration of the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority has stated that some details of the revenue sharing agreement with Chevron, concluded in 2003, have been kept confidential between Chevron and the Authority. How can the National Assembly approve a financial contract, if its details are not known?

The discussion about the possible consequences of substantial income from oil and natural gas, which might become available in coming years, has become more and more complicated during the last couple of weeks. The Prime Minister has commented frequently that different agencies “are concerned about our income from oil which has not yet been received” – and that they should not worry, because the current Cambodian government knows how to use the oil revenue for the benefit of citizens and the country. But during this last week, he asked foreign governments to intervene and “help first to negotiate with the foreign companies, in order to encourage them to give big shares to Cambodia.” – “For instance, for Chevron of America, the US Embassy should speak with the company so that it gives big shares to Cambodia.”

Such a request cannot easily receive much positive response. First of all, the relevant agreements and contracts have already been concluded by the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority [CNPA] with several foreign companies. Mr. Men Den, the director of the CNPA’s petroleum exploration department, has recently been quoted in the Cambodia Daily to have stated, when refuting warnings contained in international studies, that the CNPA is fully equipped to handle contract negotiations. “I’ve known petroleum for 20 years. We can do it. I guarantee it.” Recently, the Prime Minister appealed to the World Bank and to the Asian Development Bank to employ national and not international experts.

We mirrored on 8 May 2007 the call by UNDP, that “Cambodia Has to Build Capacity to Benefit from Oil,” a reminder of the detailed critical questions raised in January 2006. Already more than one year ago, a UNDP funded study “Review of Development Prospects and Options for the Cambodian Oil and Gas Sector,” which had been developed in cooperation with the CNPA and Harvard University in the USA, had pointed out:

In general, the terms of the current Model Production Sharing Contracts [PSC] are generous in favor of the Contractor. The Contractor may receive up to 90% of the post royalty production in order to recover costs. The remaining 10% of production will be split between the Contractor and the CNPA on a sliding scale.

The marginal profit oil split in the Model PSC is the lowest of all profit oil splits when compared to terms of PSC’s from other countries in the region. Additionally, the Model PSC is the most generous in the region in allowing contractors to recover costs from oil revenue. The 90% allowance for cost recovery limits the amount of possible cash flow that will become available to Cambodia in the early stages of production.

The Model PSC is a product of the period when it was first developed… At the time, CNPA also had very little experience in negotiating revenue contracts. Given the shift in negotiating leverage, CNPA should regularly revisit its Model PSC and its approach to negotiating future PSC’s in order to maximize, to the greatest extant possible, revenue and benefit for the Cambodian economy. Even modest improvements in the Model PSC can result in large marginal gains for the Cambodian side given the length of the contracts and the amounts of revenue involved.

At this point, there does not seem to be much room for foreign government intervention into contracts which the Cambodian government has directly negotiated. The Cambodian National Petroleum Authority has no website of its own on the Internet, which makes it difficult for anyone to research what the current situation is, or what steps could be helpful. Some information about the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority can be collected from websites in Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, and Thailand, and from the web sites of the Asian Development Bank. The most detailed information, however, is on a website of Concessions International, a private company advising a number of energy companies around the world and helping them to facilitate and structure business, prepare information, and assist in negotiations and documentations.

This organization posts, on their website, a collection of more than 40 laws, agreements, Royal resolutions, Krams, Krets, and Anukrets, relating to oil and related investments, taxation, and other aspects of concessions that the Cambodian government has given.

That documentation supports the observation in the UNDP study that apparently Cambodia has signed some contracts which are the most unfavorable – for the country and the citizens in whose interest the government is mandated to act – in the whole region of South-East Asia. Why did that happen? Who benefits?

To clarify this situation is not only of academic interest for the past – it is very important for the way in which the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority conducts its present and future business. Maybe some response to the request which the Prime Minister addressed to other countries – to help Cambodia get high income from oil – is already contained in the recent comments by the German ambassador: that there should be – according to the Cambodian Constitution – a real separation between the executive, the legislative, and the power of the courts, and that there should be no administrative interference into the free flow of information, especially when there are calls to clarify whether accusations about improper handling of concessions and their revenue are justified or not.

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Saturday, 9.6.2007: Sam Rainsy Party Demands Voter Registration Cards for 2008 to Be Issued by Computer

Posted on 10 June 2007. Filed under: Week 511 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 511

“As a part of efforts to guarantee justice and fairness for the elections in 2008, the Sam Rainsy Party [SRP] demands voter registration cards to be issued by computer.

“The SRP said in a statement on 7 June 2007 which Moneaksekar Khmer received on Friday morning, ‘To guarantee free and fair elections, we demand the use of computerization throughout Cambodia – i.e. the voter registration cards are to be issued by computer and given to the voters in 2008, including to young people who are now 17 years old.’

“This demand was made after the SRP had found many negative aspects which happened during the previous elections, which are described by the party – a party which uses tricks towards the people, as it tends towards the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] and cause obstacles to the supporters of the opposition party and to other people whom they find that they do not support the CPP.

“The statement said that the government tries to prevent voters, who are not CPP supporters, from voting in 2008.

“For the election on 27 July 2008, the SRP sees two main weak points, based on previous experience, such as the complications which made a number of people fail to vote on 1 April 2007. This is not acceptable, and it happened extensively due to the incompetence or the intention of the administration of the election process.

“As a policy of the opposition party in Cambodia, and as a democratic one, it has to do whatever possible to achieve the ‘all who have the right to vote must be able vote’ goal.

“This party revealed irregularities which happened, because the organizers misunderstood, or they had the intention, to do what happened, so that the voter lists were challenged. The SRP warned, ‘This issue must be solved for the 2008 election.’ And to overcome these problems, the SRP strongly demands that the arrangement for the elections should be conducted very carefully and strictly, for the voter lists to be correct; so the SRP finds that everything should be started in September [the date for election is 27 July 2008] so that at least 45 days before the election day everything is finished.

“The Sam Rainsy Party also reminded people of the wicked tricks of local officials, people of the CPP, whose purpose is to do whatever to make members of other parties to lose their rights to vote – for instance, that village chiefs distributed information cards, but they distributed them only to the people about whom they knew that they are CPP supporters. For the other people, the officials just passed their houses. In addition, some commune and subdistrict officials also tried to keep the names of displaced people and the names of dead people on the lists, so they could easily conduct fraud.

“Concerning this, the SRP demanded that the commune and subdistrict authorities must remove the names of displaced and of dead people from the voter lists. Moreover, the SRP also reminded the National Election Committee, ‘Don’t forget that foreigners have no right to vote.’

“The second issue is also described in its report: that there are many Khmer people who left their homes to find jobs in other places, such as in neighboring communes, or to work in Phnom Penh, or to move to different populated areas, as well as to neighboring countries to find jobs – but whose names were deleted from the lists after their absence, because they went to find jobs to earn their living somewhere else. Regarding this issue, they may have lost their right to vote, that is why the SRP demands that this problem be urgently stopped.

“Concerning the above mistakes, the SRP voiced concern and demands to prevent that names of voters, who are known that they do not support the CPP, will be removal from the lists.

“The first step which the SRP finds which could improve and lead to fairness for the 2008 National Election, is that the voter registration cards to be issued by computer. It is a way which is known that it can be used to avoid confusion and politicization of the 2018 [sic – it should be 2008] election procedure.

“Relating to this, Mr. Sam Rainsy, the leader of the opposition party, also stated on 7 June 2007 during the meeting with the commune and subdistrict council members in Phnom Penh, that almost 90% of those who failed to vote, because they had lost their right to vote in the previous elections, are people who wanted to support the SRP. Mr. Sam Rainsy linked this comment to the questions of non-government organizations who had asked ten people, and nine of them said they would have voted for the SRP, therefore, the policy of the SRP at this time is to do whatever, so that all those who have a right to vote can vote.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3180, 9-10.6.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 9 June 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1361, 9.6.2007

  • Kem Sokha [President of Human Rights Party] Does Not Care about a Mocking Poem [about his political ambition, by Suon Sereyratha living in the USA]
  • North Korea Test-fires Anti-Ship Missiles

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6061, 9-10.6.2007

  • No Addition of Parliamentary Seats: Council of Ministers Keeps Same Number for Fourth Term Parliamentary Seats at 123
  • National Assembly Adopts Amendment [of articles 139 and 144 of labor law]: Working at Night Is to Get 130%; Working Overtime Is to Get 200% [of salary]
  • Criminal Procedural Code of 162 Articles Is Adopted by National Assembly
  • [South] Korean Company [Booyoung Co, Ltd.] Provides 300 School Buildings to Royal Government of Cambodia
  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Businesspeople Rush to Buy Monkeys to Export to Vietnam [Preah Vihear]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3180, 9-10.6.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Party Demands Voter Registration Cards for 2008 to Be Issued by Computer
  • German Ambassador: Illegal Logging Spreads in Cambodia; Positions of Forestry Administration Officials Are Sold and Put Up for Bid
  • Mr. Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Pushes [Minister of Interior] Sar Kheng to Issue Identity Cards and Family Record Books to Kampuchea Krom Khmers
  • Prime Minister Doesn’t Need Foreign Consultants, but He Needs Yuon [Vietnamese] Experts, Doesn’t He? [says an official at the Council of Ministers – mocking]
  • 3-Star General [named not given] of Ministry of Interior Pulls Out Gun and Points It at Électricité du Cambodge Official’s Head, Because Electricity to His House Is Cut Off [because he did not pay electricity fees]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4306, 9.6.2007

  • Cambodian People Compete with Each Other to Change Cars; Sellers Are Happy [Ean Samay, Director of a car magazine, says sellers of new cars and used cars said that their business increases, a symbol of economic growth. Increasing number of cars on narrow streets cause traffic jams. An official says traffic jams are caused by drivers who do not respect the laws.]
  • Thai Military Officer [Burapha Special Task Force – at border – Division 12 commander Col. Chaichaiyan Sothornchai ] Asks for Suspension of Visas to Cambodian Muslims
  • Ministry of Environment Decides to Suspend Activity of Dyeing [Lin’s Textile Co, Ltd.] Factory in Sihanoukville and Fine It Riel 10 Million [approx. US$2,500, because it releases liquid waste into the sea]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3057, 9.6.2007

  • More Corruption and More Serious Human Rights Violations – Cambodia Gets More Aid [mocking]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #422, 9.6.2007

  • German Ambassador Criticizes Government for Confiscating Global Witness Books; Mr. Pius Fischer Says He Once Heard the Sound of Chain Saws During the Night at Oral Mountains [as he stayed there overnight – Kompong Speu]
  • Cambodian Ambassador to Britain [Hor Nambora] Asks International Community to Stop Aid to Global Witness; Director of Global Witness Asks Donors to Pressure Hun Sen

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