Archive for July, 2007

Monday, 30.7.2007: Bombs Set at “Ten Thousand Years” Khmer-Yuon Friendship Statute While Kampuchea Krom Khmers Demand Finding Monk Tim Sakhan

Posted on 31 July 2007. Filed under: Week 519 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 519

“On Sunday morning of 29 July 2007, Khmer officials found locally hand-made bombs placed by unknown people in the park opposite Wat Botum in Phnom Penh.

“The officials were very much concerned, finding the bombs at the “Ten Thousand Year” Khmer-Yuon [Vietnamese] Friendship Statue, where early morning at 5:20 on 29 July one bomb had exploded.

“After the scare about the explosion of a locally made bomb, Khmer officials found two more locally made bombs; the second bomb exploded by itself at 11:15, and the third bomb was destroyed by Cambodian Mine Action Center experts, using their technical procedures, at 11:50 on the same 29 July 2007.

“The bombing by unknown people did not kill or injure anybody.

“According to Mr. Chan Saveth, an official of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association [ADHOC], the authorities arrested four people who had been staying under the trees opposite Wat Botum, for questioning and to make a report.

“The four people who were arrested are Chhay, Yi, Ta Yeak, and Rak. After the police arrested and questioned them, the four people were taken away in order to draw rough sketches of the people whom they had seen who set the bombs, to show their drawings to the officials.

“The officials who destroyed the locally made bombs were led by General Hok Lundy, the director general of the National Police, Touch Naroth, the Municipal Police commissioner, Mr. Kep Chutema, the Phnom Penh municipal governor, and many other officials, including Mr. Khem Sophoan, the director general of the Cambodian Mine Action Center, who led the experts who destroyed the unexploded bomb.

Mr. Suon Rindy, the cabinet chief of the Phnom Penh municipality, told journalists that the setting of bombs at the Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Statue is political destruction, while the Cambodian political situation is stable.

“The setting of three locally made bombs at the “Ten Thousand Years” Khmer-Yuon Friendship Statue on the morning of 29 July was committed, while the leaders and monks of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association as well as ADHOC and LICADHO [the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights] demand the Phnom Penh Government to clarify the whereabouts of the Monk Tim Sakhan who was defrocked on 30 June 2007 and taken away in a car.

“The Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association, ADHOC and LICADHO suspect that Monk Tim Sakhan, the head monk of Wat Phnom Den in Kiri Vong district, Takeo, is being detained in Yuon [Vietnam].

“Mr. Ny Chakrya, an ADHOC observer, and Monk Yoeung Sin, the president of the Kampuchea Krom Monks’ Association and at the same time head monk of Wat Samaki Reangsey, as well as Mr. Sam Ath, a LICADHO observer, and Mr. Tim Thiem, the father of Monk Tim Sakhan, demand the Cambodian authorities to clarify where the monk Tim Sakhan is; if he is dead, his body has to be shown, and if he is in jail, it is necessary to allow that he can be visited.

“Monk Yoeun Sin and Mr. Thach Setha, the president of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association and a former Sam Rainsy Party senator, once had warned that there would be a large demonstration in Phnom Penh, demanding Mr. Hun Sen’s government to show where the monk Tim Sakhan is, who was defrocked by the authorities on 30 June 2007 and taken way without leaving any information.

“The setting of bombs at the “Ten Thousand Years” Khmer-Yuon Friendship Statue makes human rights officials concerned about the safety of activists of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association, as this may lead to unjustified accusations, which might lead to the arrest of the leaders of the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association in Cambodia.” Thngay Nis, Vol.14, #618, 30-31.7.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 30 July 2007

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1404, 29-30.7.2007

  • Krom Preah Demands Car Back from Serey Kosal [former deputy secretary-general of the Norodom Ranariddh Party who has recently joined Funcinpec], the Car Is Pawned Off
  • Thai Government Will Deploy Troops to Control Demonstrators [against the results of the military coup]
  • Mr. Gorbachev Criticizes US Imperialism

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #500, 30.7.2007

  • One of Three Locally Made Bombs Set in an Attempt to Destroy the Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Memorial Opposite Wat Botum Exploded

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6104, 30.7.2007

  • Attempt to Destroy the Vietnamese Troop Memorial: Terrorists Used TNT Explosives with Fertilizer to Produce the Bombs, They Used a Remote Control Units to Make One of the Three Bombs Explode

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3223, 30.7.2007

  • Local Bombing at Khmer-Yuon [Vietnamese] Friendship Statute Stuns the Whole Phnom Penh
  • Holding Congress to Select Town and Provincial Party Representatives Countrywide Is Democracy of Sam Rainsy Party

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4349, 29-30.7.2007

  • Krom Preah Demands Land Cruiser Back from Serey Kosal after Serey Kosal Has Joined Funcinpec

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3065, 29-30.7.2007

  • Duch to Be Taken from Military Prosecution to Be Detained in New Detention Building of Khmer Rouge Tribunal
  • UN to Appoint New Chief of Human Rights Office [in Cambodia – Christoph Peschoux] Who Is a Historian about Khmer Rouge Issues

Thngay Nis, Vol.14, #618, 30-31.7.2007

  • Bombs Set at “Tens Thousands Years” Khmer-Yuon Friendship Statute While Kampuchea Krom Khmers Demand Finding Monk Tim Sakhan

Toussanak Khmer, [no volume number] #219, 30-31.7.2007

  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Government Sends More Yuon Nationals to Sell Grilled Potatoes [mocking at the influx of illegal Vietnamese immigrants who sell grilled potatoes in Cambodia]

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Sunday,2007-07-29: Circular and Linear Times

Posted on 30 July 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 518 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 518

Politics are not following circular time lines – like the annual festivals do, which come again and again, with little variation: we know already more or less what to expect when the next Water Festival comes, or the next three New Years: the International, the Chinese, and the Khmer New Year. And this expectation is common – individual persons may have different expectations – but the society as a whole knows what will come and how to prepare for it.

It is good to reflect sometimes on the two different aspects of time: the circular, and the historic, linear time line, on which we move on – and there is no way to go back. Even when we experience certain similarities in the future which remind us of experiences of the past, they are not the same.

The past week brought two important steps in the flow of time of society. Both have been expected:

  1. The Khmer Rouge Trial started to move ahead, because – after the hurdle of finally clarifying the procedural questions – the prosecutors handed over the first documents on five persons whom they think should be called before the court.
  2. And the Human Rights Party held its first party congress, corporately deciding its internal structure and electing the major officials – again, setting a process in motion which had been expected for weeks and months, and about which there had been rumors since years.

Both events have their past history. Not everybody agrees about its meaning – but it is possible to share information, to put facts and opinions together, and to arrive at a certain general view where we come from.

In the case of the Khmer Rouge Trial, the probing of past facts, and then their interpretation, is the main task for the court – but it does not stop with this view into the past. Apart from the fact that a trial is held not only in order to establish justice for past injustice – it always contains also the element of looking into the future: to learn from what went wrong in the past in order to take precautions that past mistakes should not be repeated in future. The emphasis during this probing along a linear time line is, however, on the past when a court tries to find its verdict. But the future is open: we can have all kind of speculations and hopes – but only when the judges will have spoken their verdicts will we know what kind of challenges will be posed towards the future.

With the other event – the creation of the Human Rights Party – the linear time line originates in the recent social and political experiences on the country in the past reaching up to the present, drawing also on convictions about the importance of the respect for Human Rights in other times and in other countries, while working towards an ever more human society in the future. Basically a new starting point for an historical development into the future has been set, by creating a party. To set up a party means to create an instrument for public participation and public action towards the future. Nobody can predict with certainty what will happen. And it will not just “happen” – because what will “happen” depends, actually, on what people will “actively do.”

As for the Khmer Rouge Trial, the public has to wait for the announcement of the next steps.

As for the struggle, along a linear time line towards the future of society which a new party, the challenge is to move towards the next general elections in 2008. The basis has been established – but to the surprise of many, the main adversaries seem to be, so far, political groups outside of the government confronting each other. It will be most interesting to see if, and when, such internal infighting, will be overcome: and the activists of this and other parties, and the people in the electorate, will decide how the linear time line, from one legislature to the next, will be designed.

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Saturday, 28.7.2007: President of World Bank Will Be Strongly Criticized by Hun Sen if He Dares to Speak about the Facts in Cambodia

Posted on 29 July 2007. Filed under: Week 518 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 518

“The new World Bank president, Mr. Robert Zoellick, will visit Cambodia from 4 to 8 August 2007 in order to study the facts in Cambodia. During this first visit, he will meet with government officials, the opposition leader Mr. Sam Rainsy, and officials of non-government organizations.

“However, some officials said that Mr. Robert Zoellick will be strongly criticized by Prime Minister Hun Sen, if he dares to speak about the facts in Cambodia like Mr. Yash Ghai did, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Human Rights in Cambodia did.

“Mr. Bou Saroeun, a World Bank media officer, told Radio Free Asia on Friday morning that Mr. Robert Zoellick plans to discuss with Prime Minister Mr. Hun Sen, with some senior officials of the government, as well as with representatives of non-government organizations in Cambodia, especially also with citizens who are beneficiaries of World Bank projects.

“The World Bank office in Cambodia issued a press release on Thursday, saying that Cambodia, which has special circumstances for its development in many respects, has had two digits economic growth rates in the past three years. However, to build good governance is the main challenge.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy, the president of the Sam Rainsy Party, said that he has planned to raise some issues, and he plans to urge Mr. Robert Zoellick to take appropriate actions against corruption, in order to stop illegal logging.

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the Minister of Information and the spokesperson of the government, affirmed that this visit to Cambodia is good, in order to clearly understand the real situation in Cambodia. Mr. Khieu Kanharith said, ‘He comes directly to meet face to face, so that we can better discuss our work. So far, the World Bank has participated a lot in development.’

“Dr. Pung Chiev Kek [Kek Galabru], the Director of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, said that she will also raise some issues for Mr. Robert Zoellick, for example corruption, because the World Bank carries out a lot of research. She hopes that the World Bank president will raise this issue – corruption – to discuss it with Khmer leaders.

“Last year, the government and the World Bank had a mutual confrontation, after the World Bank had carried out an audit and found corruption in the expenses of a number of development projects, amounting to US$12.9 million, which made the World Bank suspend projects of more than US$60 million and demand the government to repay the money which had been stolen by corrupt officials. The audit of the World Bank revealed corruption in 43 projects, among many other projects, related to four ministries.

“The report angered Prime Minister Mr. Hun Sen and Mr. Keat Chhon, the Minister of Economy and Finance. Mr. Hun Sen and Mr. Keat Chhon claimed that the report was political in order to defame the government led by the Cambodian People’s Party.

“At that time Mr. Hun Sen asked the World Bank to show evidence and present witnesses; however, the World Bank could not do that in order not to reveal confidential informers. Mr. Hun Sen said that if the World Bank did not show witnesses, this would mean that the World Bank would accuse the ministers of four ministries of being the thieves and he himself would also be accused of being their superior.

“The World Bank warned that if the lost money of $12.9 million was not repaid, this international monetary institution would stop providing aid, and cut the aid money and the loans of more than US$60 million already decided upon. After that, the government quietly repaid the money to the World Bank and noted in the minutes of the Council of Ministers that the World Bank report will be kept confidential, and if any official would disclose it to journalists, they would be punished.

“Government officials said that the meeting between Mr. Robert Zoellick may make Mr. Hun Sen angry, like when he got angry with Mr. Yash Ghai, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Human Rights in Cambodia, if Mr. Robert Zoellick dares to speak about the facts in Cambodia.” Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #464, 28.7.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 28 July 2007

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2701, 28.7.2007

  • Royal Government Warns It May Revoke the License for the Long Chhin Company Development Project if It Is Found to Have Seriously Violated Its Permissions

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1403, 28.7.2007

  • If Thailand Closes Entrance to Preah Vihear Temple Again, Cambodia Will Close If Forever [warns Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • Children at Border Area Deceived and Exploited Like Animals [they are promised jobs in Thailand, but finally are taken to work in brothels in Thailand]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6103, 28-29.7.2007

  • Action to Save Kobsrov Lake [from being filled]; Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen Decides to Remove Two Officials [deputy governors] of Kandal Province
  • Samdech Prime Minister Pushes Study for Construction of Roads to Pailin and to Preah Vihear Temple
  • Cambodian Red Cross Receives [US$30,000 as] Gifts from Chinese Red Cross, and Other Gifts [money, rice, and serum] from Ministry of Defense
  • 20 Million Condoms Used in Cambodia Every Year [according to National Authority against AIDS]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3222, 28-29.7.2007

  • Opposition Leader Will Urge New President of World Bank to Take Action against Corruption and Illegal Logging
  • Beijing Orders Khmer Government to Help Prevent Taipei Movement [referendum towards declaration of independence of Taiwan]
  • Experts of [US based International Republican Institute and some other] International Organizations Criticize Current Cambodian Government for Dictatorship in Democratic Clothes

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4348, 28.7.2007

  • Cambodian Economic Growth in 2007 Will Be More Than 9% [according to Chea Chanto, governor of National Bank of Cambodia]
  • Ministry of Health Official [Ly Sovann] Warns of Eating Pork from Sick Pigs
  • “Death Game”: One of Two Young Men Used His Legs to Steer His Motorcycle and Hit a Car, Both of Them Died [he and another person on the back seat]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #464, 28.7.2007

  • President of World Bank Will Be Strongly Criticized by Hun Sen if He Dares to Speak about Facts in Cambodia
  • US Diplomat [Eric G. John, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs]: China Is Source of Corruption in Cambodia and in ASEAN [trying to increase economic and political influence, China directs substantial funds for construction of roads and infrastructures in order to promote its trade in the region]
  • Khmer Ancient Artifacts Seized in US to Be Returned to Cambodia

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Friday, 27.7.2007: Samdech Krom Preah Uses Communication Technology to Do Politics from Abroad

Posted on 28 July 2007. Filed under: Week 518 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 518

“Phnom Penh: Without returning to Cambodia for a court verdict and possible punishment, Samdech Krom Preah uses communication technology to do political propaganda to attract voters to support the Norodom Ranariddh Party.

“Mr. Muth Chantha, the spokesperson of the Norodom Ranariddh Party, told Rasmei Kampuchea on the afternoon of 16 July, ‘The Prince wants to meet the people at local level by phone. When officials of the Norodom Ranariddh Party go to visit at the local level, the Prince contacts them by phone, connected to a megaphone, so he can talk to the people.’ Mr. Muth Chantha said that on 26 July, Samdech Krom Preah, who is staying in Malaysia, talked by phone up to six or seven times to people in Svay Rieng, Kratie, and Kompong Cham. On 25 July, the Prince talked to people in Prey Veng and in some other provinces. Samdech Krom Preah has started to talk to people by phone since after the Commune and Subdistrict Council Elections.

“Mr. Muth Chantha quoted from a speech by Samdech Krom Preah, ‘From now on, everything with Funcinpec is finished, we no longer care about it.’

“As Samdech Krom Preah decided to close the door to Funcinpec, Mr. Muth Chantha said that the Prince still believes that there are three possibilities.

“The three possibilities are:

  1. the Appeals Court may provide justice,
  2. Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen may support him, and
  3. a pardon from the King.

“A political analyst considered the dispute between Samdech Krom Preah and Funcinpec to be a loss for both sides, because at this time, the Prince needs Funcinpec so that he can return to the country, and Funcinpec needs the Prince to strengthen the monarchist party, so that it is strong to participate in Cambodian politics.

“The analyst said that by talking to the people by phone, Samdech Krom Preah is trying to keep his political role still vivid, though he cannot enter the country to visit the voters directly. The analyst continued. ‘However, what is the benefit for Samdech Krom Preah if he cannot be free from punishment before the 2008 election? It is just a political activity which is not bearing any fruit for him.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4347, 27.7.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 27 July 2007

Areyathor, Vol.14, #1256, 27-28.7.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Fears that Human Rights Party of Mr. Kem Sokha Has Cambodian People’s Party Backing
  • Sam Rainsy Party Will Fall with Head Upside Down in Term Four [next parliamentary election – because it loses supporters to the Human Rights Party]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1402, 27.7.2007

  • Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Laotian Border Demarcations Progress
  • Cambodian Parliament Will Hold 30th Anniversary Commemoration of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization on 30 July 2007
  • Cold Weather Kills 70 Children in Peru
  • 66 People Dead and 23 Million Affected by Floods in Indonesia

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #499, 27.7.2007

  • Fake Democrat Sam Rainsy Leads the [Sam Rainsy] Party with Dictatorship

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6102, 27.7.2007

  • 14-Year-Old Boy Sentenced to 4 Years’ Imprisonment on Accusation of Raping 5-Year-Old Girl [Dangkao, Phnom Penh]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3221, 27.7.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Pushes Im Soursdey [President of National Election Committee] to Widely Publicize Information about Cleaning of Voter Lists and Voter Registration 2007
  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Prime Ministers Can Be Changed, but Khmer Prime Minister Can Not
  • Ieng Sary Keeps Silence While Nuon Chea and Khiev Samphan Try to Distance Themselves from the Killing Fields Regime
  • Illegal Logging to Claim Land in Kampot, Ratanakiri, and Siem Reap Persists

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4347, 27.7.2007

  • Samdech Krom Preah Uses Information Technology to Do Politics from Abroad
  • Pig Sickness and Bird Flu Strongly Spread in Vietnam
  • Morocco Seeks Supports from Cambodia for Candidacy as Asia Cooperation Dialogue Partner

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Thursday, 26.7.2007: Two Ministries Join With Each Other to Solve Crisis; Centers for Justice Services on District Levels Are Created to Find Out-of-Court Dispute Solutions

Posted on 27 July 2007. Filed under: Week 518 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 518

“Phnom Penh: Disputes at the local level are often caused by officials who delay decisions, or have the attitude of escaping from solving problems, and who mostly leave problems to be solved at higher levels. Because of protests at local level are not effective, protesters often come to Phnom Penh and submit their complaints to the National Assembly, or they protest opposite Samdech Hun Sen’s villa, at the Council of Ministers, or at the Ministry of Interior, especially over land disputes.

“In an attempt to test solving disputes at the local level as a mechanism of solving disputes out-of-court, an inter-ministerial announcement on the creation of centers for justice services on the district level as a pilot project was made by the Ministry of Interior and signed by Mr. Sar Keng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Mr. Ang Vong Vathna, Minister of Justice, on 20 December 2006; however, the related processes, which are organized and funded by the United Nations Development Program [UNDP], have not yet been arranged as a clear system, but today, the project site in Phnom Sruoch District, Kompong Speu, was inaugurated in order to help the commune and district councils to know how to solve existing disputes at their local levels. Phnom Sruoch is considered to be a place of sharp land disputes in Kompong Speu.

“The official, who was appointed for the center of justice services at the district level, said that the principle of this project makes justice get closer and closer to poor citizens, increasing the capacity of the system of solving disputes at commune and subdistrict levels out-of-court.

“The sites for the pilot projects will be in Tuek Phos and Kompong Leaeng districts, Kompong Chhnang, and in Phnom Sruoch and Kong Pisei districts, Kompong Speu. The centers are created by an announcement of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Interior, stating that the main functions of the centers are:

  1. To provide technical assistance to a system for solving disputes out-of-court at commune and subdistrict levels, by using skills towards reconciliation built up through training and consultations.
  2. To suggest other ideas about legal procedures to the parties of disputes who do not want to solve their disputes through reconciliation at the commune and subdistrict levels, or whenever their disputes are outside of the scope of this system for solving disputes, and the parties in a disputes come to ask for suggestions from the centers. This means that the centers point to lawyers’ services and court procedures that they have to know well, before entering into court procedures.
  3. To reconcile disputes, if the parties of a dispute voluntarily ask for reconciliation.
  4. To publicize information about laws to the commune and subdistrict councils and to the public, laws which are necessary for the everyday life of the citizens at the local level.

“To implement this, the Ministry of Justice appoints one official for one district to lead the center, and the Ministry of Interior appoints another official for the district as the assistant to the leader of the center. The groups of the project for solving disputes out-of-court of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Interior are to be trained regularly and continuously once every three months by UNDP officials. A training course was held in the middle of this month at the Ministry of Justice for related officials, district governors, and deputy district governors of the districts that receive the project, about the nature of disputes at the local level, and how to solve disputes out-of-court, as well as about some basic laws.

“For the system of solving disputes out-of-court in communes, such centers will be created or organized in 20 communes of the four districts. When they are organized, the officials of the centers will arrange training sessions consistently and regularly for the members of the system. In the meantime, officials, who observe the reconciliation of disputes, will suggest ideas to the system in order to improve the technique of reconciliation. The officials will also assess the needs of knowledge about laws for the system of commune councils and for citizens in general, then make plans in order to make this system widely known.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6101, 26.7.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 26 July 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1401, 26.7.2007

  • Right to Access Information Is Fundamental in a Democratic Society [says Information Minister Khieu Kanharith in a workshop organized by the Ministry of National Assembly and Senate Relations and Inspection, and PACT, an NGO in Cambodia]
  • Ministry of Information Officials Support Halt to Cigarette Commercials
  • Cambodia Still Adheres to the One-China Policy
  • Private Sector Plans to Create Industrial Economic Area at Cambodian-Thai Border
  • Young Man Robs [5-year-old] Girl of 0.2 Chi of Gold Earrings [US$16], Then Rapes and Kills Her [he is arrested – Kratie]
  • Heat Wave Kills 500 People in Hungary

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6101, 26.7.2007

  • Two Ministries Join With Each Other to Solve Crisis; Centers for Justice Services on District Levels Are Created to Find Out-of-Court Dispute Solutions
  • Two Peruvian Men and One Thai Woman Get 20 Years’ Imprisonment Each for Trafficking Cocaine from Cambodia [Phnom Penh]
  • Three Cambodian Students Get Erasmus Mundus Scholarships from the European Union

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4346, 26.7.2007

  • Nuon Chea Advises Khmers Not to Consider Each Other to Be Enemies Any Longer, and Asks Them Not to Be Overly Ambitious
  • Cambodia Is Still Suspected of Selling Weapons to Tamil Tiger Fighters in Sri Lanka
  • 25 Thai Companies Seek Business Partners in Siem Reap
  • Royal Government Decides to Provide New Identification Cards to Khmer Nationals of Both Sexes Aged 15 and Up
  • Phnom Penh Municipality Takes Legal Action against Samleng Yuvachun Khmer [accusing the paper to have spread false information through an article on 17 July: ‘Kep Chutema has sold municipality building’]
  • 3,000 Hectares of Rice in Kiri Vong Harmed by Insects [Takeo]
  • Infinity General Insurance Company[owner: Oknha Kit Meng] Officially Inaugurated [Phnom Penh]
  • Chief of the US Military [in the Asia-Pacific, Admiral Timothy Keating]: US Can Protect Taiwan [from any attack by China]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3096, 26.7.2007

  • Anti-Corruption Law Remains Unsolved Topic

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #462, 26.7.2007

  • Son Chhay and Yim Sovann [SRP parliamentarians from Phnom Penh] Question Sar Kheng about Disappearance of Chief Monk Tim Sakhan [who has recently been defrocked on accusation of perpetrating an offense against the Buddhist law, because he broke the unity between Vietnam and Cambodia]

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Wednesday, 25.7.2007: Sam Rainsy Asserts that Human Rights Party Is Supported by Cambodian People’s Party

Posted on 25 July 2007. Filed under: Week 518 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 518

“The leader of the no-longer opposing Sam Rainsy Party accused the Human Rights Party of Mr. Kem Sokha of being a political tool of the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP]. Mr. Sam Rainsy said publicly yesterday morning at the office of World Vision that the Human Rights Party is supported and sponsored by the CPP; however, Kem Sokha denied what Mr. Sam Rainsy said.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy said that the Human Rights Party of Mr. Kem Sokha is supported by the CPP, which can be seen clearly because throughout the congress, which was cared for by the government, there was even an explosives detection system available for the congress of Mr. Kem Sokha. Mr. Sam Rainsy said that the congress of the Human Rights Party is not different from the congress of Funcinpec which was held on 18 October 2006 for the removal of Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh. He explained that the congress of Funcinpec had bodyguards to protect it, and careful explosives detection procedures were in place which have never been available before. It can be said that the ruling party has never had any sympathy or support for other parties, like it helped the Human Rights Party of Mr. Kem Sokha.

“At the Funcinpec congress, a number of police officials, known as government officials, were sent to protect the Funcinpec congress. It is known that the congress of Funcinpec was supported by the ruling party. According to Mr. Sam Rainsy, the Human Rights Party organized the congress at this time not different from what Funcinpec had done in October.

“As for Mr. Kem Sokha, he responded to Mr. Sam Rainsy saying, ‘Because Mr. Sam Rainsy is frightened like a young bird when he saw that the congress of the Human Rights Party on Sunday was crowded and sounded like a busy rice mill. It can be said that Mr. Sam Rainsy fears a split of votes and losing in the election, as he saw the Human Rights Party forces were a big crowd in Phnom Penh.’

“While Mr. Sam Rainsy criticized the Human Rights Party of Mr. Kem Sokha for having good relations with the CPP, Mr. Nguon Nhel, a senior CPP official and member of the Permanent Committee of
the CPP Central Committee, expressed his position of favorably considering the Human Rights Party of Mr. Kem Sokha. This shows more and more that there is no problem between the CPP and the Human Rights Party of Mr. Kem Sokha. It can be said that the two parties have very good relations and cooperate with each other, like the Sam Rainsy Party thought. Mr. Nguon Nhel blamed Mr. Sam Rainsy for making statements without having a basis for them. He considered Mr. Sam Rainsy’s speech to be just in line with his normal habits.

“The Human Rights Party congress on Sunday was praised for the large number of people participating, as no other party had ever achieved something like that. However, after a while, some said that most of the participants had been paid some money, or had received T-shits or kramas [Khmer cotton scarfs], etc. Nevertheless, meals were a failure, because many participants complained about having been promised a meal; in fact, they had nothing to eat, and some said finally that they were deceived by Kem Sokha.

“However, it is observed that the Human Rights Party gained a pretty good number of supporters, though the supporters were paid some small money. But it is a reality that government officials seemed to have cared for and helped the Human Rights Party to hold the congress smoothly and well, like Mr. Sam Rainsy had suspected.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3095, 25.7.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Deum Ampil, Vol.2, #28, 25-31.7.2007

  • Prime Minister Orders Creation of a Commission to Check Why the Chhin Long Company Filled the Kobsrov Lake

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1400, 25.7.2007

  • VCDs of Plane Crash in Kampot Sold in Markets [countrywide]; Ministry of Information Orders Confiscation
  • Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] Working Group Provides Huge Candles to 27 Pagodas in Bavel District [Battambang]
  • 82 Pagodas in Kampot Receive Huge Candles and Household Supplies from Dr. Pen Siman [head of Customs]
  • Dangkao District Authority Distributes Identification Cards to 1,931 People [Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6100, 25.7.2007

  • Deadline for Collection of Road Tax on All Kinds of Vehicles for 2007 Is 31 July
  • [South] Korea Plans to Help Build Hospital in Kiri Vong District [Takeo]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3219, 25.7.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Party Will Use Output of Its Seminar on 24-25 July as Basis to Set Strategy for General Election
  • Hun Sen Wants to Replace Chea Sim as Party President [according to a reliable source from CPP officials]
  • CPP Finds a New Tool [Human Rights Party] to Attack the Opposition Party
  • International Monetary Fund Director [Rodrigo de Rato] Comes to See Economic Situation in Cambodia [Thailand: 28-29 July, the Philippines: 30-31 July, Cambodia: 1-2 August]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4345, 25.7.2007

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3095, 25.7.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Asserts that Human Rights Party Is Supported by Cambodian People’s Party
  • Big Foreign Investors Will Not Come to Cambodia unless Anti-Corruption Law Is Adopted

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Tuesday, 24.7.2007: Decisions of Human Rights Party: Kem Sokha Is President; Keo Remy, Pen Sovann, and Keat Sokun Are Vice-Presidents; Ou Chanrath Is Secretary-General

Posted on 25 July 2007. Filed under: Week 518 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 518

“The decisions of the Human Rights Party’s first congress, held on 22 July 2007 at the Olympic Stadium in the basketball section for eight hours, brought the results that Mr. Kem Sokha was elected president of the Human Rights Party; Mr. Keo Remy, Mr. Pen Sovann, and Mr. Keat Sokun were elected vice-presidents, and Mr. Ou Chanrath secretary-general of the party.

“In another decision, Mr. Son Soubert was approved with confidence for the top leadership over one of the three organizational structures of the party, in the position as president of the Steering Committee, and Mr. Keo Sambath became president of the Regulation Committee.

“Mr. Nhek Vannara, Mr. Yem Ponharith, and Mr. Chan Ven are deputy secretaries-general. Mr. Reach Samrach was approved as treasurer, and Mr. Ket Chinnaran as deputy treasurer. As for Dr. Kim Chanvong, he became cabinet chief of the Human Rights Party.

“The decision of the Human Rights Party’s first congress provided also confidence in the party policy and in the statute, which has nine chapters and 72 articles, and an amendment on Article 8, Point 3 and Point 5, stating the new Article 44: that the party president is to be appointed or to be removed at the request of the Steering Committee with two thirds of the votes of all Steering Committee members, and the support from the National Council by a 50% + 1 vote.

“The new Article 55 of the Human Rights Party also states that the Regulations Committee has at least five and at most nine members who are not members of the Steering Committee and not members of the Executive Committee. The president and the members of the Regulation Committee are to be proposed and to be appointed by the Steering Committee by a two thirds vote, and also from the National Council, also by a two thirds vote.

“Separately, during the congress of the Human Rights Party of Kem Sokha, a Khmer youth representative said critically that in Kem Sokha’s political party people should not quarrel with each other over power like it happened in other parties so far. The Cambodian youth representative also asked the party leaders that they must help protect the nation and its territory, and prevent foreigners from entering to live in Cambodia.” Toussanak Khmer, [no Volume number], #218, 23-24.7.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2700, 24.7.2007

  • Sam Rainsy’s Opposition Party Gets Stunned When Kem Sokha’s Opposition Party Held Its Congress [according to a source from the Sam Rainsy Party]
  • Thomico: If Royal Family Does Not Reunite, Monarchist Parties Will Dissolve after 2008
  • Ministry of Information Asks Ministry of Interior to Ban VCDs of Plane Crash [in Kampot] and Bus Collision in Vietnam

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1399, 24.7.2007

  • Human Rights Party Boasts about Many People Joining It [activists from the Sam Rainsy Party, from Funcinpec, and from the Norodom Ranariddh Party]; Sam Rainsy Says Boasting Is the Nature of Politicians
  • Foreigners Can Hold 100% of Business Shares in Cambodia [announces Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • Woman Seriously Wounded with Bullets in Land Dispute [by a soldier – article does not say whether the gunman was arrested or escaped – Santuk, Kompong Thom]
  • Four Cambodian Mathematical Smart Students Participate in International Mathematical Olympiad Competition for First Time in Vietnam

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3218, 24.7.2007

  • Ieng Vuth Hopes Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will Provide Justice to His Parents [Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3094, 24.7.2007

  • Samdech Krom Preah Tells Kompong Cham People by Phone that He Will Not Return to Help Funcinpec
  • People, Who Attended Human Rights Party Congress, Get Annoyed for Having No Food to Eat

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #460, 24.7.2007

  • Keo Puth Rasmey [President of Funcinpec] Tries to Meet with Prince Ranariddh Again in Kula Lumpur, Malaysia [he left on Sunday and plans to return on Wednesday]

Toussanak Khmer, Vol.[no volume number], #218, 23-24.7.2007

  • Decisions of Human Rights Party: Kem Sokha Is President; Keo Remy, Pen Sovann, and Keat Sokun Are Vice-Presidents; Ou Chanrath Is Secretary-General
  • Tens of Thousands of People Attended Mr. Kem Sokha’s Human Rights Party Congress

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Monday, 23.7.2007: Book about Situation of Radio Stations in Cambodia Published in Khmer

Posted on 24 July 2007. Filed under: Week 518 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 518

“Phnom Penh: A book about the situation of radio stations in Cambodia, whose publication is supported by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, is now published also in Khmer after it had been recently published in English.

“The book of 47 pages written by Mr. Puy Kea, a member of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, shows the situation of radio stations, starting with only one state operated radio station in Cambodia in the 1940s, called Khmer National Radio Broadcast (Radio Diffusion National Khmere).

“Mr. Puy Kea, the writer of the book, noticed, quoting a speech of Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the Minister of Information, that there are still a number of difficulties remaining in audio-visual management, due to the lack of laws for the field of audio-visuals, and moreover, customs, traditions, and the existing applications since the 1980s are still having a role.

“The writer also said that the government does not spend money for political advertisements via television, radio, and newspapers. Instead, most media organizations publish government information voluntarily, because they need to be supported by the government. And when they are in good terms with the government or with the ruling party, the media institutions will so regularly get advertisements from business (until now, some businesspeople do not dare to advertise through those newspapers which tend to support the opposition party, for fear of being accused that they support the opposition party, and that this may negatively affect their business). He added that it is true that such media may still get advertisements or supports from donor countries or non-government organizations. The evaluation of publications by the media at the present time comes to the conclusion that they are very careful in their attitude towards the government.

“Mr. Puy Kea stated that this has also some economic implications – advantages and disadvantages – for the whole journalism community. These may relate to tax payments due on printing paper, and to tax imposed on the import of other printing materials, and fuel and electricity are also expensive.

“The book also states among the conclusions that the journalists and media companies are not only afraid of pressure from the government, but they are also afraid of the ruling party. And the link to pressure from the government is usually related to reporting about violence, crimes, and cases of defamation which have happened.

“The writer added that for the time being, one must accept this situation of a combination of political will, changes in the methods of leadership, and the way in which the Royal Government is managing the media at present. He also pointed out that the media are in progress, because more and more journalists develop their professional standard through forums and trainings, organized for Cambodian journalists.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4343, 22-23.7.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 23 July 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1398, 22-23.7.2007

  • Royal Government Supports and Encourages Mulberry Tree Plantations in Kampot [to feed Mulberry leaves to silk worms for silk production]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6098, 23.7.2007

  • Mr. Kem Sokha Elected as President of Human Rights Party [by its first congress]
  • 52-Year-Old Man Rapes 8-Year-Old Girl [he is arrested – Moung Russey, Battambang]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3217, 23.7.2007

  • Kem Sokha’s Party Congress Seems to Be Cared For Much by Power Holders, Differently from Other Parties
  • Nuon Chea: I Am Still Alive and May Participate in Khmer Rouge Tribunal When I Am Needed
  • $15 Million Aid Money from World Bank [for the government’s implementation of national development strategy] Is Like to Supply Blood to Strengthen Corrupt People

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4343, 22-23.7.2007

  • Samdech Chea Sim: Japanese Investors Will Help Develop Cambodian Economy
  • Daun Penh District of Cambodian People’s Party Holds Meeting to Publicize Plans for Fourth Term Parliamentary Election in 2008
  • Meanchey District Cambodian People’s Party Prepares for General Election in 2008
  • Delegation of Another Group of Japanese Investors [from World Link Japan – focusing on investments in agriculture, natural resources development, and banks] Comes to See Business Opportunities in Cambodia
  • Ministry of Meteorology and Water Resources Calls for Caution about Floods from Cardamom Mountains
  • Book about Situation of Radio Stations in Cambodia Published in Khmer [supported by Konrad Adenauer Foundation]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3093, 22-23.7.2007

  • More and More [Cambodian] Young People Are Aware of Danger of HIV/AIDS
  • Nuon Chea Still Denies Involvement in Homicides During Khmer Rouge Regime

Sar Noeung Khmao, Vol.8, #210, 23-24.7.2007

  • It Seems that Cambodia Is Still at War when One Sees That Many Cars in Phnom Penh Have Military License Plates [mocking]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #459, 22-23.7.2007

  • Nuth Romduol [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Kompong Speu] and Sok Pheng [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Kompong Thom] Protect Victims of Land Disputes in Kompong Speu
  • If Anti-Corruption Law Would Exists, It Would End Hun Sen’s Power

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Sunday,2007-07-22: What Will the Announced Changes in the Court System Bring?

Posted on 23 July 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 517 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 517

The Ministry of Justice had announced that new procedures will be enforced from 13 July in Phnom Penh, and from 27 July in the provinces countrywide, defining some procedures which the courts and the judicial authorities will have to implement, to improve the quality of the courts in Cambodia – an important measure within the different reform programs of the government.

The problem is an enormous one, and the necessary improvements cannot be achieved by different procedures only, though these play also a crucial role.

Two reports during the week show the depths of the problem:

  1. The first example relates to the efforts by a financially powerful company trying to grab hundreds of hectares of land by filling in part of the Boeng Kobsrov Lake. And this, in spite of the fact that several months ago it had been publicly announced that such efforts would not be tolerated – as similar efforts, to sell and buy part of the lake, were also going on at that time.
  2. But the following two examples are in a way even more serious, because those who are officially appointed by the state to monitor that the laws are observed violate them:
    • The attempt to turn public property – part of the Boeng Thom Lake in Kandal – into private property is also promoted by some officials at the district and the provincial level, colluding with businesspeople. The officials, who should by their very position watch out that the public interest is kept according to the law, violate their own basic duties.
    • A gunman, who illegally kept a gun with himself not for the official military duty for which he is entitled to carry a gun, used it to shoot at a person at a restaurant – but it was reported that he would not be detained by the relevant authorities, because of higher level intervention and – instead of applying the law – money had been given to the victim.

It is encouraging to read that, insisting on the application of relevant laws, the Minister of Meteorology and Water Resources will take care that the Kob Srov and the Boeung Thom lakes will have to be brought back to their initial state, and the Phnom Penh Municipal Court Prosecutor is appealing against the release of the gunman.

Not only some newly formulated procedures are being applied – but recourse to the law is sought to establish justice. And in all these cases recourse to the law is sought in spite of the fact that there seem to be stronger or higher levels of persons involved – who are now being reminded by these actions that nobody is above the law.

During the same week it was also reported that Oknha Tan Seng Hak was sentenced to twelve years’ imprisonment for attempting to assassinate police officials – another example of court action against a person who, some time ago, wielded public financial power.

There will be more reason for public confidence that the courts in Cambodia will face less and less criticism, if the new procedures will lead to more transparency. Even the Father King has, in the past, questioned some court decisions which were taken, without providing a place for defense witnesses to get a proper hearing when they provide different information than the one used in court, which used confessions – which the accused withdrew during the court procedure, claiming they were made under duress.

The sentencing of the former Phnom Penh Municipal Police Commissioner, who is now in jail based on former convictions, was sentenced for an additional imprisonment, accused of having kept 30,000 fake US dollars notes – which he claimed were placed by those who raided his house. There were no reports about details of the fake notes, nothing about any evidence of fingerprints on them, or about their present whereabouts – and the judge needed only 10 minutes to deliberate, before he announced the verdict of an additional imprisonment of 14 years for the accused, and of 13 years for his wife – on what evidence? – who has been abroad for many months.

Maybe the new court procedures will lead to more transparency: transparency about the very court procedures.

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Saturday, 21.7.2007: Japanese Investment Company Announces Investment in Refining Castor Oil to Produce Diesel Fuel

Posted on 21 July 2007. Filed under: Week 517 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 517

“Phnom Penh: Thirty Japanese investors expressed their ideas about large scale investments for the first time in Cambodia on 20 July 2007, after they had visited Cambodia from 16 to 20 July. In the meantime, they expressed their purpose of investment in refining castor oil for diesel fuel with a capital approximately US$800 million [sic].

“Mr. Hayashi Mitsuo said that the amount of approximately $800 million is calculated for the arrangement of the factory to produce oil and for the arrangement of the structure of the factory. He continued, ‘We have decided on this investment. We have already tested growing castor plants; as soon as we are guaranteed to have land, we will start.’

“He continued, ‘We will get the first output after three years on land of approximately 48,000 hectares for 100,000 tonnes of oil.’ He continued, ‘We can use the 100,000 tonnes of oil as diesel fuel.’ The investment is planned to be conducted in three years on land of approximately 50,000 hectares. Mr. Hayashi Mitsuo went on to say, ‘We have already discussed with the citizens and farmers who grow castor plants. Concerning this issue, we have to provide the technique to produce the oil, and one more thing we asked them is to use good seeds, on which we have done research. We start to use the existing seeds in Cambodia, but we have to improve them so they are suitable to the fertile soil in Cambodia.’

“The Japanese investor continued, ‘I speak only for my company; for the other 29 other companies I don’t know for sure about their plans.’ He continued, ‘We get about 40% of oil out of the castor beans.’ He affirmed that the harvesting from one castor plant may continue for up to three years.

“He continued, ‘We have done research on this issue for ten years, and we know about the fertile soil in Cambodia which is suitable for castor plantations. If we think also about the number of workers to be involved – it is from 40,000 to 50,000 [sic] for land of approximately 10 hectares [sic – but these figures can hardly be correct].

“It is noticed that it is the first time that the Japanese Biwako Bio Laboratory Company [info and pictures in Japanese only] decided to make a large scale investment in Cambodia after the visit of Samdech Hun Sen, the head of the Royal Government of Cambodia to Japan, to support and attract big Japanese investors to Cambodia.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6097, 21-22.7.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 21 July 2007

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2699, 21.7.2007

  • In Late August, Opposition Party Will Hold Congress to Remove Ms. Mu Sochua [as Secretary-General and replace her with Yim Sovann, a parliamentarian from Phnom Penh – according to a source from the Sam Rainsy Party]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1397, 21.7.2007

  • Italy Wants to Provide Assistance to Strengthen Legislative Institutions in Cambodia
  • Young Unmarried Woman Raped by Schoolboy of Tbaeng Meanchey High School [who escapes – Preah Vihear]
  • Mr. Thaksin [Shinawatra, former Thai Prime Minister] Takes Legal Action against Thai Assets Examination Commission [the government’s anti-graft organization] for Freezing His $2.1 Billion
  • Rain Storms and Lightnings Kill 59 People in China

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6097, 21-22.7.2007

  • Japanese Investment Company Announces Investment in Refining Castor Oil to Produce Diesel Fuel
  • Concern in Cambodia: 40% of Children under 5 Are Malnourished [according to World Vision press release]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3216, 21-22.7.2007

  • Nuon Chea Considers Khmer Rouge Tribunal to Be His Final Battlefield; Khiev Samphan Says It Seems Too Soon to Say that He Is a Criminal
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: Prohibition against Khmer Corrupt Officials from Entering America Does Not Affect Relations between the Two Countries
  • Tim Thiem, Father of Monk Tim Sakhan [who has recently been defrocked on accusation of perpetrating an offense against the Buddhist law, because he broke the unity between Vietnam and Cambodia, who disappeared], Wants to Know for Sure Whether His Son Is Alive or Dead

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4342, 21.7.2007

  • Nuon Chea Says He Will Defend Himself in Front of Khmer Rouge Court
  • World Bank Supports Reform Process in Cambodia
  • Italy Proposes to Cambodia to Create Honorary Consulate in Phnom Penh

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