Archive for July 29th, 2007

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

Go to last week’s editorial

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