Archive for October, 2007

Monday, 29.10.2007: 29 October 2007: National Holiday: King Sihamoni’s Coronation Day

Posted on 30 October 2007. Filed under: Week 532 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 532

Because of the National Holiday, we have today only translated headlines, not an article. We ask for your understanding.

Norbert Klein
Editor of the Mirror

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 29 October 2007

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.1, #16, 29-30.10.2007

  • Kem Sokha [president of the Human Rights Party] Calls for People to Vote to Change Leaders in 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1478, 28-29.10.2007

  • Court Fines [Khek Ravy] Deputy Chief of Cambodian Football Federation Riel 1 Million [approx. US$250] over His Wife’s Legal Action Accusing Him of Having an Affair
  • Head of Royal Government Had Busy Program during ASEAN-China Exhibition in Nanning
  • Increase of Charcoal Ovens Reflects Serious Destruction of Trees in Siem Reap

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #45, 29.10.2007

  • [Admiral] Ung Samkhan Faces Being Removed [for his son’s threat against Cambodian Television Network reporter]
  • Chan Sarun [Minister of Agriculture] Did Not Dare to Speak [at National Assembly] about Illegal Logging and Forest Land Concessions
  • Hun To [Prime Minister Hun Sen’s nephew] Uses His Power to Protect Import of [smuggled] Fuel in Svay Rieng and Prey Veng

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6178, 29.10.2007

  • Grenade Thrown [by unknown person] at Night into a House Killing a Woman and Her Two Children [Kompong Trach, Kampot]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4422, 28-29.10.2007

  • Leaders of [South] Korean Businesspeople Are Asked [by South Korean Ambassador] to Check Properly about Cambodian Market Before Making Investments
  • Chief Monk [Veung Sambour] Escapes from Pagoda for Fear of a Buddhist Elder Who Is a Colonel and Had Put a Gun at Him [Prey Nob, Sihanoukville]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3171, 28-29.10.2007

  • Parliamentarians of More Than 100 Countries Want 2008 Election [in Cambodia] to Be Conducted Appropriately and Equally
  • Kem Sokha Agrees and Does Not Reject Samdech Krom Preah’s Request for Joining Together, While Sam Rainsy Is Hesitant

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #537, 28-29.10.2007

  • Ministry of Defense Buys Nine Ships from China to Protect Oil Area

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Week 531- Sunday,2007-10-28: The Right Time

Posted on 28 October 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 531 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 531

Observing the flow of events and of actions in society, there are times when nothing special seems to happen – and there are other times when things seem to get into motion “just at the right time” – because the atmosphere is changing like the weather: there are bright skies, and there is storm. And not everything can be taken up at every time and be seen as welcome, or long overdue, or, in some cases, as too late.
During the past week, we had examples of both. It is probably the art of politics and social action to choose the right time, when different things come together – or they don’t.

There was the new initiative by Prince Ranariddh calling on others – democrats and monarchists – to cooperate “to do whatever is possible to join with his party in order to serve the nation.” It must be very disappointing to see a wide range of voices from different political positions to say: Why now? Why not at a much earlier, different time and under different circumstances? – That is not to say that a similar call at a different time in future, of by a different voice, will also receive similarly negative responses. But when the time is not ripe for a new initiative, it is not probable that it will take off.

One special aspect of the negative responses related to the criticism by Prince Ranariddh against the nomination by Funcinpec of a woman as prime ministerial candidate, and that Prince Ranariddh had questioned the qualification of his sister for this task. The response did not only come by arguing in favor of the person nominated as a candidate, but his statements were considered as affecting “the reputation and the dignity of Khmer women throughout the country.” The Funcinpec women’s movement considered this criticism as “looking down on Khmer women in public… which cannot be accepted by the members and especially the female members of Funcinpec, as well as Khmer women in general.”

In this context, Article 45 of the Constitution is quoted, which decrees that “all forms of discrimination against women shall be abolished. The exploitation of women in employment shall be prohibited.”

During the visit of Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize in Economics and former World Bank senior staff, it was pointed out that during the first five months of the current year, Cambodian garment exports to the US alone – not counting the exports to other countries – had earned US$985 million for Cambodia. It is in the vast majority young Cambodian women who work in the garment industry who make such gains for the country. They are – as a slogan of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs says – precious jewels of Cambodian society, though they do not receive the appreciation from society at large which they deserve.

The Open Institute, a Cambodia NGO committed to foster and facilitate communication in society, has launched an Internet Web Portal dedicated to women’s affairs. The timely importance of this effort is summarized in the words of the director of the Open Institute, when she pointed to the emancipating function of this activity, mainly promoted by women, but for the whole society where women and men learn to cooperate better, when women can not only consume, but also actively create information and contribute to public opinion: “Information is power. Therefore, when women have access to sufficient information, they are more powerful, self-confident, and have better opportunities to participate in various economic, social, and political activities. Access to knowledge will also help women to have a more fulfilled life.”

That clear, unrestricted, and fearless information is newly identified in its dynamics for social improvement can also be seen in the two following reports:

The Club of Cambodian Journalists appealed to all Cambodian journalists to actively participate in the war against corruption, because “the success of any action against corruption partly depends on the participation of all journalists and newspapers that have a role to reveal the facts to the public.” The appeal to get more seriously involved in investigative journalism states that “journalists must be brave to investigate and to reveal corruption in society.”

It is well known that some journalists, who had acted in such a ways, were criticized, attacked, or even killed. Others rather kept silent.

Now the Prime Minister called on journalists to report on violent crimes committed by members of powerful families, by given the names of the young perpetrators and their powerful parents, so that nobody should try to use the high rank of parents or protectors to cover criminals from being persecuted. The fact that this call is also echoed through the Ministry of Information to all media, to name the names without hesitation, sounds like the beginning of a new chapter in public communication and social dialogue among different sectors in society, on the way to establish the rule of law more firmly, disregarding the position in society of persons who act as if they were above the law.

The implementation – not only the announcement – of such timely measures can only be seen as a positive new orientation, to remove the image of a society which has a good Constitution and good laws, but which suffers from the many instances of impunity which had not been properly addressed. The future will show how this is now changing.

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Saturday, 27.10.2007: Khieu Kanharith Asks Media to Publish the Names of the Parents of Gang Members Clearly

Posted on 28 October 2007. Filed under: Week 531 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 531

“A few hours after the publication by local newspapers that the authorities had arrested a navy general’s son without mentioning the names clearly yesterday morning, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the Minister of Information and the government’s spokesperson, asked all media agencies to publish the names of the parents of culprits clearly so that it is easy for higher level authorities to take action. This wide permission was announced by the Ministry of Information after many newspapers had not dared to publish the names of culprits who are children of high ranking officials or bodyguards of high ranking officials, by just saying that they are the children of Ta Ta [grandfathers – this refers to high ranking officials]] or the bodyguards of powerful people.

“In the evening of 24 October 2007, the authorities of Daun Penh and Khan Chamkar Mon districts cooperated with municipal authorities and the Ministry of Interior and arrested a chief of a gang, known as Ung Vanna, son of Admiral Ung Samkhan, the chief of the Cambodian Navy, on the accusation of car-racing in the city, and making a threat against Mr. Soy Sopheap, a Cambodian Television Network reporter.

“Local newspapers published the culprit’s name, but they did not dare to publish the name of his father clearly – they just said that he is the son of a fleet admiral. The request of Mr. Khieu Kanharith is for the names of many other generals, who educate and advice their children well not to commit offensives, like playing chicken race on motorcycles or in cars in the city, causing disorder.

“A source said that yesterday Prime Minister Hun Sen also asked the media to publish the names of the parents of culprits, and he said that if the parents are generals, police, or military officials, their stars or ranks have to be removed from their shoulders; and if the parents are civil servants, they have to be removed from their positions. However, concerning this case where the authorities arrested the chief of a car-racing group, Ung Vanna, it is not known whether Mr. Hun Sen has taken any action towards Mr. Ung Samkhan, who is Ung Vanna’s father.

“Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] officials said that Mr. Ung Samkhan is a fleet admiral who is the target of Prime Minister Hun Sen to be demoted; he belongs to the CPP faction loyal to the CPP president Mr. Chea Sim. Therefore it is difficult for Mr. Ung Samkhan to escape from being demoted, and the authorities may pursue and arrest the culprit Ung Vanna to put him in jail again.

“The authorities stopped Ung Vanna’s white Chrysler car next to Mr. Hun Sen’s village near the Independence Monument; this car costs approximately $100,000, equipped with laser beams and a siren, and it has loudspeakers and many other devices. A day before being arrested, the culprit drove his car back and forth in front of the Deum Ampil office near the old National Assembly building by using a microphone to shout, ‘You Soy Sopheap, don’t think you are too strong!…’, after Mr. Soy Sopheap had reported the disorder caused by young people who race cars and ‘fly’ their motorcycles in the city.

“A few hours before being arrested, bad Ung Vanna and his gang members, who have two modern cars, and one is also known as the son of a famous money-exchange businessman living near the Neang Konghing Roundabout, drove their cars back and forth in front of the Deum Ampil office. Then, the authorities deployed forces and seized Ung Vanna’s car, but his gang members who have cars escaped.

“A source from the Ministry of Defense said that Mr. Ung Samkhan is a gentle navy general who is not as rude as his son. This scandal gives Mr. Tea Vinh, the vice admiral, a chance, as he wants Mr. Ung Samkhan’s position. However, if the head of the government does not take action, Mr. Ung Samkhan may avoid that his stars [rank] will be removed and he will be suspended; but then, the children of other high ranking officials who used to conduct misdeeds will not respect the laws.

“It should be remembered that this is the first time that Mr. Hun Sen and Mr. Khieu Kanharith asked the Ministry of Information to instruct the media to publish the names of the parents of culprits clearly –not to just say that they are children or nephews or bodyguards of a certain Ta Ta or of a general, avoiding to damag the names of good officials.

“In September 2007, two groups of gunmen had a gunfight in Phnom Penh, killing one from each side. The gunfight conflict led to chasing each other in Phnom Penh, initiated by one side to which the son of an advisor of Prime Minister Hun Sen belongs, and on the other side was a grandson of Madame Hun Sen.

“A Phnom Penh Municipal military police official said that Lieutenant Colonel Reth Nika, deputy chief of the Phnom Penh Municipal Military Police, 27, who is a son of Mr. Seng Tieng, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s special assistant, was killed with five bullets by Mr. Roth Chansonody, a colonel from the Ministry of Interior. Mr. Roth Chansonody is a son of Mr. Kov Samuth, a grandson of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s wife Madame Bun Rany, who was shot dead by Mr. Reth Nika’ side.

“This horrible event happed on Street 178, north of Wat Phnom around Wat Sara Voan Decho, Chey Chumneah Subdistrict, Daun Penh District, Phnom Penh; that act of driving cars to chase each other and to fire at each other was similar to a Hollywood movie, frightening the onlookers.

“Witnesses said that approximately ten bullets were fired at each other by both sides at about 6 p.m. on 9 September 2007, when Mr. Reth Nika tried to run away from a black modern Mercedes car, while it was in a traffic jam at the place of this event. The witnesses continued to say that two of the seven culprits, carrying guns, got out of a Pajero car which hit the Mercedes from behind, then chased and fired at Mr. Reth Nika who tried to escape into the pagoda, with five bullets hitting him in his head, his right hand, and both legs.

“A source quoting a doctor at Calmette Hospital said that Mr. Roth Chansonody told the doctor before his death that the gunfight was not caused by a traffic accident, but by a dispute over girls.

“After the gunfight had led to deaths on both sides, the authorities arrested the perpetrators, some of whom are Mr. Hun Sen’s bodyguards, but the authorities did not dare to say that they are Hun Sen’s bodyguards. Therefore, in order to respect Mr. Hun Sen’s new order, the authorities should write reports on gang members, who are children of high ranking officials, okhnas, and also especially Mr. Hun Sen’s nephews or other relatives, who have fired guns illegally in the city, killing innocent people since a few years, for example Mr. Hun Sen’s nephew who shot coconut and fried noodle sellers near the Olympic Stadium a few years ago.” Sralanh Khmer, Vol. 3, #536, 27.10.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 27 October 2007

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2725, 27.10.2007

  • Prime Minister Asks for Straight Publication of Names of Gang Members’ Parents; Parents Who Dare to Protect Their Children Will Lose of Ranks and Positions
  • [Phnom Penh Municipal] Court Decides to Detain Two Military Colonels [Vin Dy and Pech Samath], Accused of Involvement in Illegal Logging in Stung Treng

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1477, 27.10.2007

  • A Meaningless Letter, That Sam Rainsy Sent to Samdech Krom Preah [Sam Rainsy said he would submit to the Sam Rainsy Party leadership Prince Ranariddh’s proposal for amendment of the Constitution articles on the creation of a new government after elections]
  • 400 Hectares of Forest Land Destroyed by a Region 2 Solider [Sarith – to claim land – Siem Bouk, Stung Treng]
  • Thailand Buys 220 Megawatts of Electricity from Laos

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6177, 27-28.10.2007

  • Former [Philippine] President [Joseph Estrada] Gets Pardon
  • Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi Meets a Representative of the Military Regime

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3296, 27-28.10.2007

  • China Provides Nine Patrol Boats to Cambodian Navy
  • Incompetent and Corrupt Leaders Cause Citizens’ Joblessness

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4421, 27.10.2007

  • Assessed Budget for 2008 Election Is More than US$16 Million
  • There Has Not Yet Been a Warrant Issued for the Arrest of a Man Who Killed His [divorced] Wife [on 19 October 2007 – Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh]
  • Children and Relatives [of Heng Pov, former Phnom Penh Municipal Police Commissioner, now in jail] Are Allowed to Visit Heng Pov
  • US Consulate [in Cambodia] Will Hold Press Conference [on 30 October] on US Visa Lottery Program

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3170, 27.10.2007

  • Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh Stated that Khmer People Are Strongly Concerned about Territory and Yuon [Vietnamese] Immigrants

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #5, .10.2007

  • Khieu Kanharith Asks Media to Publish the Names of the Parents of Gang Members Clearly
  • Kong Korm [Vice-President of the Sam Rainsy Party] Asks French Senator [Christian Poncelet ] to Check and Solve the Issue of Kampuchea Krom Khmer Land and Citizens
  • Our Country Has Not Yet Had Democratic Leaders but Only Dictators

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Friday, 26.10.2007: Foreign Economist: Decline of US Economy May Hurt Cambodia

Posted on 26 October 2007. Filed under: Week 531 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 531

“Phnom Penh: Mr. Joseph Stiglitz, an economic expert and Economic Nobel Prize Winner, said that Cambodia may be hurt while the United States [US] economy declines.

“He said at the United Nations Development Program office on 25 October that due to an economic decline, approximately 1.7 million US citizens have lost their houses, because they cannot repay loaned money back to the banks.

“He stated, ‘If the income of US citizens goes down, the import of products from other countries goes also down. And US lawmakers may also start to consider new laws to protect their domestic products.’

“So far, the US has been the biggest market for Cambodian garment products in the range of exports worth approximately more than $2 billion per year.

“According to the Chinese Xinhua news agency which quoted the speech of an official of the Ministry of Commerce, in five months of 2007, the worth of garment export from Cambodia to the US resulted in about $984.9 million for Cambodia.

“Concerning the situation in Cambodia, that approximately more than 80% of the citizens are farmers, the economist urged Cambodia to try to strongly promote agriculture, because agriculture is the main strength of the Cambodian economy.

“He continued, ‘Cambodia should improve agriculture so that it becomes a potential for the economy.’

“He stated that agriculture is also a field that can lead to exports, if Cambodia achieves the necessary standards; and in order to make this field work so that Cambodia can export, Cambodia has to improve the provision of credit financings, increase services for the promotion of improved techniques, and promote investments in infrastructure which will serve this field.

“Mr. Joseph Stiglitz is an economist who got the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001. He visited Cambodia for two days on 24-25 October.

“During the visit to Cambodia, he met and discussed with Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen, parliamentarians, senators, development partners, and many civil society organizations.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4420, 26.10.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 26 October 2007

Areyathor, Vol.14, #1280, 26-27.10.2007

  • Son of a Naval General Released after Being Held on Accusation of Making a Threat against CTN [Cambodian Television Network] Reporter

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1476, 26.10.2007

  • Ministry of Tourism Supports Plan to Suspend Airline Companies from Using Old Planes
  • Government Installs New National Radio Station [FM92.5MHz] in Takeo
  • Minister of Information Gives Recommendations to East Timor Journalists [who visit Cambodia, recommending to form a journalists’ association, also to be internationally visible and to attract the possibility to share international experience]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #44, 26-27.10.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: Voters in the 2008 National Election Have a Real Choice Only Between Two Parties [Cambodian People’s Party and Sam Rainsy Party]
  • Siamese [Thai troops] Prevent HALO Trust from Demining in Cambodia [Oddar Meanchey]
  • Quietly, Yuon [Vietnam] Secretly Puts Border Mark Encroaching on Khmer Land in Svay Rieng [according to people in Svay Rieng]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6176, 26.10.2007

  • North Korean Prime Minister Will Visit Cambodia [on 1-4 November 2007]
  • Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor [Royal title recently given by the King] Hun Sen Receives Certificate from ACCD [Association of Certified Commercial Diplomats]
  • US Ambassador Meets Cambodian Muslim Religious Leaders

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3295, 26.10.2007

  • Ieng Thirith [Khmer Rouge Minister of Foreign Affairs Ieng Sary’s wife] Lived in Fear of Imprisonment Until She Got Mentally Ill [mocking]
  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Immigrants Are Important Hope for CPP in 2008 National Election

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.14, #1239, 26.10.2007

    Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarian [Son Chhay form Phnom Penh] Protests over Licenses for Two New Television Stations [Southeast Asia Television and another unnamed one]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4420, 26.10.2007

  • Foreign Economist: Decline of US Economy May Hurt Cambodia
  • Minister of Information Is Proud that Cambodian Journalists Increasingly Get More Knowledge [in journalism]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3169, 26.10.2007

  • Lack of Resources Will Extend Khmer Rouge Tribunal to 2010

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Thursday, 25.10.2007: Officials Optimistic about Women’s Web Portal

Posted on 25 October 2007. Filed under: Week 531 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 531

“Phnom Penh: Representatives of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and relevant national and international organizations concerned with women’s issues showed optimism about a Women’s Web Portal that it will play an important role to provide and share information about women’s issues to Cambodian people, to which also the Cambodian Government and international institutions pay attention.

“Ms. Sy Define, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Women Affairs, said on the occasion of the official launching of the Khmer-language Women’s Web Portal on Wednesday morning, 24 October 2007, that the Women’s Web Portal, which is accessible at, will surely play a very important role in collecting and sharing information related to women’s issues, to distribute them to the public so they get more understanding of women’s issues.

“The Undersecretary of State puts high value on the Women’s Web Portal which is written in the Khmer language, which gives more opportunities for communication to Cambodian nationals, who know how to use a computer, they can find information in the Khmer language about women’s issues in Cambodia.

“At the same time, Mr. Outh Renne, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Open Institute, also considered the Women’s Web Portal to become another valuable move ahead for Cambodia, especially for the group of women who are the target of the program.

“He said, ‘When Cambodian women get the opportunity and ability to use information and communication technology, it will be a key and potential aspect of expanding productivity and creativity, to increase economic income, develop capacity building and the ability to use information technology; it is also an important key to support exchanges in the fields of culture, economy, and society for all people.’

“The Women’s Web Portal is a program of the Open Institute, and it was created with the aim of promoting gender equality for a society in which women can exercise their rights in a balanced way and can build competence to become self-sufficient, with wider participation of women in social, economic, and political life.

“Ms. Chim Manavy, the Executive Director of the Open Institute, said at that occasion, ‘Information is power. Therefore, when women have access to sufficient information, they are more powerful, self-confident, and have better opportunities to participate in various economic, social, and political activities. Access to knowledge will also help women to have a more fulfilled life.’

“The program is financially supported by the Spanish International Cooperation Agency and the Open Society Institute [OSI/USA].

“The Executive Director stated the clear plan that the Women’s Web Portal, which provides much information, such as legal documents and various conventions supporting the elimination of discrimination against women, the situation of women, and challenges they face, will also publish texts to further promote gender equity understanding.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4419, 25.10.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 25 October 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1475, 25.10.2007

  • Samdech Prime Minister Receives Economic Nobel Prize Winner [Dr. Joseph E. Stiglitz]
  • Ban to Exchanging [or selling] of School and Hospital Sites Is for the People’s Interest [responding to opposition criticism of Hun Sen’s speech about the ban, that the ban is politically prejudiced]
  • Nearly One Million California Residents Harmed by Forest Fires

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #43, 25.10.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Demands National Election Committee Meets with Communes and Subdistricts Again to Find Appropriate Decisions on the Deletion of Voters’ Names from Lists of Form 1025

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6175, 25.10.2007

  • Royal Cabinet Announces that 31 October Is Samdech Euv’s [Father King’s] Birthday Anniversary, He Will Not Accept Gifts

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3294, 25.10.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Asks National Election Committee to Review Deletion of People’s Names from Voter Lists

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4419, 25.10.2007

  • Officials Optimistic about Women’s Web Portal
  • Inter-Parliamentary Union [Member] Suggests Sam Rainsy Party and Kem Sokha’s [Human Rights] Party Join as a Democratic Force [Kem Sokha is interested, but he sets some conditions, such a as clarification about the party president’s term; however, Sam Rainsy does not care about the alliance, saying that his party has a lot of urgent things to do]
  • Officials Seize More Than 500 Diesel Fuel Machines for Trademark Violation

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3168, 25.10.2007

  • Concern over Robberies Which Happen throughout Cambodia

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #534, 25.10.2007

  • Khmer Democrats Can Unite Together Only after They Lose Elections [say political analysts]
  • Hun Sen Lies to European Parliament that Solution of Land Disputes in Cambodia Is Smooth and Successful
  • Sao Rany [deputy secretary-general of Norodom Ranariddh Party] and You Hockry [secretary-general] Ask for Meeting with Mr. Sam Rainsy [for negotiations]

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Wednesday, 24.10.2007: Samdech Krom Preah’s Letter Sent to Sam Rainsy Is Funny

Posted on 25 October 2007. Filed under: Week 531 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 531

“Phnom Penh: Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh sent a letter to Mr. Sam Rainsy, the President of the Sam Rainsy Party [SRP], at 10:30 a.m. on 23 October, asking Sam Rainsy to unite together in order to amend the new Article 119 of the Constitution. Mr. Kiev Kanharith [the Minister of Information] says this is funny. Moreover, Samdech Krom Preah called on those who have a tendency towards democracy to unite together solidly.

“The letter of Samdech Krom Preah dated on 23 October 2007 said that, with the objective and purpose of strengthening the implementation of democracy in the Kingdom of Cambodia, and of avoiding a political deadlock after the upcoming elections, Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh, the President of the Norodom Ranariddh Party, is happy to send a letter on 23 October 2007 to Mr. Sam Rainsy, in order to ask for his support for an amendment of the new Article 119 of the Constitution, getting rid of the limitation of the right to establish a Royal Government only for a party that wins the election, by providing a wider right to other parties that get seats in the National Assembly to have the right to unite together to establish a coalition government.

“Samdech Krom Preah said in the letter that an amendment of the new Article 90 about a two thirds vote by the members of parliament in order to form a Royal government is not sufficient and appropriate for democracy. Furthermore, the 50 percent plus1 vote formula cannot avoid a political deadlock crisis which may happen after the election, because any party that does not get 50 percent of the seats at the National Assembly will have to seek another party, so that they can establish a coalition Royal government. Thus, the situation can possibly again lead to a political deadlock.

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the spokesperson of the Royal Government, said regarding the letter that generally the political party that wins the election has the right to organize an agreement and ally with any political party, once it has won the election.

“He went on to say that the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] has pledged to and has upheld national ideals since 1993. The CPP has never discriminated against any political party, if the party is sure that it helps and develops the nation. We work with any political party that can work with us and agrees to develop the nation and help the citizens to reduce poverty.

“For example, at the present time, the CPP that dominates the government, widely tolerates some political parties that even do not have votes in the National Assembly, so that some of their members can work in the government. As for Funcinpec, which is working as an ally with the CPP, some positions are not within their allocation, but we let them work with us as normal. Therefore, Samdech Krom Preah’s request sent to Mr. Sam Rainsy asking for an amendment of some articles is funny.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy told Kampuchea Thmey, ‘I have received Samdech Krom Preah’s letter and I responded to him asking why Samdech Krom Preah did not amend the articles of the Constitution when he was in power, as the president of the National Assembly. I think that Samdech Krom Preah’s appeal now is just an appeal as he meets a deadlock.’

“Mr. Sam Rainsy said, ‘There is an experience between Samdech Krom Preah and me. He changed his mind. I don’t believe him any longer.’

“However, it is not bad for people to correct their mistakes, but as for me and Samdech Krom Preah, there are enough bitter lessons.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1474, 24.10.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1474, 24.10.2007

  • Samdech Krom Preah’s Letter Sent to Sam Rainsy Is Funny
  • [2001 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences] Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Joseph E. Stiglitz Visits Cambodia [24-25 October 2007 – he will meet Prime Minister Hun Sen, parliamentarians, senators, important policy makers, development partners, civil society, and students]
  • Samdech Prime Minister Receives Delegation of Inter-Parliamentary Union
  • Trafficking of 714 g of Cocaine into Cambodia: Court Sentences Nigerian Man and Khmer Woman to 15 Years’ Imprisonment [Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #42, 25.10.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Calls on European Union to Push for Anti-Corruption Law
  • Mr. Son Chhay [SRP parliamentarian, Phnom Penh] Pushes Government to Confiscate Economic Concession Land from Companies That Do Not Respect the Law

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3293, 24.10.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Rejects Request to Form an Alliance of Democrats with Prince Ranariddh
  • Hun Sen Uses the Word “War” to Threaten Voters Again [he said if he loses the 2008 election, Cambodia will be definitely in war]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.14, #1238, 24.10.2007

  • Nhem En, [former] Photographer at Khmer Rouge S-21 Prison [Tuol Sleng], Is Summoned to Testify at Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4418, 24.10.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Considers Krom Preah’s Request for Amendment of the Constitution and an Appeal [for joining] to Be Deadlocked
  • World Bank Calls to Focus Again on Agricultural Development

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3167, 24.10.2007

  • Khmer Mchas Srok Movement Says 16 Years after Paris Peace Agreement, Cambodia Legally Loses Three Provinces [Mondolkiri, Ratanakiri, and Stung Treng – by putting them into a joint “Triangle Development Area” together with Laos and Vietnam]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #533, 24.10.2007

  • Asian Human Rights Commission Asks National Assembly to Set Up a Committee to Investigate Corruption of Cheam Yeap [Chairperson of the National Assembly Committee on Economics, Finance, Banking, and Audit]

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Tuesday, 23.10.2007: Club of Cambodian Journalists Calls Journalists to Write Many Articles about Corruption

Posted on 24 October 2007. Filed under: Week 531 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 531

“Phnom Penh: The Club of Cambodian Journalists appealed on 22 October to all Cambodian journalists to participate actively in the war against corruption.

“Mr. Pen Samithi, the President of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, said, ‘The success of any action against corruption partly depends on the participation of all journalists and newspapers that have a role to reveal the facts to the public.’ He added, ‘Concerning the seriousness of corruption, I would like all journalist colleagues to write many reports on corruption. Thus, those who commit such bad acts will be punished legally.’ He explained that to act against corruption is our responsibility. Without participation by everyone, by the authorities at all levels and by civil society, it is very difficult to say that we will be successful in eliminating corruption. As observers and reporters, journalists must be brave to investigate and to reveal corruption in society. Moreover, Mr. Pen Samithi appealed to government institutions, the National Assembly, and the international community to provide support and motivation for journalists for this worthy activity.

“The Club of Cambodian Journalists, with support from the US Embassy in Cambodia, announced a competition for articles of investigative journalism in order to motivate journalists, who have good achievements, and to strengthen journalists in their role as observers, and to increase transparency in Cambodia.

“The most professional and best investigative articles will get awards as follows:

  1. The first winner gets a medal and US$1,100
  2. The second winner gets a medal and US$800
  3. The third winner gets a medal and US$600
  4. Plus two motivation awards of US$300 each

“Mr. Pen Samithi, the President of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, said, ‘This competition of articles of investigative journalism is very important, and it is to give motivation to journalists so that they participate more actively in revealing the fact of society, in order to serve the public interest.’ He asked, ‘How can we all fight corruption, if corruption is not publicly revealed? This is the role of journalists as observers of all activities in society. Journalists really have a very important task in this issue.’

“He appealed to all journalists to participate in the competition of investigative articles, which is important both in terms of the journalistic profession as well as in terms of participation in the development of a clean Cambodian society.

“In its mission to promote the qualification of journalism in Cambodia, the Club of Cambodian Journalists will try to organize the competition of articles of investigative journalism every year. We are glad that the US Embassy in Cambodia has already stated it will provide support for such a competition to be conducted every year.

“All journalists of print and of electronic media, as well as students of journalism, have equal rights to participate in this competition.

“Criteria for participation:

  • All journalists of print and of electronic media, as well as students of journalism, have the right to participate in this competition. Staff members of the Club of Cambodian Journalists are not allowed to participate in the competition.
  • Newspaper articles that are investigative and that have been published in newspapers or in magazines from 1 October 2006 to 1 October 2007. For journalists who have difficulties in publishing their articles, they should contact the Club of Cambodian Journalists in order to coordinate request for publishing their articles in local newspapers.
  • Articles must be between three to six pages of A4 typed in computer, using Limon S1, size 22.
  • Article must be put in an envelope on which the name of the journalist and the name of the newspaper are written. Such names are absolutely not allowed to be written on the article itself.
  • Articles that participate in the competition must be sent to the Club of Cambodian Journalists before 1 November 2007, together with a photocopy of the article from a newspaper, to show that it was really published in a newspaper or magazine.”

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4417, 23.10.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2724, 23.10.2007

  • Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Asks Sam Rainsy to Join Him Again; If He Does Not Remember that He Had Been Deceived, Let Krom Preah Deceive Him Again [mocking Sam Rainsy]
  • Companies That Import Goods through Sihanoukville Port Call for Government to Abolish the Safety Committee for National Road 4 [because it extorts money]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1473, 23.10.2007

  • Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Turns to Kem Sokha after Being Rejected by Sam Rainsy
  • Prime Minister Calls for Support for the Leadership as this Corresponds to the New Royal Title [given to him by the King]
  • 15-Year-Old Boy Rapes 4-Year-Old Girl [he is arrested – Serei Sophon, Banteay Meanchey]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #41, 23.10.2007

  • Khmer Machas Srok Movement Demands that Phnom Penh Government Properly Implement Paris Peace Agreements of 23 October 1991
  • Mu Sochua [deputy secretary-general of the Sam Rainsy Party]: The Sam Rainsy Party Will Not Waste Time with Prince Ranariddh

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3292, 23.10.2007

  • Hun Sen Affirms that If He Loses 2008 Election, Country Will Be Definitely in War
  • Eng Chhay Ieng [secretary-general of the Sam Rainsy Party]: The Sam Rainsy Party Does Not Want to Fall into Prince Ranariddh’s Trap Again [over his appeal to unite]
  • 2008 Budget Is Approximately $1,250 Million

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4417, 23.10.2007

  • Club of Cambodian Journalists Calls for Journalists to Write Many Articles about Corruption
  • Samdech Hun Sen Calls for Supports in Order to Continue to Rule the Country and to Protect the King
  • Thai Police Arrest Fake Policeman Who Extorted Money from Khmer Laborers and Other Foreigners [Nonthaburi, Thailand]
  • Residents Say Officials Who Stop [untagged] Motorcycles at Night Continue to Extort Money [Phnom Penh]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #532, 23.10.2007

  • Prince Ranariddh Appeals to Sam Rainsy and to Kem Sokha [President of the Human Rights Party] to Join with Monarchists

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Monday, 22.10.2007: Ranariddh Asks for Sam Rainsy to Collect Monarchists to Unite Together Solidly

Posted on 23 October 2007. Filed under: Week 531 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 531


“Phnom Penh: Speaking through a telephone on 18 October 2007 to a meeting of Norodom Ranariddh Party [NRP] members in Prey Veng, Samdech Krom Preah advised Mr. Sam Rainsy that if Mr. Sam Rainsy is loyal to the nation and to the monarchy, Mr. Sam Rainsy should collect monarchists to unite together solidly from now on.

“Samdech Krom Preah said that as a member the Royal family, he calls on the Sam Rainsy Party [SRP] to do whatever is possible to join with his party in order to serve the nation.

“Responding to the appeal, Ms. Mu Sochua, a deputy secretary-general of the SRP, said that the SRP is not only loyal to the nation, but its leaders have even devoted their lives without regret so far; Samdech Krom Preah does not need to appeal. Ms. Mu Sochua said that the SRP has already opened the door, since the results of the commune and subdistrict council elections were announced; however, it is Samdech Krom Preah who is not loyal. We have never changed our nationalist ideas, but it is Samdech Krom Preah who always changes and abandons us when he has power.

“Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh does not only call for the SRP to join with his party, but Samdech Krom Preah also badly criticized his sister Princess Arun Raksmey, who has recently been nominated by Funcinpec as a new prime ministerial candidate. Samdech Krom Preah accused Princess Norodom Arun Raksmey of being incompetent to compete against the Cambodian People’s Party.

“His speech was broadcasted via Sambok Khmum Radio, in the monarchist program by the NRP, in which he even mentioned Princess Arun Raksmey’s background, that she has taken someone else’s husband.

“Regarding the defamation against Princess Arun Raksmey, Mr. Ok Socheat responded that such a speech of Samdech Krom Preah is immoral, as he himself is also a Royal family member.

“Mr. Ok Socheat told Kampuchea Thmey that Samdech Krom Preah should not look down on women working in such circumstances – or does Samdech Krom Preah still want Khmer women to only cook, in our times? Princess Arun Raksmey and her husband were appointed as the ambassadors to Malaysia when Prince Ranariddh was in power, but now, when he has no power and could not handle many problems, he defames even a Royal family member.

“Mr. Ok Socheat said that even simple people would not disclose publicly their sisters’ affairs, although they may know some stories that have happened.

“Mr. Ok Socheat stated at the end that such defamation against his own Royal family is an extreme self-denigration

“Princess Arun Raksmey said that she had never thought to become a prime ministerial candidate, but now, as the national council of the party decided to nominate her as the candidate, she must accept it.

“The princess said that she had not wanted to be a politician since she was a child, because politicians are always changing their ideas from day to day. The princess added that normally, politicians must think about what is in the national interest, and think what leads to happiness or to disharmony among the citizens all over the country, and they must do whatever makes the country prosperous. However, as the Princess has already been appointed as the prime ministerial candidate, she has to deliberate from this time ahead. Nevertheless, if Funcinpec wins the election, Princess Arun Raksmey promised that it still will cooperate with the CPP forever without changing.

“Moreover, on 20 October, the Funcinpec women’s movement condemned Samdech Krom Preah Ranariddh and a small number of his subordinates by stating that his verbal attack without morality, virtue, and integrity negatively affects the reputation of Reach Anoch Norodom Arun Raksmey who is his sister, as well as the reputation and the dignity of Khmer women throughout the country, which the constitution promotes in accordance with Article 36, stating that the work of housewives in the home shall have the same value as what they can receive when working outside of the home, and Article 45 states that all forms of discrimination against women shall be abolished. The exploitation of women in employment shall be prohibited. Men and women are equal in all fields especially in marriage and matters of the family, etc.

“The Funcinpec women’s movement considered Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh’s behavior and characteristics to be immoral, and looking down on Khmer women in public through a telephone call from abroad, broadcasted via Sambok Khmum Radio on 19 October 2007, which cannot be accepted by the members, and especially the female members of Funcinpec, as well as Khmer women in general in the national society. Furthermore, Samdech Krom Preah was the chairperson of the national legislative body, and he is a doctor of law. Why does he discriminate against, and look down on women by considering women not to be able to move away from the kitchen stove, and women to be the tool for men’s entertainment?

“The statement [by the women’s movement] asked that he should understand, and ask himself what he has done in the past and at present towards Khmer women; and those activities have made the popularity of Funcinpec under his leadership in the past gradually to decline.

“The statement admired that Samdech Reach Botrey [Princess] Preah Anoch [younger sister] Norodom Arun Raksmey is a new leader, representing Khmer women who dare to devote themselves to high offices, and to face big obstacles, who dare to take decisions with a sharp will, who participate in the settlement of big issues which relate to life-and-death of the nation, who dare to be responsible for promoting Funcinpec, to preserve the priceless heritage of Preah Mohavirak Khsatr [the Great Heroic King], our father, grandfather and great grandfather, by daring to follow a Sihanoukist line without hesitation at new and obviously political programs, and new ways of leadership with democratic guidelines in terms of the constitutional monarchy – which has never participated in scandals of corruption and misdeeds, by prioritizing the national benefit forever.

“The Funcinpec women’s movement also appealed to all Khmer women from every political tendency to condemn Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh, who uses those rights to be a political tool to seek his own power. It is an immoral behavior that is not acceptable and it asks for Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh’s public apology.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1472, 21-22.10.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 22 October 2007

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.1, #15, 22-23.10.2007

  • Ranariddh Doesn’t Agree to Bow Down to Lick Funcinpec’s Saliva but Shamelessly Asks to Become Honorary President of the No-Longer Opposing [Sam Rainsy] Party
  • [Vice-President of the Human Rights Party] Keo Remy: If the Human Rights Party Wins the 2008 Elections, It Will Provide Justice to Victims of Land Grabbing

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1472, 21-22.10.2007

  • Ranariddh Asks Sam Rainsy to Collect Monarchists to Unite Together Solidly
  • Two More Television Stations [CTN Plus – and Southeast Asia Television] Plan to Open in Cambodia Soon
  • Man Rapes His 15-Year-Old Sister in Guesthouse; He Is Arrested by Police One Day after the Rape [Prampi Makara, Phnom Penh]
  • Man Persuades His Wife to Go Away, Then Stabs Her to Death One Day after Getting Divorced [he escapes – Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh]
  • Mr. Bush Imposes New Sanctions on Myanmar [responding to deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protesters]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #40, 22.10.2007

  • Mr. Yim Sovann [SRP parliamentarian, from Phnom Penh] Demands that Poor People Receive Health Services and Education through Regular Annual Government Budget
  • The Funcinpec Women’s Movement Condemns Prince Ranariddh for Daring to Look Down on Youngest Daughter of Preah Mohavirak Khsatr [the Great Heroic King] Princess Arun Raksmey

Khmer Mekong, Vol.5, #305, 22-24.10.2007

  • Princess Norodom Arun Raksmey’s Prime Ministerial Candidacy Is New Hope of Funcinpec
  • Kem Sokha’s Ambition Is Power and Rank

Meatophum, Vol.51, #663, 22-27.10.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Party Opens Door for Samdech Krom Preah to Enter! Selection of Princess Norodom Arun Raksmey as Prime Ministerial Candidate Annoys Samdech Krom Preah

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6172, 22.10.2007

  • UN Food and Agriculture Organization Gets $1.9 Million from USAID to Fight Bird Flu in Cambodia

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3291, 22.10.2007

  • National and International Organizations Demand National Election Committee to Prolong Voter Registration for Another Week or Ten Days

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.14, #1237, 22.10.2007

  • UN Asks Government to Conduct Reforms at the Extraordinary Chambers [Khmer Rouge tribunal]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4416, 21-22.10.2007

  • Funcinpec Condemns Krom Preah for Insulting Samdech Arun Raksmey
  • Samdech Hun Sen: “Royal Title Received from the King Provides Strong Motivation”
  • Samdech Prime Minister Plans to Build First Model Village for Cambodian Disabled People
  • Singapore Petroleum Company and Partner [Resourceful Petroleum] Decide to Invest $2.5 Million in Oil Exploration in Section B in Cambodian Waters
  • Woman Raped Then Stabbed Five Times with a Knife to Death, Leaving Her Body Nude Near Bamboo Grove [by a man who escapes – Phnom Proek, Battambang]

Sith Sereipheap, Vol.12, #1075, 22-23.10.2007

  • Australian Ambassador to Cambodia Ms. Margaret Adamson Meets and Talks with Mr. Kem Sokha [President of the Human Rights Party]
  • Goal of Human Rights Party Is to Demand Rights and Freedom, and to Protect and Serve Citizens

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #531, 21-22.10.2007

  • [Last year] South Korea Asked Cambodia to Be a Go-between to Establish Peace on the Korean Peninsula
  • Committee for Free and Fair Elections Criticizes the Cambodian People’s Party for Using Much More State Media Time than Other Parties Do
  • NEC Prolongs Voter Registration in Two Communes in Banteay Meanchey and Battambang
  • Khmer Official [Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism] Asks for End to the Use of Old Planes [after a recent plane crash]

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Week 530 – Sunday,2007-10-21: Being United – Not Divided, Not “False and Unreliable”

Posted on 21 October 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 530 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 530

The rule of law, the interplay between different political powers, and the economic situation of the majority of the population are always a major concern when reflecting the dynamics of another week. But these have also some very personal aspects – what one person thinks or says or does or suffers. This week we had an opportunity to observe some such cases. They are quite varied in context, but every one presents a challenge to think what such personal cases mean for the whole of society. It is persons who are behind what happens in society.

The American Ambassador acted as an election registration observer. He did not just receive reports in the embassy – he went himself to an office doing voter registrations to ask questions and to see how things are being handled. Though it can be assumed that this action was planned elaborately and therefore was perhaps not a random spot check as may happen during election day, it still demonstrates active international concern for high-standard elections. – The US ambassador is not the first person from the international public to act as an election observer. It may be remembered that Mr. Xanana Gusmão, the East Timorese independence leader, participated in 2002 in the international election observer team in Cambodia, shortly before he was elected president of East Timor; he is now prime minister there. – It is hoped that such personal participation will result in giving “outside” election observing additional weight and in ensuring that the whole story of the election process is told.

It is reported that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sar Kheng offered a rare glimpse into his private daily life, by publicly sharing his recollection of a meeting between himself and the president of Radio Free Asia, where he said, “I consider Radio Free Asia to be my breakfast.” He added that if he fails to read newspapers and listen to the radio in the morning, it seems that he missed his breakfast. – It is encouraging to know about such a statement, which shows the importance of the media not only for the broad public, but also for high level political leadership. And it is good to know that the “breakfast” is an international one, even if he had to add, “I would like to request Radio Free Asia to broadcast true reports, not false and unreliable ones.” – Every responsible journalist will fully agree that reports have to be true and not misleading. And the facts presented should not only be true, but also invite to reflect on them, to take them as a challenge to think about their implications for our common life in society.

A seminar held by the Club of Cambodian Journalists in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation highlighted a problem which other foreign observers have also noted with utter surprise or bewilderment: that Cambodia has 15 journalists’ associations. In contrast, for example, Germany has only two, in spite of a much bigger population, more publications, a huge number of journalists, and vast economic resources. Why do the organizers and leaders of the many journalists’ associations in Cambodia choose not to cooperate, but rather to spend their scarce resources and their energy to create and maintain many different more or less weak parallel structures? And by doing so, to forfeit the possibility to have a stronger united voice in their task to fulfill the role of “the fourth estate” in society? It should be the role of this “fourth estate” to represent the different positions they can collect from the voices of the public, and thus help the public to interact with the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary. But they cannot do this effectively when they are weak and divided.

Similarly, Cambodia has many more political parties than other countries with much larger populations. Most of the respected international observers of Cambodian affairs did not think that to have 36 or 23 political parties participating in the 1993 and 1998 elections – most of them receiving less than 1% of the votes – was a sign of a strong developing democracy. Instead, most considered it evidence of a lack of ability to cooperate for the common good of society, and a sign that many self-styled leaders put personal benefit higher than really improving society.
The preference to set up a separate structure under one’s own personal leadership, rather than to cooperate with others in larger structures, is an obstacle to creating big strong institutions in many arenas besides journalism and political parties, and thus an obstacle to achieving goals. Another obstacle is a reluctance to be open to public scrutiny, to subject oneself openly and rigorously to the expectations which are proposed to the Radio Free Asia – that whatever is said must not be “not false and unreliable.” Reliability depends also on rationality, consistency, and acknowledging the full context of facts, even if they are inconvenient.

For example, it is important that election observers cite problems in the preparation and execution of elections – but it is intellectually dishonest to not also acknowledge that the present government received a wide majority of the electoral support in recent elections.

In another example, this week a newspaper cites “the downfall of the Pol Pot regime,” as if it fell down by itself, without acknowledging the persons and the neighboring countries who made efforts and sacrifices for this to happen. They also seem to agree with the opinion of a university student that “generally relations – it does not matter with which country – have always benefits because now we enter an era of globalization” – and that one “always wants good relations with other countries, especially with neighboring countries” – but then blames most problems on neighboring countries and the national leaders who cooperate with them.

In yet another example, an article this week again included complaints that there are Vietnamese sex workers in Cambodia, and that they “impact on Khmer traditions.” The fact that Vietnamese women are only a minority among sex workers in Cambodia, and that most sex workers are Cambodian, was not mentioned, even though this has been established by rigorous research several times. Nor was it mentioned that there have never been any reports that the Cambodian males who visit Vietnamese sex workers have been forced to do so.

Of course, nobody will claim that international relations, especially between a stronger and a weaker nation, are without problems. But it is “false and unreliable” to only use the convenient part of a story to support one’s position. Interestingly, the newspaper articles reporting doubts about friendship with a neighboring country were voiced at the same time that unexpectedly large crowds of Cambodian people visited the Vietnamese Goods Trade Fair, held from 13 to 17 October 2007 in the Mondial Center in Phnom Penh.

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Saturday, 20.10.2007: Mr. Kong Korm Finds that Current Cambodian Rulers Are Influenced by Vietnam

Posted on 21 October 2007. Filed under: Week 530 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 530

“A number of politicians, students, and Cambodian citizens are skeptical about the words Cambodian-Yuon [Vietnamese] Friendship, after Bikkhu Tim Sakhan, the head monk of the Phnom Den Khang Cheung Pagoda, was defrocked and sent to jail on an accusation of having destroyed the Cambodian-Yuon Friendship.

“For instance, recently the head of the Cambodian Government – Prime Minister Hun Sen, addicted-to-power – considered that the head monk Tim Sakhan of the Phnom Den Khang Cheung Pagoda in Kiri Vong District, Takeo, had acted against the Cambodian-Yuon Friendship. However, some analysts of the political situation think that, under the words of Cambodian-Yuon Friendship, Cambodia is probably still under the Yuon colonial yoke like it was in the 1980s.

“A third-year student of the Royal University of Phnom Penh [RUPP], from the Department of Literature, expressed his own opinion that the friendship between Khmer and Yuon is good only for the government, but it negatively affects many issues. Because of much friendship with Yuon, many Yuons enter to live in Cambodia, which is a factor making Khmer citizens lose jobs, causing robberies and prostitution which impact on Khmer traditions.

“Another student of the Department of Information at the RUPP stated that the friendship between Cambodia and Yuon has bad and good sides. The good side is that, as Yuon and Cambodia have a common border; therefore economic relations and trade can easily flourish for mutual import and export of goods. The bad side is, because Cambodia and Yuon have a common border, Yuon immigrants enter easily to resettle illegally, bringing with them robbery and prostitution. Thus, the friendship between Cambodia and Yuon has not only good sides.

“An unmarried woman, who studies at the University of Cambodia in the field of international relations, said that generally relations – it does not matter with which country – have always benefits because now we enter an era of globalization; therefore, we can say in terms of diplomacy that it is good. If we look at our relations with Yuon, they are enormous, compared to other counties; it becomes abnormal, especially the fields of politics are seriously close to each other. Because of such a strong, close relation, every time when a problem occurs, there is no solution; the diplomatic relations that we have seem more like political relations and not like diplomatic relation; they are relations of domination from Yuon on us. It means that these relations do not bring advantages in solving problems, but they establish control instead.

“Concerning these problems above, Mr. Kong Korm, the acting president of the Sam Rainsy Party [SRP], which is the only one big opposition party in the country, said that as a politician and a Khmer citizen, he always wants good relations with other countries, especially with neighboring countries. As for the Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship, there are many complicated problems, for instance the history, border issues, immigration into Cambodia, and land concessions.

“The acting president of the SRP stated, ‘The sovereignty, integrity, and independence of Cambodia under the present rulers are under Vietnamese influence. About the 1985 supplementary border treaties, about the defrocking of the monk Tim Sakhan, who is accused of destroying the Cambodian-Vietnamese relations and who was sent to Vietnam – we do not have an agreement.’

“Concerning the Cambodian-Yuon Friendship, Khieu Kanharith, the spokesperson of the Cambodian People’s Party that has declared ‘ten thousand years’ of friendship with Yuon, asked whether the people, who claim that the Khmer side loses benefits, want to build a ‘Berlin’ wall like it existed in Germany, or if they want to make war with Vietnam like the Khmer Rouge did.

“Khieu Kanharith stated that actually, the Khmer side gets many advantages from the Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship. However, Khieu Kanharith did not dare to talk publicly about the fact that previously Yuons insolently encroached on Khmer land along the border.

“Nevertheless, some experts of sociology and of political science expressed their opinions that all countries always want to gain benefits from friendship, but at the end, the calculation of negative and positive points shows that there must be one country that losses benefits and one country that gains benefits. A country gains benefits when a nation has a leader with a national conscience, and the country has strong economic and military sectors. A country that loses benefits is a country that has a leader without national conscience, and it has a poor economic and a weak military sector.

“Before the upcoming 16th anniversary of the Paris Peace Agreements which were signed on 23 October 1991, dozens of high ranking political personalities affirmed that the Paris Peace Agreements did not help Cambodia to get free from the Vietnamese colonial yoke. Consequently, Cambodia, which is at present under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen, remains under the influence of the Hanoi communist regime with Nong Duc Manh as secretary-general of the party, Nguyen Minh Triet as president, Nguyen Phu Trong as chairperson of the National Assembly, and Nguyen Tan Dung as prime minister. Hun Sen could not get free from their influence which continues like in the 1980s.

“These political figures claim that the act by the extreme communist Patriarch Tep Vong, ordering the defrocking of Bikkhu Tim Shakorn, the head monk of the Phnom Den Khang Cheung Pagoda, and the subsequent detention by the Ministry of Interior, handing him over to the Vietnamese authority to put him in prison, is evidence to show that obviously Cambodia is at present constantly influenced by the Hanoi communist regime. If Cambodia were not consistently influenced by the Hanoi communist regime, Tim Sakhan, who has Khmer nationality, would not have been sent to the Yuon authorities to jail him, violating the constitution, which is the supreme law of Cambodia.

“These analysts stated that because Cambodia is now influenced by Hanoi politics, the dictatorial prime minister Hun Sen and the CPP leaders do not handle the issue of Yuon immigrants, though many of them live illegally in the Khmer territory. Furthermore, the current Royal Government of Cambodia, headed by the CPP, has clear political guidelines in terms of support for Yuon immigrants who live here illegally, requested to do so by the Hanoi communist leaders.

“These analysts concluded that if one would elaborately analyze the words ‘Cambodian-Yuon Friendship’ they carry not any remarkable benefits to the Khmer nation and its citizens. The words Cambodian-Yuon Friendship are meaningful only for the CPP leaders who were appointed by the communist regime of Hanoi to hold power in early 1979, after the downfall of the Pol Pot regime. Therefore, the CPP leaders, especially the prime minister who is addicted-to-power, Hun Sen, keep on carefully serving the benefits of Yuon, though they are ceaselessly criticized.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3290, 20-21.10.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 20 October 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1471, 20.10.2007

  • Man Rapes His Wife Six Times, Then Beats Her Three Times with a Stick to Death; He Is Sentenced by Court to 13 Years’ Imprisonment [Phnom Penh]
  • Iran Hangs Nine People on Accusation of Murder and Rape
  • China Summons US Ambassador over Present [of the US Congressional Gold Medal] to the Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama
  • At Least 126 Died in Bombing against Ms. Bhutto [targeting former Pakistani Prime Minister’s motorcade after her return to the country]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3290, 20-21.10.2007

  • Mr. Kong Korm Finds that Current Cambodian Rulers Are Influenced by Vietnam
  • Sam Rainsy Party Asks National Election Committee to Prolong Voter Registration

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4415, 20.10.2007

  • Princess Arun Rasmey Is on a Bumpy Political Road [she has just been selected as Funcinpec prime ministerial candidate]
  • Japan Will Start Direct Flights to Cambodia [in November]
  • Representatives of 1,000 Families in Moung Russey District Come to Complain in Phnom Penh against Authorities Selling Lake to Businesspeople [Battambang]
  • Fire Swallows 19 Houses Opposite Moung Market [Moung Russey]
  • French President [Nicolas Sarkozy] and His Wife [Cecilia] Divorced [by mutual consent]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3120, 20.10.2007

  • Son Chhay [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Suspects that Khmer Rouge Tribunal Is Biased towards Arrest of Culprits
  • Sam Rainsy Says Current Power Holders Received Doctor’s and Master’s Degrees Which Are Like Toilet Tissues [related to Sam Rainsy speech]

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