Archive for December, 2007

Week 540 – 2007-12-30: Transiting from 2007 into the Future

Posted on 31 December 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 540 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 540

Mirroring what is in the news – mirroring and reading what is going on in our society, among our neighbors, and in the world – calls us always to look back and to look into the future. To be aware of time means always to be aware of the fact that we are transiting from the past to the future.
During the past year there were some events which contained a challenge to take a personal position in view of this flow of time – whether we are really bound by such links between the past and the future.

The start of the work of the the Khmer Rouge Tribunal provoked many people to make statements similar to the one attributed to Nuon Chea at the time when his faction of the Khmer Rouge gave up military action and was, in exchange, accorded special arrangements for the administration of the north-west area of the country around Pailin which they had controlled by their forces: “Let by-gones be bygones.”

The First Prime Minister Prince Ranariddh and the Second Prime Ministers Hun Sen wrote together to the UN Secretary General on 21 June 1997, asking “for the assistance of the United Nations and the international community in bringing to justice those persons responsible for the genocide and crimes against humanity during the rule of the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979,” because “Cambodia does not have the resources or expertise to conduct this very important procedure,” and because they believed that “crimes of this magnitude are of concern to all persons in the world… We hope that the United Nations and international community can assist the Cambodian people in establishing the truth about this period and bring those responsible to justice. Only in this way can this tragedy be brought to a full and final conclusion.”

This was a declaration that the leadership of the Cambodian government was committed to call those responsible for injustice to help establish the truth about the past, to conclude the events of that period finally, in order to see clearly into the future. The international community responded to this call by the Cambodian leadership, and a considerable sector of Cambodian society seems to share the same concerns: it is necessary to clarify the past to achieve a clearer future.

But there is a second web of relationships and involvement. The transition from one year to the next reminds us that we are bound by this past-future link – whether we like it or not. It also reminds us that we are not only in time, but also in space we are part of larger connected relationships – again, whether we like it or not. The year 2007 brought not yet the assurance, but the high probability, that Cambodia will be able to gain riches from natural oil and gas in the future. It is unavoidable to look into the gains and the problems other countries experienced in similar situations in the past. And this has to be seen in connection with statements by the Minister of the Environment about natural resources and about gold resources – in ecological and in economic terms. The Prime Minister recently disclosed financial reserves of more than US$2 billion. Questions about transparency and public handling of public funds arose, even though reportedly the purpose of some millions of such dollars spent – to keep fuel prices low – was for the benefit of the people. Then came the story that a person in the most important government public telecommunications operation was accused of having stolen US$4 million per year for some years – that nobody had been aware of it, and nobody had raised it, is almost beyond imagination. If such past activity is not clarified and publicly rectified, public administration and state finance will remain a target of mistrust in the future.

Thirdly, throughout the year we were confronted again and again with questions about the role of the law – of observing the law, or of breaking it by power and force. Nationally and internationally, it continued to be part of our mirroring. It related to many cases of land grabs and the pleas of people from the countryside coming to Phnom Penh, or from some sections of the capital city. They came when they were near despair but still had hope – holding the pictures of the Prime Minister and his wife as proof of their trust in the political leadership – until they were chased and trucked away. Similarly, when on 3 October 2007, Prime Minister Hun Sen was quoted by the Voice of America as calling for an end to the violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators and monks in Myanmar, saying the ruling junta should “have maximum patience, not use force to crack down on the demonstrators,” there was hope that monks in Cambodia would be spared beating by electric batons, as the police here would also have maximum patience. But what actually took place in front of the Vietnamese embassy was quite different.

Fortunately, we are not suffering the massive fatal violence under which people in a number of countries in Africa, and in Afghanistan and Iraq live daily. In all those situations, initial violence (either by opposing forces or by state powers) and counter-violence by the other side escalated. One recent example is the murder of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan, a former prime minister who had formerly been deposed and accused of corruption; her father, also formerly a prime minister, had been executed for corruption. The legitimacy of the corruption accusations were strongly contested. Ms. Bhutto’s murder, now, was accompanied by the death of about 20 more people in the suicide bombing, and it is reported that the political clashes since have resulted in dozens of more people losing their lives. It is with such bloody news that we move towards the transition from 2007 to 2008.

Violence requires a strong response by the legitimate forces of the state, taken after maximum patience and without prejudice. Use of public resources requires competent, non-corrupt, and transparent management by the state. Handling of people’s pleas for justice requires prompt, compassionate and lawful response from the state. If these standards for government action can be met in 2008, maybe the many New Year wishes for good luck, health and happiness in a peaceful new year that are now being exchanged may not be completely in vain.

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Saturday, 29.12.2007: Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Condemns Suicide Attack Which Killed Ms. Benazir Bhutto

Posted on 30 December 2007. Filed under: Week 540 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 540

“Phnom Penh: Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen condemned the suicide attack which killed the former Pakistani Prime Minister Ms. Benazir Bhutto on the evening of 27 December at Liaqut Bagh park.

“In a short press conference in Phnom Penh on 28 December, after accompanying the King to inaugurate Kantha Bopha Hospital 5, Samdech Prime Minister said that the people and the Royal Government of Cambodia condemn terrorism and call for all means in order to bring the terrorists to be punished. Samdech Dekchor stated that we call for all parties of Pakistan to be patient and not to use violence against the efforts to find solutions for all issues.

“According to a source from abroad, many witnesses who saw the event at the place described a sniper who opened gunfire at Ms. Bhutto and her supporters, and at least one bullet hit Ms. Bhutto in her neck and another bullet hit her in her chest, before he exploded the suicide bomb.

“Samdech Prime Minister said that the issues of Pakistan are serious, and the international community should condemn this violent act.

“In October, a suicide attack had been targeted at Ms. Benazir Bhutto in Karachi after she had returned from exile to Pakistan, which killed and wounded tens of people, but at that time Ms. Bhutto was not hurt.

“Samdech Hun Sen said that we offer our condolences to her husband as well as to the families of all victims.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1531, 29.12.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 29 December 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1531, 29.12.2007

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Condemns Suicide Attack Which Killed Ms. Benazir Bhutto
  • Ministry of Defense Urges Ministry of Finance to Hold Bidding for Rice Supplies Soon
  • A Soldier Uses a Sex Video of a Thai Pagoda Head Monk to Threat Him for Money [Nonthaburi, Thailand]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6231, 29-30.12.2007

  • Ms. Benazir Bhutto Murdered; International Community Considers the Murder to Be to a “Very Cowardly” Attack
  • Draft Law on Demonstrations and Strikes: National Assembly Plans to Discuss It in the Beginning of 2008
  • Grenade Thrown [by unknown person] into House of Koh Santepheap Reporter [Vann Bunthoeun – luckily the grenade did not explode – Svay Rieng]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3350, 29-30.12.2007

  • Voting to Change Leaders Is an Effective Way to Combat Corruption
  • Many Luxury Wood Trees in Samlot Conservation Area, Battambang, Illegally Cut
  • Kampuchea Krom Khmers Abroad [in US] Create Prey Nokor News [via Internet, the publisher is a monk named Son Viratana] to Publish Human Rights Violations by Communist Yuon [Vietnamese] Government
  • Yuon Government Told a Sam Rainsy Parliamentarian that It Will Release Tim Sakhan Soon [who has been defrocked on accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he is accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia, now jailed in Vietnam]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4475, 29.12.2007

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Calls for Pakistani Government to Arrest Terrorists for Punishment
  • Khmer Writers’ Association Plans to Make Movie about Life of Preah Bat Jayavarman VII
  • ACLEDA Bank Opens Branch in Laos

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #588, 29.12.2007

  • Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Asks Government to Stop Providing Concessions of More Than 10,000 Hectares of Land to Yuons [Vietnamese] to Plant Rubber Trees [Ratanakiri]

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Friday, 28.12.2007: Ministry of Information Reminds, and Issues Regulations

Posted on 28 December 2007. Filed under: Week 540 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 540

“Phnom Penh: The Ministry of Information issued new regulations requiring newspapers, bulletins, and magazines to state the names of their publishers or the structure of their agencies in their publications, and to be cautious about the publication of some articles and pictures.

“The regulations issued on 25 December by Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the Minister of Information, which were published to the media on the afternoon of 27 December, stated that the Ministry of Information found that some publishers of newspapers, bulletins, and magazines do not implement the instructions or reminders of the Ministry of Information, as well as the Code of Ethics and the Press Law. In order to maintain the value of journalism and to promote it, the Ministry of Information issued these regulations for all agencies of newspapers, bulletins, magazines, and printing houses, stating that all publications must follow these important and required regulations:

  • They must state the names of the publisher, the structure of their agency, the office address, the names of the printing house, and the serial numbers of the license given by the Ministry of Information.
  • They must follow the policies of the Ministry of Information.
  • They must not write, comment, or say something which impacts negatively on the King, on security, and on social order.
  • They must not use bad, mocking, accusing, or insulting words, or draw pictures using animals to compare them with religions, with institutions such as the Senate, or the National the Assembly, and with the leaders of the Royal Government.
  • They must not publish pornographic pictures, or articles which contradict national morality, culture, and traditions.
  • Printing houses and newsstands must not publish and sell newspapers, bulletins, and magazines which contradict these regulations.

“The regulations stated that for activities which contradict these regulations, the Ministry of Information will withdraw the licenses of the publication and of the business doing the publication.

“Mr. Pen Samithi, the President of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, which has activities to promote the freedom and the reputation of journalists, said on the afternoon of 27 December that he does not consider these regulations to be a restriction of the freedom of expression of journalists. He stated that according to his own view, these regulations are just like a reminder. He continued that some newspapers, bulletins, and magazines have already been published showing the names of their publishers, structures, and addresses.

“He went on to say that concerning writings or comments which relate to the King, or other points stated in the regulations, they are all already stated in laws.

“He called on all journalists to work according to the high Code of Ethics and with professional conscience.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4474, 28.12.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 28 December 2007

Bakheng, Vol.6, #78, 28.12.2007

  • Even if Prince Ranariddh, Sam Rainsy, and Kem Sokha [the president of the Human Rights Party] Join Together, They Will Not Make the Cambodian People’s Party Worried

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1530, 28.12.2007

  • To Have Minerals but Not to Exploit Them Is Like to Have Gold but Not to Have Paper to Wrap It [says Mok Mareth, Minister of Environment, in response to criticism of mining in the Cardamom Mountains that may effect the environment]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #81, 28-29.12.2007

  • Ms. Mu Sochua [Deputy Secretary-General of the Sam Rainsy Party]: Rights of Women and Children in Cambodia Are the Most Seriously Violated in the Region

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6230, 28.12.2007

  • Ministry of Information Issues Regulations Regarding the Publication of Newspapers, Bulletins, and Magazines
  • 1,008 Grenades Found Underground Beneath a Place Where People Produced Liquor Every Day [Choam Khsant, Preah Vihear]
  • Hearing of Those Involved in Import of 4 Tonnes of Chemicals for Producing Drugs Held [Phnom Penh]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3349, 28.12.2007

  • When Elections Approach, Ministry of Information Tightens Publication Rules of Information and Freedom of Expression
  • Business People Transport Luxury Wood to Yuon [Vietnam] through Chrey Thom Border Crossing and Pay Officials $4,000 [bribes] for One Boatload [Kandal]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4474, 28.12.2007

  • Ministry of Information Reminds, and Issues Regulations
  • Khmer Rouge Tribunal Needs Another $45 Million to Work Until 2010
  • Woman Burns Four-Year-Old Girl to Death; She Was Arrested by Police but Escaped [Kuleaen, Preah Vihear]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #587, 28.12.2007

  • There Are International Reserves of Nearly $2 Billion, but Cambodia Is Still a Begging Country
    Government Deploys More Than 100 Uniformed Personnel to Protect Yuon [Vietnamese] Embassy in Phnom Penh for Fear of Demonstrations by Kampuchea Krom Khmer Monks

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Thursday, 27.12.2007: Twelve Tonnes of Gold Kept; Starting from Year Zero (1979), Cambodia Has International Reserves of Approximately $2 Billion

Posted on 27 December 2007. Filed under: Week 540 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 540

“On the occasion of awarding bachelor’s and doctor’s degree certificates to graduates of the Chamroeun University of Poly-Technology on the morning of 26 December at the National Institute of Education, Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, said that the international reserves of Cambodia increased this year since February to US$500 million in eight months. If one calculates from the beginning of the year, we have an increase to nearly US$700 million. Samdech said that up to 25 December, the reserves increased to US$1.692 million.

“Samdech Prime Minister said proudly that starting from zero dollars in 1979 to the middle of next year, the international reserves of Cambodia will be $2 billion, and if we used the gold reserves of 12 tonnes, the reserves are more than US$2 billion, but we do not use the gold reserves of 12 tonnes so that they will not be wasted. As for not using this monetary resource [the gold], Samdech Prime Minister raised as an example that if we used the 12 tonnes of gold to deposit in a bank for interest, and if the price of gold today is $500 per ounce and tomorrow it might be $520, that would be dangerous for the bank management and for the Minister of Finance; therefore, don’t touch it [the gold], keep it to rent a safe for keeping it, because it is sensitive. Samdech Dekchor said that we have tried to work starting from zero until we have that amount, but we are still not recognized for our achievements. Samdech added that he also knows that the reserves in each house are not small.

“These figures of the national reserves were shown while the 29th anniversary of liberation day on 7 January 2007 [sic – actually 2008] approaches – this period from 7 January 1979 to 7 January 2008 also reflects the starting point of the year zero of the development of the country, and to speak on this point means also that it is the period of years from zero dollars to more than $2 billion. This is the result of the development of the national economy, and this is even achieved without using the 12 tonnes of gold.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6229, 27.12.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 27 December 2007

Deum Ampil, Vol.2, #49, 26.12.2007-1.1.2008

  • Thai Military Unhappy with Success of Elections of People’s Power Party

Deum Tnot, Vol.1, #1, 27-28.12.2007

  • Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association Asks for Students and Teachers Not Be Called Up, and for School Complexes Not Be Used for [ruling] Party Political Propaganda

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1529, 27.12.2007

  • Opposition Party Concerned about Impact of Dredging of Soil to Fill Boeng Kak Lake [Phnom Penh]
  • Thai People Believe that Fire on 40 m High Dragon Building Is a Bad Political Omen

Khmer Eak Reach, Vol.1, #3, 27.12.2007

  • Trees Are Ruined; Forestry Officials Just Care about Counting Money [receiving bribes from businesspeople – Siem Reap]
  • Illegal Fishing Goes On All Over in Siem Reap Area; Fisheries Officials Ignore It
  • Pursat Police and Military Police Protect [illegally transported] Wood for Businesspeople

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #80, 27.12.2007

  • Mr. Son Chhay [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Urges that Legal Action Be Taken against Corrupt Nhek Kosal Vithyea [director of Telecom Cambodia]
  • Plan to Create Game Hunting Area in Northeastern Provinces Becomes New Concern for Environmental Organizations
  • Five Citizens at Borei Keyla Handcuffed by Authorities While Paid Workers Entered There and Demolished Their Houses [to get land for Phanimex company – Prampi Makara, Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6229, 27.12.2007

  • Twelve Tonnes of Gold Kept; Starting from Year Zero (1979), Cambodia Has International Reserves of Approximately $2 Billion
  • Municipality Rejects Request of Human Rights Party for Holding [public] Forum [over gasoline prices] at Meru Park or at Phsar Chas Square
  • Town and Provincial Information Technology Administration Network Project Starts
  • District Authorities Demolish Constructions of Motorboat Workers; Construction Owners Raise Banners Demanding Compensations [Russey Keo, Phnom Penh]
  • Disabled Soldiers Call for Pensions Which Have Been Delayed for Months and Years Not Paid [Phnom Penh]
  • Chinese Investors Want to Cooperate with 7NG Company

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3348, 27.12.2007

  • Prime Minister Dissatisfied with Broadcasting by National Television (TVK) [he called TVK reports rotten or dead for long time; he suggested not to get free reports from China and France any more, but to buy reports from Reuters, CNN, and AP etc. Minister of Information and government spokesperson Khieu Kanharith told a foreign newspaper that the ministry has no money to buy reports]
  • Hope that Hun Sen Government Will Not Spare Nhek Kosal Vithyea, Thief Who Steals from the Nation
  • Yash Ghai [Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia] Affirms that Cambodian Government Has the Right to Write to the UN Secretary-General [to ask him if they want to have a special envoy for Cambodia any longer]
  • Parliamentarian Ho Vann [from Sam Rainsy Party, Phnom Penh] Criticizes Phnom Penh Authorities for Using Force to Expel 120 Families from Borei Keyla

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4473, 27.12.2007

  • Nearly 1,000 Hectares of Tonle Bet Conservation Land in Kompong Cham Becomes Property of Rich People
  • Thai People’s Power Party Declares to Create Government on 4 January 2008

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3217, 27.12.2007

  • Yeay [“grandmother”] Phan [Suy Sophan, the president of the Phanimex company] Expels People at Borei Keyla and Transports Them to Abandon Them Like Baby Cats at Trapeang Anhchanh [Dangkao], Tens of Kilometers from Phnom Penh

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Wednesday, 26.12.2007: Mr. Son Chhay Demands Release of Documents Related to a Spy

Posted on 27 December 2007. Filed under: Week 540 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 540

“By not revealing the name, speaking toward an unnamed person who had initiated ‘dying of color’ [hinting but not revealing] over an [also unnamed] spy, which shocked Khmer citizens in the past few weeks, yesterday Mr. Son Chhay demanded the release of related documents.

“Mr. Son Chhay, a Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh and chairperson of the Commission of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, Information and Media of the National Assembly, said, ‘So far there has been a serious accusation by this person to be a spy of this person, this person to be a spy of that person, and we want the information and the documents, because they cannot be kept secret any longer.’

“As for the reaction of this parliamentarian – though the name of the person who threatened that he has clear documents was not mentioned – it can be understood that the threatening person is Hun Sen, the power-addicted Prime Minister of Cambodia.

“It seems that all this is a repetition of last week, when Hun Sen, who is a former soldier of the Khmer Rouge which led Cambodia into a hole of death, said that he has documents, voice and video recordings, to show that a person, who now criticizes him of using money secretly to reduce the fuel prices, saying that this is non-transparent, is his spy, and he is even prepared to publish secret documents to prove it. The speech of Hun Sen referred to Mr. Son Chhay.

“However, this parliamentarian, who frequently criticizes the government for scandals without hesitation, is not frightened of Hun Sen’s public threat at all. Mr. Son Chhay at this time wants to see the documents related to the insult to him which say that he is a spy.

“It should be noticed that on 13 December, in a public forum, Hun Sen said that his government spent $26 million in one year secretly to prevent the increase of electricity prices, and nearly $200 million to prevent the increase of fuel prices – but Mr. Son Chhay said that these are non-transparent activities.

“This parliamentarian’s words made Hun Sen very furious and made him speak badly, and he said, ‘Must you be told about these expenses?’

“Such an understanding by Hun Sen caused criticism from national and international circles, saying that it is not suitable for a leader of a democratic country – quite to the contrary, it seems to show clearly that this prime minister is leading the country with a dictatorial communist system, because in democratic countries, the leaders always regard their citizens as Heavenly Lord and Master, and all decisions on spending money by the government must be based on an agreement by the parliamentarians as representatives of the citizens in advance; expenses cannot be made quietly like this, because it is money from tax payments, coming from the citizens’ sweat and blood.

“Nonetheless, all income and expenses of the government, which is controlled by Hun Sen, are now seen to be handled illegally, depending only on what powerful people say, like Mr. Son Chhay explained that no transparency exits, which shows that those who act like this seriously look down on the citizens who pay taxes.

“In order to hide such very bad and non-transparent activities, it is observed that the country’s leader always holds blood in his mouth and spits it on other people [=accusing other people], such as this accusation that this person or that person is planning to oppose him, or that that person is his spy, which is a threat and a strategy to attract and to divert public interest.

“Moreover, according to a professor of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, this is a bad way which serves the political ambition of a foreign country which is the enemy of Khmer [Cambodia], in order to break up the nation, causing confusion and doubt, and leading to the killing of each other – among Khmers and Khmers.

“As for Mr. Son Chhay, he gives the impression that the current situation of Cambodia is not very different from the Khmer Rouge regime.

“Mr. Son Chhay said, ‘Cambodia used to be ruled by the dictatorship of the Khmer Rouge group, and though the government affirmed that it had destroyed the political organization of the Khmer Rouge, it is observed that the Khmer Rouge influence still continues. The government of our country is making all citizens frightened because of threats; even to publicly protest as an effort to participate in politics is difficult.

“In such a situation, the head of the Hun Sen government should reconsider what makes the nation progress, and what makes the nation lose something, and to accept criticism from others to correct himself and to stop immediately to serve foreign political benefits by breaking up his own nation, because a prime minister can also be used as a spy by a foreign country, which is most dangerous for the country and for Khmer citizens.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #79, 26.12.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Angkor Kampuchea, Vol.1, #8, 25.12.2007

  • Khmer Rouge Tribunal Plans to Hold Hearing of Nuon Chea’s Appeal on 4 February 2008
  • Trees in Pursat Are Ruined because Forestry Officials, Environmental Officials, Police, and Military Police Collude with Businesspeople

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1528, 26.12.2007

  • Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will Get Enough Funds Next Month [according to Reach Sambath, Khmer Rouge tribunal spokesperson, but source of funds is not mentioned]
  • Christmas Day Invades Young People and Small Children throughout Phnom Penh [young people and small children celebrate Christmas]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #79, 26.12.2007

  • Mr. Son Chhay Demands Release of Documents Related to a Spy
  • Mr. Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Plans to Invite [Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior] Sar Kheng to Explain why Officials Used Violence against Monks and Other Citizens [who petitioned at the Vietnamese embassy demanding release of Tim Sakhan, who has been defrocked on accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he is accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia, now jailed in Vietnam]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6228, 26.12.2007

  • 90 Grenades Found in Mountainous Forest in Chhouk District; Cambodian Mine Action Center Will Destroy Them Today [Kampot]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3347, 26.12.2007

  • Boeng Kak Lake Will Be Filled Next Month [Phnom Penh]
  • Monks and Khmer Compatriots in US Call for Hun Sen Government to Respect Human Rights

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4472, 26.12.2007

  • Norodom Ranariddh Party Lobbies 22 Embassies over Samdech Krom Preah [it contacted 22 embassies including the British, French, German, Japanese, and US embassies and other embassies of Asian countries, to help Prince Ranariddh to return to the country for the 2008 elections, explaining irregularities in lawsuits and in his overthrow as Funcinpec president, in court procedures, and about the interference of powerful people]
  • Thai National Arrested; 5,137 Amphetamine Tablets and 290 g of Drug Powder Seized [Malai, Banteay Meanchey]
  • Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn [of Thailand] Visits Development of Kompong Chheuteal High School [which is sponsored by her – Prasat Sambour, Kompong Thom]
  • [Former Thai Prime Minister] Thaksin Plans to Return to the Country and to Work as Advisor to the Party That Won Elections

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #585, 26.12.2007

  • After Announcement of Election Results; Situation in Thailand Is Still in Trouble and Dark

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Tuesday, 25.12.2007: Cambodian Prime Minister Welcomes Free and Fair Elections in Thailand

Posted on 25 December 2007. Filed under: Week 540 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 540

“Khsach Kandal [Kandal]: The Cambodian Prime Minister welcomed the success of the elections in Thailand on Sunday by saying that as a neighboring friend and as a partner in ASEAN, we congratulate free and fair elections which can be accepted by all.

“Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen said at an inauguration of constructions in Wat Vihear Suor [Khsach Kandal, Kandal] on the morning of 24 December, that now we wait to work with a civilian government which will be created. Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen stated that we wait to work with the new Thai prime minister and new Thai government, and we hope that Cambodian-Thai relations will be strengthened.

“Samdech Hun Sen said that this is what we want. We do not want peace for Cambodian people only, but we also want peace for our neighboring countries.

“Thailand held general elections on 23 December, after a powerful military group had conducted a coup last year to overthrow Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra from his position and appointed General Surayud Chulanont as a replacement as prime minister. Samdech Hun Sen said that Mr. Surayud also announced that the elections are free and fair; therefore, the People’s Power Party which won the elections will lead the government, and we hope that the bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries [Cambodia and Thailand] will be better.

“Regarding the Cambodian fourth term election in July next year, Samdech Dekchor told the citizens that he prayed for the Cambodian People’s Party to win the elections.

“Samdech said that it is normal that we pray for winning the elections, we do not pray for losing [the elections]; this is the truth.

“Samdech Hun Sen said however, winning or losing depends on the citizens, it cannot be forced.

“According to a source abroad, the People’s Power Party won 256 out of 480 parliamentary seats, giving this party a definite majority.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1527, 25.12.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2741, 25.12.2007

  • Municipal Court Gives One Month for Accused Heng Pov [former Phnom Penh Municipal Police Commissioner, now in jail] to Find Lawyer by Himself [he had rejected the court appointed lawyer]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1527, 25.12.2007

  • Cambodian Prime Minister Welcomes Free and Fair Elections in Thailand
  • Mr. Sar Kheng Exposes a [“Build – Operate – Transfer”] Company of Making Cake without Flour [the company is late in carrying out a contract for construction of roads in Battambang; therefore the contract has been canceled]
  • Samdech Dekchor Says Power of Preah Vihear Suor [Buddhist temple in Khsach Kandal, Kandal] Protected Him from Rocket Attack in Siem Reap [in 1998]
  • Mr. Zhang Zulin, Mayor of Kunming [of China], Praises Strong Progress in Phnom Penh
  • China Provides 50 Electric Buses to Royal Government
  • Man Was Fired at Like in a Battlefield [by officials] for Transporting Just Five Jerry Cans of [smuggled] Gasoline [he is wounded with two bullets – Kampot]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #78, 25.12.2007

  • [Free] Trade Union [of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia] Opposes Government’s Plan to Suspend UN Human Rights Office
  • Heng Pov Shouted Noisily in Court that He Has Been Jailed and No One Has Talked to Him

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6227, 25.12.2007

  • Approximately 700 Laywomen and Khmer Muslims Hold Pilgrimage to Khmer Rouge Tribunal Today

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3346, 25.12.2007

  • Public Servants of Ministry of Telecommunications Wait to See That Hun Sen Takes Action against Nhek Kosal Vithyea [Director of Telecom Cambodia], the Thief Who Stole from the Nation, and against High Ranking Officials Supporting Him
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Stated that He Has Never Thought about Meeting with Prince Ranariddh
  • Hun Sen Supports People’s Power Party That Won Elections in Siam [Thailand]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4471, 25.12.2007

  • Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs [Koumura Masahiko] Affirms Preparation to Help with 2008 Parliamentary Elections in Cambodia
  • Cambodia Was Absent at Vote at UN on Human Rights in Burma
  • Russian Telecommunication Company [Altimo] Interested in Cambodian Market

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Monday, 24.12.2007: Kampot Stadium Site Exchanged after Hun Sen Had Threatened Kol Pheng and Nuth Sokhom Not to Sell or Exchange State Property of the Two Ministries

Posted on 25 December 2007. Filed under: Week 540 | Tags: , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 540

“Officials in the Kampot Department of Education, Youth, and Sports were utterly surprised and could not but express this saying: Now corrupt officials can sell all state property! Dekchor Hun Sen had shouted loudly – which is likely to be similar to shout to cattle and buffaloes to listen, but who will get frightened? The officials in the Kampot Department of Education got disappointed when they later saw the notice from the Council of Ministers, signed by Mr. Prak Sokhon, Secretary of State of the Council of Ministers.

“Now a reliable source revealed that the stadium has been sold to a company at $2,437,500 equal to $75 per square meter, with a total area of 325,000 square meters – i.e. more than 3 hectares. However, the sale was finally conducted in a legal way under the pretext of exchanging sites.

“It is remembered that Prime Minister Hun Sen, who sometimes bend down and eats his own words [he does not respect what he had said before], had shouted publicly in front of tens of thousands of citizens as well as of many other officials, threatening Senior Minister Mr. Kol Pheng, the Minister of Education, and Mr. Nuth Sokhom, the Minister of Health, to definitely prohibit them from selling or exchanging state property. And without being spared, Dekchor Hun Sen exposed especially Mr. Kol Pheng’s fault in a case where he had asked for policy guidance to exchange some state building sites, but this was refused as inappropriate; as this request for exchange would entail corruption.

“Separately from this, the Three-Star General Mr. Ung Samkhan asked for approval from the Prime Minister to exchange a naval site, reasoning that there is no longer a Khmer Rouge threat at present, and there is enough stability and security, as an appropriate reason for seeing the benefits of exchanging a present site for another one. But the Prime Minister definitely did not approve. But finally, after. Dekchor Hun Sen had spit his saliva and then bent down to lick it up [using derogatory language for “eating one’s own words,” that is: withdrawing a former statement].

“The land of the Kampot Stadium, 325,000 square meters, was finally sold according to firmly defined procedures, especially with the approval by Dekchor Hun Sen, by the Ministry of Education, and with the approval of the department at all levels, which has been well known throughout Kampot, and Lay Borin, the chief of the Department of State Property of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, came forward to do the paper preparations. By now, he has the opportunity to buy three or four modern Lexus cars to drive around arrogantly, and it seems that he hurts the feelings of other officials who did not get anything from the sale.

“It is observed that in all sales and exchanges of state immovable property, Funcinpec ministers never get benefits; they are not even treated equal to secretaries of state from the Cambodian People’s Party; this is true.

“The officials in the Kampot Department of Education stated that the sale of land at $75 per square meter is just to deceive other people’s eyes; actually, the company offered to buy the land at $150 per square meter; therefore, they prepared the papers to sell the stadium, getting a benefit from the sale, with is twice as high as stated in the papers, as a ‘commission’ to share with each other.

“The land of 325,000 square meters is stated to be worth $2,437,500 – this is just a figure on which they agreed with each other; but in the contract of selling and buying, the price is $150 per square meter. Thus, Mr. Lay Borin, the chief of the Department of State Property of the Ministry of Education, who is the main person handling the paperwork, might get also quite some commission.

“The same officials stated that an exchange of the stadium site means that the stadium has to be rebuilt in the Kompong Bay district; however, this is not indicated in the notice from the Council of Ministers, signed by Mr. Prak Sokhon, the Secretary of State of the Council of Ministers, but it is changed to be bought at Kompong Touk, which is four kilometers from the provincial town. The approval of Dekchor Hun Sen for the exchange of the stadium site is a source of income for the officials involved, so they become rich very fast, according to their skills of destroying the nation.” Bakong, Vol.7, #240, 24-25.12.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 24 December 2007

Bakong, Vol.7, #240, 24-25.12.2007

  • Khmer Rouge Tribunal Lacks More Than $4 Million to Continue the Process
  • Kampot Stadium Site Exchanged after Hun Sen Had Threatened Kol Pheng and Nuth Sokhom Not to Sell or Exchange State Property of the Two Ministries
  • 210 Families Are Homeless because of Construction of Prek Kdam Bridge [Ponhea Leu, Kandal]

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.1, #24, 24-25.12.2007

  • Sok Sareth [deputy governor of Banteay Meanchey] Orders Police of Battalion 891 to Expel Citizens of Baliley Village in Order to Get Land for Businesspeople
  • Poipet Immigration Police Extort Money from Citizens Entering Casinos

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1526, 23-24.12.2007

  • Cambodia Will Add New Weapon [law] for Protection of Natural Resources
  • Illegal Sawmills Destroy Trees in Prey S’ak Area, Anlong Veng [Oddar Meanchey]
  • 700 Live Snakes Found in a [Thai Airway] Plane in Vietnam
  • Thailand and Malaysia Inaugurate Bridge Across Border

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #539, 23.12.2007

  • Cambodia Wants to Follow Dictatorial Burma by Demanding Closure of UN Human Rights Office [over reaction against Yash Ghai, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia]
  • According to Documents, Nhek Kosal Vithyea [Director of Telecom Cambodia] Stole National Money of Riel 16,564,918,610 [approx. more than US$ 4 million] in One Year

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6226, 24.12.2007

  • Wildlife Thief at Triangle Borders [Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand] Took Two Women into Forest; He Killed the Old Woman and Kept the other [18-year-old] Woman for Sex [he is arrested and the young woman is freed – Tbaeng Meanchey, Preah Vihear]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3345, 24.12.2007

  • [Minister of Posts and Telecommunications] So Khun Tells [Deputy Prime Minister, Minister in Charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers] Sok An that [Director General of Telecom Cambodia] Nhek Kosal Vithyea Stole Tens of Million of Dollars from the Nation

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4470, 23-24.12.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Exposes Formula [developed by] Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh to Create a Party in Which Prince Ranariddh Is to Be President and Sam Rainsy to Be Vice-President [and prime ministerial candidate – Sam Rainsy said Prince Ranariddh wants to do so, but Sam Rainsy and his party are not interested to ally with Prince Ranariddh]
  • Thai Fortune Teller: After Elections [in Thailand] There Will Still Be Chaos; in Future, Thaksin [Shinawatra, former Thai Prime Minister] Will Still Lead the Country
  • China Produces First Passenger Plane [of 90 seats capacity]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #583, 23-24.12.2007

  • National Assembly Creates Medical Care Room for High Officials of This High Institution

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Week 539 – 2007-12-23: Exercising Public Duties – Subverting Justice by Private Interests

Posted on 24 December 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 539 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 539

It is part of the task of the media not only to report and interpret current affairs, but also to remind the public about the wider context of current events – to put them into historical perspective, to remember similar events in the past, and to relate the present to the past.

On 17 June of this year, the title of the weekly editorial of The Mirror said: “…illegal logging, corruption, and land grabbing, are serious problems…” And we had quoted a statement by another person saying that to have a decent future, Cambodia will have to get “some negative problems to come under control: like corruption, illegal logging, and the fact that there is no real separation between the executive, the legislative, and the power of the courts.” To write this did not cause any problem.

However, when Yash Ghai, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia, made critical statements now, he was harshly criticized for words which were very similar to what we had written in June. Actually, the words referred to in June were not Yash Ghai’s, but the words of the outgoing German ambassador. He also criticized the government for confiscating a controversial Global Witness report and commented that “illegal logging spreads in Cambodia and positions in forestry administration are sold or put up for bid.” We have also mirrored reports that the US ambassador has said, “I am concerned about illegal logging, corruption, and land grabbing, which are serious problems against which the Cambodian government should take action…. I believe that it would be better if the Cambodian government and Global Witness would discuss with each other.”

Did not all three persons use very similar words? Why then the different reactions?

Some other differences can also be observed. Not only were the statements by the German ambassador not rejected – this week it is even reported that the Ministry of Finance asked Germany to help to train auditors. Yet Yash Ghai met with unfounded personal attacks. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is reported to have held a press conference condemning his report, including a charge that his salary depends on writing negative reports – but actually he is not even salaried by the United Nations; it is surprising that officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not inform themselves better about such affairs. The Cambodian ambassador to the United Nations is quoted as having called Mr. Yash Ghai a person lacking a proper civilized status. Such a comment disregards the outstanding international reputation of Mr. Yash Ghai as a legal scholar who has fulfilled manifold assignments in different countries and has earned great praise for it; the comment also implicitly criticizes the former and present UN Secretaries-General who appointed and have maintained Mr. Yash Ghai as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia.

Such criticism is observed internationally, and it reflects on both sides – those who criticize and those who are criticized. The Global Witness report on deforestation in Cambodia would hardly have received such wide international interest, if the Cambodian government had not prohibited its distribution in Cambodia. This past week, Global Witness got even a Gold Medal for the report from the US based Center for Global Development in Washington, where also leading World Bank persons are involved.

This week’s brutal beating of some of a small group of unarmed and unprotected Buddhist monks by Cambodian police – reportedly with electric batons, “cattle prods” developed and normally used to control wild cattle – provided a dramatic comment on the human rights situation in the country. It will also be important to observe the further developments in Ratanakiri, where a group of people was gathering to appeal that the publicly announced position of the Prime Minister against deforestation and land grabbing be upheld – but they were intercepted forcefully and violently by the local authorities.

Another report this week shows that the struggle against corrupt practices is further escalating. Staff members of Cambodia Telecom stood up to denounce some bad practices of their supervisors, persons with public responsibilities who brought their personal economic interests into the execution of their duties – a situation unfortunately not uncommon also in other fields. But their appeal to the highest authority in government is reported to have been blocked from reaching the Prime Minister. In this context, a daughter of the Prime Minister is reported to have been described as “useless and incompetent to support and … to steal from the nation” by the accused perpetrators of corruption.

There are frequent appeals to the Prime Minister, sometimes also to his wife, to intervene when injustice is done and people have lost confidence in the due process of law enforcement by the legal system and the police. For some people, this is their last hope. And some remember that the Prime Minister himself has warned that continued oppression of the poor without control of the unlawful power of some rich people could lead again to wide popular uprisings.

The US ambassador said recently, “Journalists and the media have an important an role in democratic regimes.” This week shows how true this is.

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Saturday, 22.12.2007: Khmer Press Freedom: Reporters Without Borders Ranks Cambodia Fourth among 128 Countries

Posted on 23 December 2007. Filed under: Week 539 | Tags: , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 539

According to our working principle to “mirror” sectors of the Khmer press which contribute to shaping public opinion, we “mirror” also the following article, though we were not able to verify or clarify statements attributed to Reporters without Borders, who have published, as every year, a Worldwide Press Freedom Index also for 2007, where they list Cambodia at position 85 for 2007, up from 108 in 2006, among 168 countries. As indicated below, the position of the US media has dropped, from position 56 in 2006 to position 119 in the 2007 report.

“Phnom Penh: Ms. Joyce Barret, a teacher of journalism and a US professional journalist, said on 21 December that according to a report of Reporters without Borders published on their homepage about a survey on 128 countries in the world, Cambodia is classified fourth of confidence in media, with 74% saying media are reliable, 14% unreliable, and the rest has no fixed opinion.

“Cambodia is known as a country on the better side, when it comes to press freedom among the ten ASEAN countries. Cambodia has print media, radio, television, and Internet, operated both by the sate and by private companies.

“Ms. Joyce Barret continued that Reporters Without Borders conducted a survey and found that in Cambodia people have even more confidence in journalism than in the US at present. She continued, ‘Some US journalists destroyed their reputation and therefore people lost confidence in them.’

“Mr. Joseph Mussomeli, the US Ambassador to Cambodia, stated that journalists have an important role for Cambodia as well as for the US. He continued, ‘Especially, the role of newspapers is important for elections; US newspapers make pages available for election related publications.’

“By now, the US Embassy in Cambodia has trained 27 Cambodian journalists to participate in reporting during the coming elections. The US ambassador stated, ‘Journalists and the media have an important role in democratic regimes.’

“Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the Minister of Information, could not be reached for comment on 21 December 2007, because his phone was not available. However, Mr. Thieng Vandarong, Undersecretary of State of Information, stated that Cambodia has about 400 print media in Khmer and in foreign languages – newspapers, magazines, and news bulletins – as well as radio and television stations.

“He continued, ‘Our journalists are now better educated, and the Ministry of Information has given licenses for the publication of daily and weekly newspapers, and all newspaper published must report correctly.’ He added that there are, however, still some journalists who have not familiarized themselves as professionals, and they try to misuse their possibilities, which may impact journalism to the extent that some journalist had even been detained. He continued, ‘We hope that our journalists will professionally know more in the very near future.’” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6225, 22-23.12.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 22 December 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1522, 22.12.2007

  • 15 Days Given for Ieng Sary and His Wife to Write Their Position against their Detention Warrants
  • Singer Pech Chan Morakot Sued [by a woman] on Accusation of Severe Acid Attack [Phnom Penh]
  • Woman Beats Her Husband to Death – Then Escapes, Leaving Two Children in Ponhea Kraek District [Kompong Cham]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6225, 22-23.12.2007

  • Khmer Press Freedom: Reporters Without Borders Ranks Cambodia Fourth among 128 Countries
  • On 24 December, Court Will Hold Hearing of Heng Pov [former Phnom Penh Municipal Police Commissioner, now in jail] for Kidnapping a Man for $300,000 Ransom
  • Cambodia Was Classified According to Number of Smokers in the Region; 1 of 10 Adults Dies from Smoking [according to Adventist Development and Relief Agency’s studies in Cambodia]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3344, 22-23.12.2007

  • Kampuchea Krom Khmer Monks Plan Petition to Yuon [Vietnamese] Embassy Again [demanding release of Tim Sakhan [who has been defrocked on accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he is accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia, now jailed in Vietnam]
  • Municipal Court Will Try the Accused Chea Chung [accused of drug trafficking] on 27 December; Many Circles Wait to Observe It Carefully
  • No UN Envoy Has Been Welcome by Strongman Hun Sen
  • Victims of Land Grabbing in Krakor Plan to Demonstrate on 24 December against Ratanak Visal Company [Pursat]
  • Implementation of Human Rights in Cambodia Is Really Smooth when Police Beat and Kick Monks Like Animals [ironic]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4469, 22.12.2007

  • [Prince] Thomico Affirms New Strategy for Samdech Krom Preah [through conference of monarchists]
  • Newspaper Sellers at Borei Keyla Disappointed about Expulsion without Compensation
  • Joseph [A. Mussomeli, US Ambassador to Cambodia]: Positive Points of Khmer Rouge Tribunal Make US Consider Provision of Funds
    US Ambassador [at the opening ceremony of a journalism training course at the US Embassy]: ‘Free Media Are Fundamental for Solid Democracy’
  • Ministry of Finance Asks Germany to Help to Train Auditors

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #582, 22.12.2007

  • Sam Rainsy, Kem Sokha [president of Human Rights Party], and Prince Ranariddh Are in France, Annoying Hun Sen in Cambodia
  • Joseph A. Mussomeli: Journalists Are Not to Serve Government and [political party] Candidates
  • Yuon [Vietnam] to Provide Hun Sen $1 Million [for radio stations in Svay Rieng, Mondolkiri, Kampot, and Kompong Thom] to Propagandize for Yuon Communism

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Friday, 21.12.2007: Detailed Reports on Theft from the Nation, Committed by Nhek Kosal Vithyea, to Hun Sen Get Stuck at Sok An, Ho Sothy, and Men Sam An

Posted on 22 December 2007. Filed under: Week 539 | Tags: , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 539

“Nhek Kosal Vithyea [Director of Telecom Cambodia], chief of the thieves who steal from the nation, whose brain is full of dishonest ideas to destroy the nation by using the ‘green light’ from the person handling government permissions, that is Sok An, once told his companions when some problems had come up, that he had already given money to some functionaries at the Council of Ministers – Prak Sokhon, Sok An [Deputy Prime Minister, Minister in Charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers], Ms. Men Sam An [Minister of National Assembly-Senate Relations, and Inspection], Mr. Ho Sothy, director of the cabinet of Hun Sen, and he also stupidly looked down on Prime Minister Hun Sen’s daughter Hun Sreyna, saying that she was useless to them and she is incompetent to support and help them to steal from the nation.

“Mr. Nhek Kosal Vithyea said this to his friends so that they should be confident and not to be frightened about the business in which they cooperate, by with they all steal from the nation. His speech was secretly recorded by friends. Especially, the chief of dishonest ideas Nhek Kosal Vithyea used serious words against Hun Sen’s daughter Hun Sreyna, acting stupidly like a crocodile which has lost its lake [ungrateful].

“Staff members of Telecom Cambodia said that on Tuesday, 18 December 2007, Nhek Kosal Vithyea called all staff and employees to attend a quarterly meeting, and staff and employees came to attend the meeting as normal; in fact, Nhek Kosal Vithyea was to hold it as a conference to review the work of 2007, and to set the goals for 2008, which was different from the purpose to what he had summoned the staff, saying that it was for a normal meeting.

“Understanding that it was a special conference, which was a good opportunity for them, staff – employees, deputy directors-general, and heads of some departments who are disappointed with Nhek Kosal Vithyea for his pressure on them so far – revealed various doubts through this conference, so that they had a better impression and better got to know the ideas of Nhek Kosal Vithyea, who steals from the nation, observing how he would answer. They thought that such a conference is a very important opportunity to ask for ideas, suggesting ideas, and questioning about positive and negative points, and to talk about the current work.

“Though they attended this conference with the understanding to attend only a quarterly meeting, without preparing any relevant documents for this kind of conference, they had already prepared their mouths.

“Unfortunately, or maybe intentionally planned by the chief of the thieves who steals from the nation Nhek Kosal Vithyea, Mr. Sarak Khan opened the conference on behalf of the administrative council, and a bit later, Nhek Kosal Vithyea started to speak urgently alone for hours, in a manner threatening and intimidating the staff, and blocking their freedom without giving to staff and to the employees a chance to ask questions until the end of the conference. No one had a chance to question the chief of the thieves who steals from the nation.

“Nhek Kosal Vithyea, the chief of the thieves who steals from the nation and is full of dishonest ideas, is really disrespectfully looking down on the donor, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation [JBIC] related to the project of creating an optical cable network. Nhek Kosal Vithyea had threatened not to accept the donation from the JBIC if they would not allow him to get the project, worth more than $2 million, to be implemented by himself. JBIC, the donor, had required other companies besides Telecom Cambodia and PCP [Pacific Communication Cambodia] to participate in the bids for the project. As for Telecom Cambodia, it should have only the role to check the technology, study the standards, and to verify the finished output.

“However, Nhek Kosal Vithyea had still his ambitions, which caused the donors to withdraw their confidence and to consider the Hun Sen government to be full of people who are thirsty for corruption. Nhek Kosal Vithyea requested the Ministry of Economy and Finance to take the money, which was to be income for Telecom Cambodia without paying it to the state, in order to connect the optical cables, in order to get the money from the donor, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation later. Indeed, if the Ministry of Economy and Finance was irresponsible to accept the dishonest request by Nhek Kosal Vithyea, it surely colluded with the idea of stealing from the nation, using the power of Sok An to cover this corruption.

“It is still remembered that when Nhek Kosal Vithyea allowed the PCP company to sleep in a mosquito net in Telecom Cambodia [not quite clear – maybe to have allowed PCP to easily get the project allocation], this company got the project with his wife [who is the president of PCP], to create optical fiber connections for six sites – five in Phnom Penh, and one in Poipet. They had extended optical cables and then abandoned them, but forced specialists to sign off in order to certify that their work had already been completed, in order to have a chance to take the money form Telecom Cambodia [to PCP]; however, some staff had not agreed on the results of testing the optical cables, about the levels of the results which they would be prepared to sign to certify the results.

“However, the disagreements between some official annoyed the group who is stealing from the nation, and Nhek Kosal Vithyea resolved to fire some of his staff members, such as Mr. Mov Chakriya and Mr. Lao Saroeun, two deputy directors-general, in order to please his wife who is the president of the PCP company. Furthermore, Nhek Kosal Vithyea, whose brain is full of dishonest ideas, fired also Mr. Sun Chamroeun for disagreeing to change some graphics based on his dishonest ideas, as he took control of switching and then took Sar Chan Kreusna, a simple staff member, as a replacement.

“Recently, staff members said that Nhek Kosal Vithyea had used staff members of Telecom Cambodia and used the labor of these employees of Telecom Cambodia to arrange the optical network for the National Information Technology Development Authority – NiDA – at the Council of Ministers; however, Nhek Kosal Vithyea takes the benefits for only a few people of his partisans.

“It is known that Nhek Kosal Vithyea spent a lot of money to hide scandals, while Hun Sen approved the activities of the investigating institutions. Nhek Kosal Vithyea affirmed that he gave money to Men Sam An [in charge of such investigations as Minister of National Assembly-Senate Relations, and Inspection], Prak Sokhon, and Sok An, and especially to Mr. Ho Sothy who is the director of the cabinet of Hun Sen, to make sure that some documents would not reach Hun Sen’s hands. It is very bad that those who are powerful and are to investigate into the theft from the nation, stay in the background and benefit from those who steal from the nation, like in this case. As for Sok An, his hips are stuck [he cannot take any action], because Nhek Kosal Vithyea begs and kneels in front of to Yeay Soma [Grandmother Soma] who is his mother-in-law. Thus, many detailed reports related to Nhek Kosal Vithyea, who steals from the nation, definitely do not reach Hun Sen’s hands.” Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #538, 21.12.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 21 December 2007

Areyathor, Vol.14, #1294, 21-22.12.2007

  • Where Was Yash Ghai [Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia] During Pol Pot Time? [mocking that Yash Ghai could not have entered Cambodia during that time]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1524, 21.12.2007

  • Samdech Dekchor Shows Documents [about “his former spy”] but He Delays their Publication [understanding the spy’s current boss’ interest]
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Congratulates South Korean New President [Lee Myung Bak] and Continues to Attack Mr. Yash Ghai Verbally
  • Nearly $10,000 Provided by Two Generous People [Millan Lov, director of Khmer Angkor Film Productions, and Prak Sovann, representative of Mitsu Cambodia] to Phnom Penh Municipality for the Construction of Roads in City

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #538, 21.12.2007

  • Detailed Reports on Theft from the Nation, Committed by Nhek Kosal Vithyea, to Hun Sen Get Stuck at Sok An, Ho Sothy, and Men Sam An
  • Diplomats and International Community Want Samdech Krom Preah to Participate in 2008 Election
  • Funcinpec Leaders Know that Many Funcinpec Members Prepare to Join Norodom Ranariddh Party in Early 2008
  • Human Rights in Cambodia Really Decline Like Mr. Yash Ghai’s Report States

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6224, 21.12.2007

  • [Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia – he is from Kenya] Yash Ghai and Kenya [where millions of people are said to starve]; Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: To Support Yash Ghai’s Report Is to Look Down on Cambodian Nation
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Congratulates [Lee Myung Bak’s] Success in Presidential Election by His Former Advisor on Economic Questions Who Is South Korean
  • 40 Senior National Police Promoted Generals

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3343, 21.12.2007

  • Military Ranks Sold for Money for Election Campaign [for Cambodian People’s Party – according to a military chief at Ministry of Defense]
  • Khmer Rouge Tribunal Needs More Than $100 Million [additional] Funds; Hearing of Nuon Chea Will Be Held on 4 February 2008

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4468, 21.12.2007

  • Grenade Thrown [by unknown person] Beneath a Bed in Front of a House: Nine People Wounded [Memut, Kompong Cham]

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