Friday, 25.1.2008: Main Reason Why the US Ambassador Did Not Participate in the Ceremony at Tuol Sleng

Posted on 25 January 2008. Filed under: Week 544 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 544

“Phnom Penh: Mr. Joseph Mussomeli, the US Ambassador to Cambodia, told journalists in Kratie on 22 January that the reason why he did not participate in the march to Tuol Sleng with the Hollywood actress is that the march was political.

“The ambassador said that at first, he thought that the ceremony was peaceful and it was to recall the genocidal tragedy; therefore, he decided to register on the participants’ list in order to participate in the march, but later the march became political, criticizing a third country – then he decided to withdraw himself so as not to participate.

“The march of civil society organizations in Cambodia and of organizations from Darfur had asked for permission from the government to hold a ceremony on 22 January at [former] Tuol Sleng prison and at the Choeung Ek Genocide Memorial, but this was prevented by government authorities, because it was considered to be an initial step to criticize China.

“If the ceremony had been in line with what the permission had been asked for, it would not have been prevented.

“Mr. Joseph Mussomeli said that he would not support any activity which is unjust and uses an opportunity to criticize a third country. If the march had been humanitarian and had not criticized another country, he would not have refused to participate. Firstly, he was told that the civil society group from Darfur, which was led by Hollywood actress Mia Farrow, would conduct an Olympic-style torch march at Tuol Sleng prison against genocide worldwide. On the day when they started, the march became political and criticized a third country. The ambassador regretted what contradicted the purpose for which the permission had been asked.

“However, the ambassador praised the government authorities for not causing any injuries in preventing the march.

“Besides the Darfur issue, the ambassador referred also to the anti-corruption law in Cambodia, that it must be pushed forward in order to be applied in the country, so that it contributes to the reduction of corruption in the society, so that the development of the country can move ahead. The Royal Government has already vowed that the anti-corruption will be sped up, not delayed.

“Mr. Joseph mentioned a figure of approximately $320 million that is lost to corruption each year, to have a reference to compare to. Thus, if such a great amount would be prevented from being lost, it could be used to construct many school buildings, hospitals, and other elements of the infrastructure.

“A report from the US Embassy stated also that more than 500,000 citizens have given their thumbprints, supporting that the National Assembly should adopt the anti-corruption law soon. In Kratie alone, more than 20,000 citizens have given their thumbprints to support the adoption of such a law.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1554, 25.1.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 25 January 2008

Chakraval, Vol.16, #2750, 25.1.2008

  • Former Female Teacher of Santhor Mukh High School Robbed and Killed in Her House [Tuol Kork, Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1554, 25.1.2008

  • Main Reason Why the US Ambassador Did Not Participate in the Ceremony at Tuol Sleng
  • Cambodia Becomes Attractive Destination for Nature and Culture Tourism in the Region and in the World

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #98, 25-26.1.2008

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: Plan of Distribution of Voters’ Information Cards Is Politically Prejudiced

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6254, 25.1.2008

  • National Election Committee Calls for Relevant Institutions to Give Recommendations on Draft Regulations and Procedures for the 2008 Elections

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3373, 25.1.2008

  • President Bush Signed, on 26 December 2007, a Law Prohibiting Corrupt Officials from Entering America

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.15, #1272, 25.1.2008

  • Snadai Khmeng Wat Publisher [Sam Phannarith] Provides an Ambulance to Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4498, 25.1.2008

  • Non-Violent Demonstration with More Than 2,000 Demonstrators to Protect School Land [which is to be given to individuals by a court decision – Angk Snuol, Kandal]
  • Buildings Worth More Than $6 Million Inaugurated at Samdech Dekchor’s Bodyguard Unit [24 January – Takhmao, Kandal]
  • Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Turns to Ask Mam Sonando [director of Sambok Khmum Radio] to Help Reconcile [some political parties in order to resist the Cambodian People’s Party]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3237, 25.1.2008

  • US Ambassador Says Each Year Cambodia Loses $320 Million Equal to 10,000 School Buildings Due to Corruption, Funds Which Cannot Be Recovered
  • Black-Clad Thai Soldiers [special border protection unit] Enter Nearly 100 Meters into Khmer Land to Prohibit Demining in Oddar Meanchey

Srorch Srang Cheat, Vol.10, #268, 25.1.2008

  • Cambodia Still Has a Limited Number of Internet Users, and They Face Difficulties

Go to last week’s editorial

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