Archive for March 13th, 2008

Thursday, 13.3.2008: Prime Minister: Use of Electricity to Be Tightened; US$24 Million Is Planned to Stabilize the Price

Posted on 13 March 2008. Filed under: Week 551 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 551

“Phnom Penh: Samdech Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a statement to tighten the use of electricity while the petrol price is still mounting. The government plans to allocate US$24 million to help stabilize the cost of petrol.

“In a circular letter on electricity saving dated 12 March 2008, the Prime Minister said that the price of petrol has been constantly increasing on the international market since 2004. As a result, the cost of producing electricity [by Electricité du Cambodge] is also on the increase. In order to stabilize the electricity price in Phnom Penh, the Royal Government is supporting it with US$24 million in 2008. The circular also stated that although the petrol price is increasing, the use of electricity is also increasing gradually. Therefore, the government needs to allocate some resources to stabilize electricity use. The circular added that ‘the royal government has a policy that all cities and provinces should save electricity as well, in order to save national expenses.’

“The circular said that all institutions should also help to save electricity when using electrical equipment. Air conditioners should be set at 25 degrees centigrade. Air conditioners should be turned off 30 minutes before an office is closed. Except on national holidays, electricity should be on only on one side of the road, or only half of the lights should be turned on. Electricity must be used in an economical manner.

“Apart from that, the circular asked the Ministry of Interior and local authorities to collaborate with the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy and with Electricité du Cambodge in order to eliminate illegal connections to the state network, which is happening at present. As for Electricité du Cambodge, it must take very strict measures against its officers who are accomplices to stealing electricity illegally, or who collude with users to reduce the measured quantity of use, different from its real value. Moreover, Electricité du Cambodge has to inform the users of electricity about the time when there are difficulties to supply power, and ask them to stop or to pause using some of their electrical equipment during the time electricity is heavily used.

“The Prime Minister of Cambodia issued this circular to limit the use of electricity while the petrol price is soaring. This affects the daily life of the people. The prices of almost all goods on the market are increasing, because the price of gasoline is more than US$1.00 per liter. Hence, the price of almost all goods increases accordingly.

“An Electricité du Cambodge officers said that electricity use increased by 30% compared to the previous year. One of the reasons is that some factories stopped using their own generators, and they turn to use state electricity which costs less. In order to keep the costs from increasing, there are efforts to find cheaper electrical sources.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4539, 13.3.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 13 March 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1591, 13.3.2008

  • Prince Thomico Calls to Help Poor Royal Family Members
  • Royal Government Announces Increase of Salaries by 10% for Teachers [from April 2008]
  • Civil Society Organizations Condemn Arrest of Policeman Pring Pov [over land dispute with Princess Eng Marie in Kep]
  • New Rich People, Rich from Selling Land, Reminded [by Prime Minister Hun Sen] Not to Be Overjoyed
  • Armed Robbery Recurs in Ou Reang Ov [Kompong Cham]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6295, 13.3.2008

  • Human Rights Party Request [that the NEC organizes TV debate between prime ministerial candidates] Rejected; National Election Committee: Election Law Has Already Permitted “Equity” Program

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3411, 13.3.2008

  • US Speaks of Impunity of Khmer Powerful People [US Department of State releases a report on the human rights situation in Cambodia in 2007]
  • It Is Time for Khmer Citizens to Choose a Clean, Brave, Competent, Non-Corrupt Leader

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4539, 13.3.2008

  • Prime Minister: Use of Electricity to Be Tightened; US$24 Million Is Planned to Stabilize the Price
  • Sam Rainsy Party Members [who have left Sam Rainsy Party] Get Medals [from the government]
  • National Election Committee Has No Role to Create Forum for Prime Ministerial Candidates

Sakal, Vol.15, #3189, 13-19.3.2008

  • Land Prices and Land Disputes Increase While Elections Approach

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #644, 13.3.2008

  • US Department of State Releases Report on Human Rights Violations in Cambodia in 2007 [saying that the human rights situation is not yet good, but it is on a positive move]
  • Son Chhay [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Says State Loses Half of Income from Selling of Tickets at Angkor Wat [Son Chhay said that the number of tourists in 2007 was more than 2 million, not only more than 1 million. He said the number of tourists who bought tickets was not allowed be stored and retrieved in computers]

Have a look at last week’s editorial

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Wednesday, 12.3.2008: Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Gives Clarifications to Mr. Son Chhay

Posted on 13 March 2008. Filed under: Week 551 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 551

“Phnom Penh: To respond to the request of a lawmaker from the opposition party to review the authorization of the Sokha Hotel Group to collect revenue from the sale of tickets for visiting the temple areas in Siem Reap, Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, clarified that there was an agreement already before signing the contract, and expenses and income were also thoroughly evaluated.

“Mr. Son Chhay, the Phnom Penh lawmaker from the opposition Sam Rainy Party, said in his request letter to Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen on 10 January 2008 that he had just received technical information that revenue of about US$60 million was collected by the Sokha Hotel Group of tycoon Sok Kong, and similar amounts had also been collected for the previous years. The research was based on the numbers of foreign visitors to the Angkor temples and the types of tickets which were sold in the past.

“Mr. Son Chhay said that money was misappropriated to the Siem Reap provincial adminisstration, to the Ministry of Culture, and to the Cambodian Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap [the APSARA Authority] without passing through the treasury of the Ministry of Finance. Meanwhile the money was spent, without making clear reports or identifying projects. The problem made Khmer and foreign tourists doubt about the bad conditions of some temples in view of the revenue collected.

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Cambodian Government, replied via a letter dated 3 March 2008 that the revenue collection by the Sokha Hotel Group, from the sale of tickets for visiting Siem Reap-Angkor is currently managed according to the concession contract dated 17 March 2005 between the firm and the government, which was signed by the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Council for the Development of Cambodia, and the APSARA Authority.

“Samdech said that before reaching the stage of signing the concession contract above, the Council for the Development of Cambodia had held service meetings many times, and had decided to approve the proposal of the Sokha Hotel Group that was interested in the concession contract. Meanwhile the Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap [the APSARA Authority] had consulted with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and reported to the International Coordination Committee [ICC] of UNESCO, which is an international committee for coordinating the protection and development of the historical Angkor area, by examining the effectiveness of the management of revenues from the sales of tickets for visiting the temples, according to the regulations stated in the concession contract which identified the Sokha Hotel Group as suited to receive a 50-year concession contract.

“All foreign tourists are required to buy tickets for visiting the temples; there are three kinds of tickets, such as for US$20 for a one-day visit, for US$40 for a three-day visit, and for US$60 for a seven-day visit. But some visitors are not required to buy tickets to visit Angkor Wat, like guests of the government, researchers, international project staff who work on the repair and conservation of temples in the Angkor historical area, the official delegation of the ICC coordinated by UNESCO, and foreign visitors who participate in the meetings of the ICC (twice per year), Cambodian expatriates, children under 12 years, and foreign nationals who just travel across the Angkor National Park.

“It should be noted that in 2006, there were 857,822 tourists visiting the temples. The revenue received from the sale of tickets was US$25,389,520. In 2007, there were 1,106,890 tourists visiting the temples. The revenues received from the sale of tickets were US$32, 741,080.

“To conclude, the collection of revenue from the sale of tickets for visiting the temples in Siem Reap has been effectively carried out by Sokha Hotel Group, ensuring that the revenue goes to the state. The use of the revenue from the sale of the tickets is in accordance with the principles and the existing regulations. Every operation of expenses and incomes was thoroughly examined by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the National Audit Authority. All the revenue is appropriately controlled by the government to encourage the development of the national economy as a whole and the implementation of projects for various sectors, according to the priorities set by the government.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1590, 12.3.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Areyathor, Vol.14, #1314, 12-13.3.2008

  • National Election Committee Rejects Request by Mr. Kem Sokha [president of Human Rights Party – for debate on television between prime ministerial candidates, arguing that it is not a presidential election]

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #62, 12.3.2008

  • Keo Remy: Non-Independent National Election Committee Is Influenced by Ruling Party So It Rejects Request by Human Rights Party
  • Hun Sen Is Incompetent to Reduce Prices of Gasoline and Goods, Making People Miserable Like Tortoises in Fire
  • Malai District Soldiers Wounded Two Citizens with Bullets in Land Disputes [8 March – Banteay Meanchey]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #60, 12-18.3.2008

  • CTN [Cambodian Television Network] Journalist [Soy Sopheap] Changes Position [he will continue cooperation] after Khmer Rouge Tribunal Officials Softened Their Attitude
  • A Foreign Web Site Posts Sex Services in Cambodia, Showing Photos and Videos of Nude Khmer Women Dancing in Groups

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1590, 12.3.2008

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Gives Clarifications to Mr. Son Chhay
  • Prime Minister Welcomes Development Plan of Chinese Company [Long Ning – phonetic – to invest in culture and tourism]
  • Cambodia and Vietnam Agree to Open Another International Border Crossing in Svay Rieng
  • India Stopped Historical March of Tibetan Exiles
  • Kampuchea Krom Khmers [in Cambodia] Ask for Publications of History of Cambodia through Media

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6294, 12.3.2008

  • Widower Detained in Land Issue, Leaving His Two [small] Children [Oddar Meanchey]
  • Man, Who Could Not Repay Debt of $4,000, Hanged Himself [Angk Snuol, Kandal]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3410, 12.3.2008

  • Eng Chhay Ieng [secretary-general of Sam Rainsy Party]: Prince Ranariddh Has Conducted Wrong Politics Since 1993
  • Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh]: Hun Sen Government Unsuccessful in Preventing the Increasing Prices of Gasoline and Goods
  • Ministry of Information Suggests Reduction of Newspaper Prices but It Does Not Care about Prices of Gasoline
  • International Community Should Observe Proper Conduct of Elections in July 2008

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.15, #1289, 12.3.2008

  • CTN Will Stop Broadcasting Reports from Khmer Rouge Tribunal after Accusation against Mr. Soy Sopheap of Selling a Video about Accused Duch at $35,000
  • More Than 500 Sam Rainsy Party Activists in Russey Keo District Join Cambodian People’s Party
  • Keang Vang [former Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Kampot who has recently joined Funcinpec] Vows to Get One Seat in Kampot for Funcinpec

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4538, 12.3.2008

  • France Announces Aid of $15 Million for Three New Projects [to improve quality of medical treatments, to develop foreign film production in Cambodia, and to enhance the respect of labor law in factories]
  • Chinese Company [Loning Intertrading Company – phonetic] Asks for Land Concession of 20,000 Hectares in Stung Treng to Invest in Agriculture

Have a look at last week’s editorial

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