Archive for May 9th, 2008

Friday, 9.5.2008: In 2010, Electricity Fees Will Be Reduced to Riel 250

Posted on 9 May 2008. Filed under: Week 559 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 559

“Phnom Penh: On 8 May, the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia was called into session again after a short vacation, to discuss and adopt the draft law on an agreement that the royal government of the Kingdom of Cambodia guarantees payment to the Power Synergy Company, which plans to build a coal-fueled power plant in Sihanoukville.

“The Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian Mr. Son Chhay stated that the construction of a coal-fueled power plant in Sihanoukville will affect the environment at the seaside a lot. Therefore, appropriate technology is required in order that it will not affect tourism.

“Mr. Yim Sovann, who is also an opposition party parliamentarian, said that he is very pleased with the creation of this law on electricity to serve the citizens’ interest. However previous plans to buy electricity form neighboring countries, such as from Thailand and Vietnam, has not yet led to a decrease in the fees, which in some places range between Riel 850 [approx. US$0.20] to Riel 4,000 [approx. US$1].

“He continued that the contract between this company and the royal government is not clear in this respect, which states a decreased fee of US$0.064 (or Riel 250). Mr. Yim Sovann stressed that if the US$0.064 or Riel 250 is the fee that the citizens have to pay, it is satisfactory information, but if it is the fee that the state has to pay, then the electricity fee is still high.

“The Funcinpec parliamentarian Mr. Monh Saphan also said that he wants to see the contract first, because he does not yet know how much responsibility the government takes on. Moreover, he wants the power plant to use many Khmer laborers so that Khmer citizens get jobs.

“The Cambodian People’s Party parliamentarian Mr. Cheam Yeap said that electricity is very necessary, we cannot do without it. In ancient times, people could use candles or oil lamps, but in our era of modern technology, people cannot work with a lack of electricity.

“He went on to say that on behalf of the Finance Committee of the National Assembly, he has checked carefully with the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Industry to know the advantages of signing this contract between the royal government and foreigners; we cannot act carelessly. The company that builds the coal-fueled power plant is a joint Khmer-Malaysian company.

“In a speech it was said that to implement a policy to encourage national economic development and the citizens’ poverty alleviation, the royal government tries to develop in all sectors, where also the development of electricity is important. The royal government has authorized continuous related developments, such as the Kirirom Hydro-Electric Plant I, the Kirirom Hydro-Electric Plant II, the Kamchay Hydro-Electric Plant, the Stung Atay Hydro-Electric Plan, and another project is being negotiated. Through such developments, the price of electricity will be reduced to US$0.064 or Riel 250 per kilowatt/hour in 2010 and 2012.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1636, 9.5.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 9 May 2008

Chakraval, Vol.16, #2776, 9.5.2008

  • US Ambassador: Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Should Return to the Country…!

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #95, 9.5.2008

  • [Human Rights Party president] Mr. Kem Sokha: the Human Rights Party’s Goal Is to Defeat the Cambodian People’s Party in the July Elections
  • Kampuchea Krom Khmers Recall [59th] Anniversary when France Cut Their Land to Give It to Yuon [Vietnam] on 4 June [1949]; VCD Film of Khmer Kampuchea Krom History “Eliminated without Bleeding” Had Been Finished, Shown at the United Nations, and Distributed to Khmer Krom Associations

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1636, 9.5.2008

  • In 2010, Electricity Fees Will Be Reduced to Riel 250
  • Cambodia Prepares to Open Stock Exchange in 2009
  • Hydro-Electric Stung Atay River Power Station Construction Site Opened [on 8 May 2008] to Supply Electricity to Phnom Penh, Battambang, and Pursat
  • A Wood Merchant Ordered Workers to Hit [two] Chiefs of Thma Kreae Forestry Administration Office [in an argument over wood transportation] until They Almost Died [5 April 2008 – Kratie]
  • In Soklida, Former TV3 [Phnom Penh Municipal TV Station] Presenter, Goes Missing from a General’s House, Her Aunt Was Wounded by an Acid Attack [on 8 May – Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh]
  • US and British Joint Program [“Evidence to Action Partnership for Health”] to Promote Cambodian People’s Health
  • Number of Deaths in Tropical Cyclone in Burma Increases Up to More Than 100,000

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #150, 9.5.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party secretary-general] Eng Chhay Eang: Sam Rainsy Party Doesn’t Care about Anti-Media Attack by the Cambodian People’s Party
  • Even US Supports Cambodia over Preah Vihear Temple

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6340, 9.5.2008

  • COMFREL [the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia] Produces Brochures Instructing the Voters

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3455, 9.5.2008

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Criticized the Provision of Land Concessions to Yuon [Vietnamese] Companies that Seriously Affects Khmer Territory
  • In the Next Term Government, if the Cambodian People’s Party Continues to Hold Power, the Funds of the State Will Feed Only Its Partisan Officials

Have a look at last week’s editorial: UNESCO: A free press empowers the people to control their own lives

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Thursday, 8.5.2008: Hun Sen Has Sold 45% of Khmer Islands, Sea, and Land

Posted on 9 May 2008. Filed under: Week 559 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 559

“In its publication on 26 April 2008, The Guardian, in the article, ‘Cambodia, a Country for Sale,’ says that Hun Sen and the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] government have sold approximately 45% of land in Cambodia; and, calls this sales ‘The Sale of the Millennium.’

“Two journalists of The Guardian – Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark – reported about the sale of Cambodian land by Hun Sen and the CPP government. The names of millionaires and local officials of the CPP, who are Mr. Hun Sen’s friends, or people close to him, and international millionaire investors are also mentioned in detail, related to the buying and selling of land in Cambodia, including the sale of islands and the sea.

“People who were the owners of the land and the houses have been evicted from their land, and the armed forces of the government, whose obligation it is to serve the nation and the people, are used by opportunistic businesspeople as tools of suppression, acting in a way which the newspaper describes, according to the words of a human rights activist, as cruel methods of the past. A human rights activist, the director of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, Ms. Naly Pilorge commented to the newspaper, describing the situation, ‘Extreme violence, greed and disregard for the most basic human rights .’

“Ms. Naly Pilorge said, ‘The methods of the past are being used to dictate our future .’

“In 2006, a French national, Arnaud Darc, heard about plans of the Hun Sen and CPP government [to extend the airport runway in Sihanoukville], and brought a French millionaire, Jean-Louis Charon, a very rich person from Paris, to buy two big plots of coastal land of more than 220 hectares.

“A spokesperson of the Sihanoukville governor Say Hak’s cabinet told the newspaper that the price of this land, which the City Star Company had bought, had increased four times, when the Cambodian government confirmed the rumor about the extension of he Sihanoukville airport.

“Real estate agents from Europe came to buy land at the seaside, islands, and the sea, preparing to sell it after making a big profit after seven or ten years.

“The company of the French national Arnaud Darc continued to buy 333 hectares of land – the Koh Russey and Koh Ta Kiev islands off the Ream beach. A real estate company from Hong Kong, Lime Tree Capital, bought coastal land near the Ream beach, and plans to keep it unused for many years, to sell it with profit when the prices of land go up.

“An Australian couple, the businesspeople Rory and Mel Hunter, had signed a contract to buy Koh Bong and Koh Ouen islands with a dream to develop these two islands. But the British national Marty Kaye, who operates the Millennium Property Fund, snapped it away from them as he wanted to buy the land next to the island of Koh Rong, which is near to those two islands.

“Marty Kaye said that Cambodia is very favorable place for doing business ‘Nowhere else in the world could you create your own kingdom from scratch – here it is quite different from the island of Ko Samui in Thailand.

“This foreign businessman said that when Hun Sen and the CPP government signed the contract, the Cambodian government did not mention anything about how many Khmer people were living there, where they will have to live, and what kind of compensation would have to be paid to the people.

“Marty Kaye has close relations with Oknha Kit Meng, a big businessman in Cambodia, also with interests in real estate, and a very close friend of Hun Sen.

“Another French real estate businessman, Alain Dupuis, bought Koh Sramaoch this spring. A Chinese businessman bought Koh Tonsay, located opposite Kep.

“Fearing that foreign businesspeople will buy all land, the governor of Sihanoukville, Say Hak, also bought a small island and built a luxury villa on it.

“Moreover, not to be left behind Say Hak, the Sihanoukville deputy governor Sbaung Sarath, also a person of Hun Sen’s CPP, bought half of the public Independence Beach in Sihanoukville in February 2008, evicting hundreds of families who were the owners of the land and the houses.

“A few days later, Sbanung Sarath bought also a part of the Ou Tres beach. Another part of the Ou Tresb Beach of 56 hectares is owned by [the casino company] Queenco, registered in London.

“The Ukrainian businessman Nickolai Doroshenko, who is also close to Hun Sen and the CPP government, bought the Victory beach in Sihanoukville.

“Oknha Sok Kong, who always shares benefits with the CPP leaders, bought Ou Chheu Teal beach at the end of January, which used to be the biggest and the most popular public recreation site in the area.

“The director of Global Witness, Mr. Simon Taylor, who had collected information and published it in a book accusing Hun Sen’s CPP of destroying the forests of Cambodia, was quoted by The Guardian.

“He compared Cambodia today, under Hun Sen and CPP, to a ‘shadow state, a government that misappropriates public assets, extorts from businesses and manages an extensive illicit economy. It is administered by senior ministers who are fluent in the jargon of good governance and sustainable development.’” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3304, 8.5.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 8 May 2008

Cambodge Soir, Vol.1, #31, 8-14.5.2008

  • Inflation Is Threatening Action against Poverty
  • ASEAN Plans Fund of US$80 Billion to Prevent [financial] Crisis

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #94, 8.5.2008

  • Human Rights Party Gains Supports from Foreign Embassies [from European Community and ASEAN; Human Rights Party officials met with the German ambassador]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1635, 8.5.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party secretary-general] Eng Chhay Ieng Denies Plan to Boycott the Elections

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6339, 8.5.2008

  • Cambodian Government Provides Aid of US$50,000 to Burma; Deaths Increase up to 22,000, and 40,000 Go Missing [from tropical cyclone]
  • Let the Court Deal with the Lawsuit against Mr. Sam Rainsy; Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Hor Namhong: I Was a Prisoner of Boeng Trabaek Prison

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #149, 8.5.2008

  • Hor Namhong Will Not Withdraw Lawsuit against Sam Rainsy
  • [Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association president] Rong Chhun and [Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia president] Chea Mony Said Opposition Parties Will Get Many Votes in the Elections
  • There Is Big Scale Logging in Siem Reap under the Pretension of Land Concessions from the Government

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3454, 8.5.2008

  • Government Spokesperson [Khieu Kanharith] Asserted that if the Cambodian People’s Party Looses the Elections, It Will Become a Strong Opposition Party so that Others Will Be Frightened
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Promises that When He Wins the Elections to Lead a Government, He Will Confiscate Land from Yuon [Vietnamese] Companies and from Corrupt Officials and Oknhas and Give It to Citizens

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4583, 8.5.2008

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Marched in Battambang without Intervention from the Government [on 7 May 2008 – this is considered to be a campaign which violates the elections law]
  • Phanimex Company Takes Legal Action to Cancel the Contract [of land at Borei Keyla] Worth US$27 Million [with a Korean company – Phanimex has won the case, but the Korean company appeals
    against the court’s decision]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3304, 8.5.2008

  • [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Has Sold 45% of Khmer Islands, Seas, and Land [according to The Guardian, UK]
  • Hor Namhong Acknowledges that He Was the Chief of the Prisoners’ Committee

Have a look at last week’s editorial: UNESCO: A free press empowers the people to control their own lives

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