Archive for May 17th, 2008

Friday, 16.5.2008: Civil Society Organizations March, Carrying Thumbprints to the National Assembly This Morning

Posted on 17 May 2008. Filed under: Week 560 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 560

“More than 40 civil society organizations will march carrying thumbprints to the National Assembly on the morning of 16 May 2008, to push the government to adopt an anti-corruption law. However, the director of an institute of civic studies claimed that this is just an empty game that will not bring any results.

“The Khmer Institute of Democracy [KID] official Pok Puthearith [who was in charge of collecting the thumbprints] told Kampuchea Thmey that his organization and more than 40 civil society organizations will march, carrying thumbprints to the National Assembly on the morning of 16 May 2008, to push the government to quickly adopt an anti-corruption law.

“He added, ‘There are approximately 1,100,000 to 1,200,000 thumbprints to be carried to the National Assembly. The first intention is to push the National Assembly and all politicians to promise openly to the public that, when they win the next term election and have created a government, they must adopt an anti-corruption law without any reservation and very quickly. The second intention is to show to the public that this thumbprint collecting campaigns aims to push the Royal Government to adopt [an anti-corruption] law without any more delay.’

“Mr. Pok Puthearith continued that this march has already been permitted by the [Phnom Penh] municipality on 13 May, requiring to march from near the Independence Monument.

“Phnom Penh municipality representatives could not be reached for comment on the evening of 15 May 2008; however, the National Assembly Economy and Finance Committee and the Cambodian People Party [CPP] parliamentarian Mr. Cheam Yeap said that the anti-corruption law is still being discussed with the international community; that is why it has not yet been adopted.

“Mr. Cheam Yeap went on to say, ‘Now the anti-corruption law is in the hands of the government. The international community had asked the government to make five changes – first, to clarify the meaning of corruption, second, the composition of the anti-corruption committee, third, rules for property declarations, fourth, the rights and the power of the general-secretariat of the anti-corruption committee, and fifth, penalties.’ Meanwhile, Mr. Cheam Yeap expressed the hope that early next term, the anti-corruption draft law will reach the National Assembly, and then the National Assembly will begin the discussion towards the adoption.

“The director of an institute of civic studies and a constitutional law expert, Mr. Chhim Phal Vorun, mentioned that morally he supports the anti-corruption activities, but he has not yet seen any strategies and measures to prevent, or fight against corruption, therefore this is just a useless activity.

He added, ‘Corruption is an act that we cannot accept morally, but in reality, activities to fight against corruption are useless without first creating strategies, or actions to measure the obvious extent of corruption – without these, it is just an activity deceiving the citizens pretending that we all fight against corruption.’

Mr. Chhim Phal Vorun also said, ‘As the first step to fight against corruption, we must throw away all useless thoughts lying about the reality until today, such as general ideas against corruption and ideas against individuals or groups of individuals in state institutions – these ideas are not useful, but the important thing is to measure the extent of corruption which exists in state institutions, in civil society institutions, and in private institutions. Corruption is everywhere. That is why we have conducted studies to know why there is corruption, and the studies show that it is because these institutions do not have good governance, transparency, and accountability.’

“Therefore, provable actions to fight against corruption requires that the Khmer society as a whole, in the state, in the civil society, and in private institutions, include good governance, transparency, and accountability in their domains.

“Mr. Chhim Phal Vorun expressed his view that actions claiming only a goal is just an empty game – if it is not a realistic action.

“Regarding the call to the government to adopt an an anti-corruption law, the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association president Mr. Rong Chhun has also made a statement to support this demand, saying that it has been fourteen years that this law has been discussed but not been issued.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1642, 16.5.2008
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 16 May 2008

Cambodge Soir, Vol.1, #32, 15-21.5.2008

  • Cotton Scarf Producers and T-Shirt Printers Are Happy When Elections Approach [because their businesses are profitable when many parties buy many cotton scarf or T-shirts for their activists and supporters]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1642, 16.5.2008

  • Funcinpec Prepares to Sue the National Electio Committee at the Constitutional Council [over the rejection of five candidates – parliamentarian from Siem Reap and from Ministry of Rural Development Sin Son; the third candidate and parliamentarian from Kompong Thom Sim Sol; substitution candidate from Kompong Cham and under-secretary of the Ministry of Cults and Religion Hing Kimthon; substitution candidate from Kompong Speu; and Mr. Lu Laysreng’s advisor Sok Sony and substitution candidate from Oddar Meanchey Pen Samnang]
  • Civil Society Organizations March, Carrying Thumbprints to the National Assembly This Morning
  • Numbers of Deaths and Missing People in the Earthquake in China Increase to More Than 50,000 and More Than 60,000 People Wounded

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6346, 16.5.2008

  • Cambodia and Vietnam Agreed on Project to Construct a Six Lane Highway [on 14 May 2008]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3461, 16.5.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Mr. Yim Sovann: The Cambodian People’s Party Is Taking Advantage of Citizens’ Blood by Making Demagogy [by calling it the government’s accomplishments as basis for the election campaign]
  • Svay Rieng Authorities Do Not Care about Yuon [Vietnamese] Immigrants Flowing Dramatically into Cambodia through Bavet Border Crossing

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.11, #1312, 16.5.2008

  • Mr. Kep Chuktema Will Continue to Be Municipal Governor during the Fourth Term [according to observers who noticed Prime Minister Hun Sen’s speech during the inauguration of the Boeng Trabaek High School library on 12 May 2008]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4590, 16.5.2008

  • Plan to Ask Duch as Witness of Hor Namhong Lawsuit against Sam Rainsy Canceled [reason not mentioned]
  • Cambodian Government Provides Aid of US$100,000 to Chinese Victims of the Strong Earthquake
  • Statute of Yeay [grandmother] Penh [the founder of Phnom Penh] Was Inaugurated This Morning [at 6:30 a.m., presided over by municipal governor Kep Chuktema]

Samleng Sadeav, Vol.1, #10, 16-17.5.2008

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Asked Foreign Minister of Sweden to Push the Hun Sen Government to Observe Human Rights [during a meeting on 9 May 2008]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3310, 16.5.2008

  • The Great Heroic King Norodom Sihanouk [the former King] Granted an Audience to the Head of the Committee of Law Strengthening the Protection of Human Rights in Cambodia [Dr. Heang Rithy who often criticizes openly the law systems in Cambodia]

Have a look at last week’s editorial: How to enhance the trust in the rule of law

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