Archive for August, 2008

Saturday, 30.8.2008: Khmer Authorities Cooperate with the US FBI to Investigate Murder of Moneaksekar Khmer Journalist

Posted on 31 August 2008. Filed under: Week 575 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 575

“Regarding the brutal murder of Mr. Khim Sambo, a journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer and his [21-year-old] son Khat Sarinpheata, on 11 July 2008, so far the Phnom Penh authorities have not arrested the murderer or those who are behind to be convicted according to the law. The weakness of the authorities to find the murderer to be prosecuted makes the general public and some local and foreign civil society organizations strongly criticize the Phnom Penh authorities, because so far, the murderer still lives freely and is staying outside of the net of the law.

“Civil society officials and the general public have requested the Phnom Penh authorities to speed up the investigations to seek the murderer who shot dead the journalist of Moneaksekar Khmer and his son, and also those who are behind the murder to be punished, and also to know the clear reasons why the father and the son were murdered; is it for political reasons or other reasons? – so that the general public and civil society organization officials know the root of the story that led to the brutal murder.

“The reasons for the shooting of Mr. Khim Sambo and his son Khat Sarinpheata to death near the Olympic Stadium on 11 July 2008, while they were returning from their exercises, is not known yet, though it is being investigated by the authorities. Unless the murderer is convicted, the real reasons of the murder cannot be revealed. However, the authorities have not had any clear light that can lead to identify the murderer, as it is not easy.

“Because of complications to look for the murderer, the authorities decided to cooperate with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation – FBI – in Cambodia, to cooperate to seek the murderer and those who are behind them to be convicted according to the law. It is hoped that this cooperation will lead to arrest the real murderer to be sentenced soon, because the FBI has high skills in investigation and can provide ideas to the Cambodian authorities to look for the murderer who shot dead Mr. Khim Sambo and his son.

“A high ranking police official who asked not to mention his name said that yesterday, on 29 August 2008, the FBI in Cambodia met for the first time with the Cambodian authorities to discuss the cooperation to seek the murderer and those who are behind the murder of Mr. Khim Sambo and his son. The first time meeting between the Khmer authorities and the FBI was attended by Mr. Touch Naroth, the head of the Phnom Penh police, and some other officials, and by Mr. Laro Tan (a Cambodian-American), the head of the FBI office in Cambodia. Both sides focused on the murder of Mr. Khim Sambo and his son by anonymous persons.

“A police official said that during the meeting between Mr. Laro Tan, the director of the US FBI office in Cambodia, and the Cambodian authorities yesterday, Mr. Touch Naroth reported in detail about the murder of Mr. Khim Sambo and his son Khat Sarinpheata, how the Cambodian police had investigated before cooperating with the FBI office. Also, Mr. Laro Tan was satisfied with the report about the investigation by the Cambodian authorities, and the FBI agreed also to cooperate with the Cambodian authorities.

“The police official continued to say that Mr. Laro Tan responded that he will also ask the director of the FBI in the United States to offer two experts – one for investigations, and the other for drafting a ‘wanted’ circular with a sketch of the face of the suspect, and he is also an expert in performing autopsies

“The cooperation between the Phnom Penh authorities and the US FBI to investigate the murder of Mr. Khim Sambo and of his son Khat Sarinpheata was welcomed by civil society organization officials and by the general public, and it is hoped it will help to find the murderers and those who are behind them to be convicted soon.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3552, 30.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 30 August 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1733, 30.8.2008

  • Primary Investigation Says Murder of Moneaksekar Khmer Journalist Is for Rancor against His Son [who was also murdered. – Why is this so reported? Because a policeman said it might be so]
  • While Prices of Goods Are Going Up, Khmer Rat Meat Is Best-Selling
  • All Kinds of Trees and Wildlife at Kirirom National Park Are Endangered [because preservation officials there allow illegal logging and hunting – Kompong Speu]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #233, 30.8.2008

  • Kampuchea Krom Associations and Organizations Ask for Permission from Yuon [Vietnamese] Embassy to Visit Mr. Tim Sakhan [who has been defrocked on the accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he was accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia – he is now seriously ill and kept in house arrest in Vietnam]
  • Strongman [Prime Minister Hun Sen] Pushes Prince Ranariddh to Be at a Dead End Road, Forcing Him to Swallow His Saliva [to change his mind against his own will – by urging him to return to Funcinpec again]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #86, 30.8.2008

  • Municipal Police Does Not Take Action against Traffic Jams


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6437, 30-31.8.2008

  • Authorities Recruit 30 Persons to Create Militia to Defend Chub Kokir Village [where Thai black-clad uniform soldiers – special Border Unit forces – threaten Cambodian people to demolish their houses – Banteay Ampil, Oddar Meanchey]
  • [Cambodia] Urges Negotiations Soon; Thailand Cancels Negotiations for Reason of Crisis [demonstrations in Bangkok]; Cambodia Cannot Accept
  • Constructions Spread on Prohibited Areas Next to Phnom Penh International Airport Fences


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3552, 30-31.8.2008

  • Khmer Authorities Cooperate with the US FBI to Investigate Murder of Moneaksekar Khmer Journalist
  • Civil Society Wants Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodian to Be Maintained

  • Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4681, 30.8.2008

    • Siamese [Thai] Police Cannot Control Demonstrators; Demonstration Is Stronger
    • Four Cambodian Children [who were arrested on accusation of entering Thailand illegally on 26 August 2008] Are Released by Siamese [Thais] and Two Siamese Citizens [who were arrested on accusation of entering Cambodia illegally on 27 August 2008] Are Also Released in Exchange


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3397, 30.8.2008

    • Dispute between People and a Company in Kampot over Sand Pumping to Extend the Beach Area [the pumping affects people’s livelihood]

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    Friday, 29.8.2008: Those Who Live at Boeng Kak Lake Go to Give Their Thumbprints to Get Money and New Housing

    Posted on 30 August 2008. Filed under: Week 575 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 575

    “Phnom Penh: On 27 August 2008, from morning to night, many citizens, including husbands, wives, and children 18 years and older, went to the headquarters of a company [the writer of this article, focused on this company, surprisingly does not name the company or give any related information] that has received a legal permit to develop the Boeng Kak region, so some residents start to go and give their thumbprints, to leave the Boeng Kak region, getting compensation money or new housing.

    “Mr. Man Chhoeun, the Phnom Penh Municipal deputy governor and the person in charge of this task with a Boeng Kak regional developer company, said that 500 families had agreed to receive the compensation money of US$8,000 and Riel 2 million [approx. US$490] or new housing with Riel 2 million [approx US$490], costly solutions for the developer company.

    “As for citizens who agree to take the compensation money or new housing, the company will continue to offer this, until no more family is left outside of this scheme.

    “At the company headquarters, the citizens who went to accept the compensation money or new housing in order to leave the old region, said that they took the money because they want to run their businesses and live in the new places with a good environment, and they do not want to live above the sewage at the lake which affects their heath.

    “The new housing that they agree to receive can be constructed one floor above the ground, and it is in Cham Chao, Dangkao. After leading their families to see [models of] those new housing, they agreed to give their thumbprints to accept the new housing, because they are satisfied with the new housing. All the citizens said that they want to see the company develop the Boeng Kak region soon, requesting that the company has to act very quickly and make good development, so that the area is not left it unused or sold to another company.

    “While this exchange process is going on – [citizens accept money or housing while the company gets the thumbprints in exchange, showing that the citizens agree the leave the region], it is seen that the company had prepared documents very carefully, including fair lucky draws, and thumbprints are taken from husbands, wives, and children who are 18 or older, and the company explained clearly the statutes of the contracts, in order to avoid any future complicated problems.

    “In the meantime, the company also informed about another good news: that the company offers Riel 100 million loans [approx. US$25,000] with a very low interest rate, to help the citizens from the Boeng Kak region who agree to live in new locations, to run small businesses.

    “Now, the citizens living at the Boeng Kak Lake gradually go to give their thumbprints to receive the compensation money and new housing; as for the company, it is trying to prepare everything for the citizens without delay.

    “Most of the citizens agreed to take US$8,000 and Riel 2 million, because they want to choose a new location by themselves where it is easy to run their everyday living businesses.

    “As for the development of the Boeng Kak region, it is seen that the company has started to pump sand into lake, gradually, since 26 August 2008.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #1680, 29.8.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Friday, 29 August 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1732, 29.8.2008

    • Chief Demonstrators in Siam [Thailand] Could Get Capital Punishment


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #232, 29.8.2008

    • [Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarian] Son Chhay: Sam Rainsy Party Will Not Participate in First National Assembly Session to Save Face of the Cambodian People’s Party; Sam Rainsy: Our Final Legal Struggle, We Will Complain to UN and Co-Presidents of the 1991 Paris Peace Conference
    • Corruption over Donation to Army at Preah Vihear Temple Area Revealed [good quality food and modern equipment was taken by high ranking military officers]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6436, 29.8.2008

    • Thai Police Call on Demonstrators to Move Out of Government Office


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3551, 29.8.2008

    • UN Criticizes Cambodian Government Report on Human Rights [of not being changed]
    • Sam Rainsy: Our Country Increasingly Gets Away from Democracy and It Is Very Dangerous [that the government is ruled by only one party]
    • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mr. Yim Sovann Supports UN Envoy’s Proposal Urging for a Third Party to Monitor Elections in Cambodia


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4680, 29.8.2008

    • Those Who Live at Boeng Kak Lake Go to Give Their Thumbprints to Get Money and New Housing
    • Monk Raped Ten-Year-Old Girl and Killed Her [27 August 2008, he is arrested – Baray, Kompong Thom]


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3396, 29.8.2008

    • Cambodian People’s Party Takes All Positions of National Assembly Committee Chairs
    • Siam [Thailand] Asks to Suspend Negotiations – but Its Solders Still Invade Khmer Land

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    Thursday, 28.8.2008: Nephews of Khmer Prime Minister Cause Five People to Die during Third Term Royal Government

    Posted on 29 August 2008. Filed under: Week 575 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 575

    “Nephews of Prime Minister Hun Sen have caused four people to die in traffic accidents during the third term government that will come to an end next month. Relatives of innocent people who died because of Mr. Hun Sen’s nephews mostly were paid US$4,000 in order to save the perpetrators from being convicted.

    “Early 2004, a nephew of Mr. Hun Sen was involved in a traffic accident near a fence at the Olympic Stadium where he was with his group of children of the rich, causing four innocent people to die, because of a brutal gun fire. In that event, a nephew of the Prime Minister who holds the surname Hun and his group drove a car and hit people, but none was injured. After chatting with each other for a moment, a heavy shootout with firearms started; it was the gunfire from the faction of Mr. Hun Sen’s nephew which hit a seller of Lout Chha – a fried rice and coconut seller – resulting in the death of four people, and then the perpetrators and their group paid US$4,000 to the families of each victim.

    “Also, a nephew of Prime Minister Hun Sen, Hun Chea, drove a car and hit a person, killing him, in Phnom Penh last week, and the perpetrator paid US$4,000 compensation, like in the killing of four people in 2004.

    “However, causing a person to die this time agitates people from the legal profession as well as a well-known newspaper of the United States. Furthermore, officials of the government said that a person who causes the death of another person like this will not be able to avoid a conviction according to the law.

    “A lawyer, an official of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, reported to The Cambodia Daily that drivers involved in accidents that result in the death of a persons cannot legally escape from a conviction of a crime by paying a compensation to the family of the dead victim.

    “However, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the Minister of Information and the government spokesperson, seemed to protect the perpetrator, Mr. Hun Sen’s nephew, in a press conference on Sunday.

    “It is reported that Mr. Hun Chea, Mr. Hun Sen’s nephew, had paid a compensation of US$4,000 to the family of the victim who rode on his small motorcycle and died through the accident, but there is no legal action taken. Mr. Khieu Kanharith said that doing so [paying a compensation to the victim’s family] is legal in Cambodia.

    “Lawyer Kea Eav, also an expert in traffic law, and Mr. Ung Chun Hour, the director of the Transportation Department of the Ministry of Public Work, said that anyone who causes an accidents that leads to the death of another person, cannot legally avoid a criminal investigation and prosecution towards finding solutions according to the criminal code. They recognized, however, that this law is frequently not practiced. Mr. Kea Eav criticized the speech of Minister Khieu Kanharith as a misunderstanding, as it is against the law that the authorities would let such cases to be solved on the basis of compensation payments. He added, ‘Accidents which result in the death of another person are a crime that cannot be solved through compensation. A compensation payment cannot stop criminal proceedings.’

    “Mr. Ung Chun Hour, a co-drafter of the new traffic law, said that frequently, the authorities violate this law to solve problems through compensation payments outside of the judicial system. He continued to say, ‘They are wrong, if they do not use the judicial system, though frequently also the victims’ families want to avoid to use legal procedures which take very long before a solutions is achieved.’

    “Mr. Jeffrey M. Kahan, a legal and development advisor of the Cambodian Defenders Project, said that there is not one clause in the legislative procedure code which allows a compensation payment to stop a clearly criminal procedure.

    “The traffic law states, ‘Anyone who causes an accident which leads to an unintentional killing will be convicted to serve from one to three years in prison, and will be charged with between Riel 2 million [approx. US$490] and Riel 6 million [approx. US$1,480]. This clause does not talk about compensation.’

    “Mr. Joel Brinkley, a well-known writer, whose article was published in the Modesto Bee in California/USA, wrote an article on 22 August 2008 with the title ‘The world leader in corruption is – Cambodia.’ This article pointed to an accident caused by a nephew of Prime Minister Hun Sen, killing an innocent person, but the perpetrator was able to avoid to be caught in the net of the law. This article in the Modesto Bee makes officials of the government feel uneasy, as the Minister of Information tried to explained things in a press conference on Sunday.

    “As a matter of fact, during the third term government, Mr. Hun Sen’s nephews caused the death of five people, and this does not include such different cases as that Oknha Hun To hit Mr. Nuon Vuthy, a Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian, a few days ahead of the election, at the Prek Kdam Ferry Dock.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #231, 28.8.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Thursday, 28 August 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1731, 28.8.2008

    • Siam [Thailand] Announces Cancellation of Negotiation [on removal of all troops from the Preah Vihear Temple] Scheduled to Be Held in Siem Reap on 29 August [due to the crisis in Thailand, reports Kampuchea Thmey – but a Thai Foreign Ministry statement denied that the cancellation is related to the Bangkok demonstrations]
    • Siamese [Thai] Criminal Court Prepares to Issue Arrest Warrants for the Leaders of the Demonstrations
    • Election Observation Supplies Worth More Than US$180,000 Transferred by European Community to 17 Cambodian Non Governmental Organizations
    • Number One [condom plus brand] Lubricant Is Surprisingly Used [by women factory workers] to Cure Pimples [Sihanoukville]


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #231, 28.8.2008

    • Nephews of Khmer Prime Minister Cause Five People to Die during Third Term Royal Government


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #84, 28.8.2008

    • Cambodia and Thailand Will Cooperate to Promote Tourism at the Preah Vihear Temple Area [according to The Nation of Thailand]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6435, 28.8.2008

    • Traffic Accidents in Cambodia: More Than Four People Die Each Day; in 2007, More Than 1,000 People Died and More Than 7,000 Were Injured


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3550, 28.8.2008

    • US Federal Bureau of Investigation Prepares to Investigate the Murder of a Moneaksekar Khmer Journalist


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4679, 28.8.2008

    • Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos Sign Border Agreements


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3395, 28.8.2008

    • Siem Reap Governor [Sou Phirin] Allows Businesspeople to Cut 60 Hectares of Flooded Forest Where Fish Lay Eggs
    • Boeng Kak Lake Residents Worried and Concerned While the Company Tests Soil Pumping [from the Mekong to the Lake] for the First Time [Phnom Penh]

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    Wednesday, 27.8.2008: Seng Theary Is Ordered to Stop Working, but There Are Persons to Defend Her

    Posted on 28 August 2008. Filed under: Week 575 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 575

    “Phnom Penh: Ms. Seng Theary, the president of the Center for Social Development [established in 1995 ‘to promote democratic values and improve the quality of life of the Cambodian people through training, seminars, research, publication, broadcasting, partnership with other like-minded organizations and institutions and dialogue with Cambodians from all walks of life’], has been told to stop to work two times already, because she does not follow her contract responsibly as seen by the board of directors, and still continues to work without caring about the order to stop, issued by the board of directors that has appointed her to this position.

    “On 26 August 2008, many journalists went to the Center for Social Development, because they had been informed by phone that the Center for Social Development had planned to hold a press conference, but when they arrived there, they were prevented to enter.

    “Mr. Vi Houi, the president of the board of directors of the Center for Social Development, reported to Kampuchea Thmey in the evening of 25 August 2008 that the board of directors plans to hold a press conference about the firing of Ms. Seng Theary from her work on 26 August 2008, but Ms. Seng Theary’s supporters had requested to discuss the possibility to keep her as the president of the center.

    “Mr. Vy Huy added that Ms. Seng Theary has been fired already more than 60 days ago, but she refused to leave. He said that the board of directors has contacted some donor countries, but they had responded asking that at this stage, the donors requested to stay quiet temporarily. If there would be no agreement between Ms. Seng Theary and the board of directors, there would be no salaries for the staff, as well as no money to pay the rent for the office.

    “On 26 August 2008, some staff members had distributed some documents to the journalists and asked them to wait outside of the fence, but later there was no one from the center to inform them what happened or to offer interviews to the journalists, so that the journalists, both Khmers and foreigners, after waiting until after 11:00, finally decided to leave.

    “The journalists said that maybe the staff of the Center for Social Development asked the journalists to sit and wait, to share with them the arguments between staff and board, that is why they did not offer any interviews and did not say anything at the beginning.

    “According to some staff, the Center for Social Development started to have internal disputes, since Ms. Seng Theary had taken full control of the center. As soon as the board of directors had appointed Ms. Seng Theary as president [in 2006], she started to strengthen her power, and when she was strong enough, she did not recognize this board of directors that had assigned her as president, and created another board of directors that supports her, causing rift and turmoil.

    Note:

    A press release from the staff side is http://www.csdcambodia.org/pdf/2008/PressRelease-30-June-08.pdf/

    “Many analysts said that leading a small center, depending on foreign donations, can bring rifts and disagreements: what laws to teach to citizens, and therefore, how citizens can then consider them as models. At present, Khmer citizens are not much weaker in knowledge than Seng Theary; but being the president of the center, she refused to give up her power, but what would happen if she ruled over the rules of the country?

    “The letters announcing the press conference of the Center for Social Development on 26 August 2008 say that Ms. Seng Theary had already once been fired on 20 May 2008, and then she was fired a second time by the board of directors on 24 June 2008.

    “The board of directors of the Center for Social Development has intervened with Ms. Seng Theary’s work already twice: once on 18 July 2007 and then again on 10 September 2007.

    “Ms. Seng Theary has been hired to work since March 2006. During her work at the Center for Social Development, she had attended only four of the nine meeting of the board of directors.

    “Ms. Seng Theary does not follow the contract she had agreed to with the board of directors of the Center for Social Development.

    “Ms. Seng Theary had formed a board of directors while she was working under the administration of the board of directors of the Center for Social Development. There are eleven members in the new board of directors, as published by the Phnom Penh Post on 16 May 2008.

    “Ms. Seng Theary had rejected a request to reorganize the statute structures for the Center for Social Development under the guidance by Oxfam – United States.

    “Ms. Seng Theary does not fully cooperate with two arbiters – one comes from an important donor country, and another one is the founder of the Center for Social Development. As a result, the Center for Social Development lost aid from an important donor country.

    “Ms. Seng Theary had requested coordination, but that request aims to ask the board of directors to do what she wants; she offered two choices to choose from – to ‘agree’ or to ‘disagree.’ The board of directors had responded by requesting a face-to-face meeting to solve the requests by Ms. Seng Theary, but she considered this response to be a ‘disagree’ answer, and she continues activities in her own ways by publishing another new board of directors’ list on the website of the Center for Social Development.

    “It has been 63 days since the board of directors terminated Ms. Seng Theary. To leave her position for a long period vacant would affect the prestige of the Center for Social Development, and also its resources for the foundation. Also other foundations may not continue with their support from about October 2008.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1730, 27.8.2008

    Note:

    Ms. Seng Theary, who earned her degree in law in the USA, became internationally known through her book Daughter Of The Killing Fields – Asrei’s Story, where she describes her early childhood and life under the Khmer Rouge regime, then the flight of her family to Thailand and the resettlement in the USA – the description of her history is regularly accompanied by her own reflections.

    As executive director of the Center for Social Development, the activities of the Center and she herself were often in the public limelight because of the controversial nature of these engagements, symbolized in the concern for “Four Freedoms”

    “The Voice of Justice Program, at every opportunity, reminds the readers of the Voice of Justice columns or the Voice of Justice Research Bulletins and the radio listeners of the Four Freedoms – i.e., Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Belief, Freedom from Fear, and Freedom from Want – which build the foundation for democracy, human rights, and social and economic development.

    We continually lobby for a Freedom of Information Act, for a freer press, for a freer right to assembly, for a freer and open society… for we believe every Cambodian is born to be, and desires to breathe freely.”

    These concerns are publicly expressed in the “Voice of Justice Column,” published twice a month in Khmer in Koh Santepheap and in English in The Phnom Penh Post.

    Ms. Seng Theary took also an active role in some events which attracted public attention:

    • When the “G8” meeting took place in Germany in 2007 – the leaders of 7 Great industrialized countries plus Russia – an alternative meeting was also organized, as usual, with a critical appraisal of the interests of the powerful as over against the rest of the world, as even such large countries like China and India are not represented, and there are no African or Latin American members in the group. – Ms. Seng Theary was invited to speak to the “P8” meeting as one of the persons from “People” from 8 poor countries, to raise public consciousness of poverty in the world, urging the G8 to take action to end the plight of the poor.
    • The gathering of the “Dream for Darfur,” after having organized similar symbolic actions in different countries’ genocide memorials, planned to light a candle of commemoration at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Memorial in January 2008, led by Hollywood actress Mia Farrow and one of the few Tuol Sleng survivors, the painter Mr. Van Nath, coordinated by the Center for Social Development – but this was prevented by armed authorities.
    • More recently, Ms. Seng Theary’s requested to speak as a “civil party” participating in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia – the Khmer Rouge Trial – where there is also a role foreseen for the participation of victims. But the majority of judges ruled that only lawyers of civil parties could speak in pre-trial hearings, not victims themselves; so far, no victims’ voice could be heard in this court.

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Wednesday, 27 August 2008


    Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #83, 27.8-2.9.2008

    • Mr. Hun Chea [Prime Minister Hun Sen’s nephew] Seeks a Lawyer to Sue an American Newspaper, Accusing it of Defamation [he asks for evidence for the accusation that he drove a car and fatally hit someone in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh]
    • [US Ambassador] Joseph [Mussomeli]: Preah Vihear Temple Dispute Can Be Solved by ASEAN


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1730, 27.8.2008

    • Seng Theary Is Ordered to Stop Working, but There Are Persons to Defend Her
    • [Thai Prime Minister] Samak Says Demonstrations Cannot Force Him from His Position; Siamese [Thai] Police Prepare to Resist 35,000 Demonstrators
    • Rumor in Pursat that the Spirit of Military Chief Khleang Moeung [heroic leader against invading Thai troops around 1482] Tells People Who Were Born in the Year of the Tiger and in the Year of the Monkey to Get Washed with Magic Water, or They Will Meet Danger


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #230, 27.8.2008

    • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay Says that the American Newspaper [The Modesto Bee about a fatal traffic accident and about impunity, saying “The world leader in corruption is – Cambodia”] Reflects the Facts in Cambodia
    • Sam Rainsy Says Hun Sen Government Is Afraid of Paris Peace Accord, Fearing to Lose Power [over border issue]


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #83, 27.8.2008

    • Constitutional Council Refuses to Recount Votes [in Svay Rieng] at Sam Rainsy Party’s Request


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6434, 27.8.2008

    • Miracle before Siam’s [Thailand’s] Invasion: A Piece of Rock from the Phnom Tbaeng Mountain Broke Loose and Rolled Down, and There Was a Pair of Flying Lights in January 2008 [People in Preah Vihear provincial town claim now to remember that back, in the evening of 27 January 2008, they saw two lights flying down from the mountain. One light disappeared at the Preah Vihear Provincial Office and the other light flew to the West]


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3549, 27.8.2008

    • Mr. Sam Rainsy Criticizes the Constitutional Council and the National Election Committee of Being Puppets of the Cambodian People Party

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    Tuesday, 26.8.2008: Vietnam to Provide Telecommunication Satellite Services to Different Countries

    Posted on 27 August 2008. Filed under: Week 575 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 575

    “The Vietnamese newspaper Saigon Liberation reported on 22 August 2008 that a Vietnamese state company, Telecommunication International, which is responsible for the first Vietnamese telecommunications satellite VINASAT-1, has discussed with foreign customers the possibility to provide them services.

    “Its important partners include Asia Broadcast Satellite [ABS], which is a big Asian company in telecommunications, based in Hong Kong, Universal Telecomm Services of the United States, Protostar of Singapore, and Thaicom of Thailand.

    “Vietnam’s Telecom International and ABS have signed a protocol on the capacity of exchanges between VINASAT-1 and ABS-1. This document is used as a starting point for the cooperation between the two companies in telecommunication and satellite services.

    “Medium scale satellite VINASAT-1 was launched in April 2008 with a capital of US$300 million. It can provide services over Southeast Asia, part of China, India, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and Hawaii. This satellite would last from 15 to 20 years. The transmitting capacity of VINASAT-1 corresponds to 10,000 telephone lines or 120 television stations.

    “Before having its own telecommunication satellite, Vietnam had to spend $15 million each year on telecommunication satellite services of foreign countries such as of Russia, Australia, and Thailand.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6433, 26.8.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Tuesday, 26 August 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1729, 26.8.2008

    • Siam [Thailand] Is Very Embarrassed at [29th] ASEAN Inter Parliamentary Assembly [AIPA] General Assembly [18-24 August in Singapore; because many countries supported the principle to prohibit invasions of one country against another]

    • Note:

      We could not yet find an AIPA report mentioning this; the legislators present decided, however, to hold the 30th AIPA General Assembly in Thailand in 2009 – normally a gesture of confidence towards a country]

      As for the basic orientation of the Assembly, we quote from the Opening Speech of the AIPA Assembly, by the Prime Minister of Singapore:

      “By 2015, ASEAN will become a single market and production base.

      The founders of AIPO understood the need to take a larger view of the region’s interests beyond national and domestic considerations.

      And when problems arise between ASEAN countries, which is inevitable from time to time, this will give you a feel for the people on the other side of the issue, so that we can keep the difficulties in perspective and maintain the friendship between our countries.

      This makes it even more necessary for parliamentarians to set the tone in ASEAN cooperation, to lead and manage domestic sentiments, to stand firm against xenophobic attitudes, and to support policies which keep our economies open and integrated.”

    • Construction of Concrete Fences at Border Is New Government’s Priority Plan


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #82, 26.8.2008

    • The New National Assembly and the Government Will Be Created through One Package Voting [according to the Cambodian Government’s spokesperson Khieu Kanharith]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6433, 26.8.2008

    • Cambodia Calls [the planned border separators, built by concrete] “Fence”, Thailand Calls the [concrete construction] “Wall” – Government Spokesperson Rejects the Use of the Word Used by the Bangkok Post Which Means a Different Thing
    • Samdech Euv [the retired Father King]: Royal Family Members and Politics – Princes and Princesses Are Finally Unsuccessful
    • Vietnam to Provide Telecommunication Satellite Services to Different Countries


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3548, 26.8.2008

    • Opposition Parties [Sam Rainsy Party and Human Rights Party] Complain to Signatory Countries of 1991 Paris Peace Accord about Unfair Election in Cambodia
    • Yuons [Vietnamese] Are Still Able to Enter to Do Rice Farming on Khmer Land at Border Area, without Any Intervention [by Cambodian authorities]
    • Khmer Soldiers at Preah Vihear Temple Border Have Malaria and Respiratory Diseases


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4677, 26.8.2008

    • Sam Rainsy Party and Human Rights Party Maintain Position Not to Participate in [Inaugural] National Assembly Session if There Is No Solution [for election irregularities]
    • Collection of Road Taxes [2008] Started on 15 September 2008 and It Will Finish on 14 November 2008

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    Monday, 25.8.2008: United States of America Grants More Than US$34 Million for Heath and Education Projects in Cambodia

    Posted on 26 August 2008. Filed under: Week 575 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 575

    “Phnom Penh: The government of the United States of America and the Royal Government of Cambodia will sign two bilateral agreements at a total cost of US$34.3 million as donor funds for 2008, from the U. S. Agency for International Development [USAID] to promote priority sectors in Cambodia – health and education.

    “The [signing] ceremony will be held on 25 August 2008 and will be presided over by Samdech Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia, Mr. Joseph Mussomeli, the US Ambassador to Cambodia, Mr. Hor Namhong, a Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Ms.
    Erin Soto, USAID Mission Director, who will sign on behalf of the US government. These new funds will add to nearly US$200 million since USAID granted funds for the health and education sectors of Cambodia since 2002.

    “An announcement by the US Embassy on 23 August 2008 said that the first agreement will be a grant of a total volume of US$32.2 million to strengthen the health sector as a priority. This fund will promote all activities aiming at the reduction rate of infections and of the impact of HIV/AIDS, and the prevention and the wiping out of big infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and bird flu, in order to improve child and maternal health and reproductive health, and to strengthen the public heath system, also including the strengthening of additional technical skills for health staff.

    “The second agreement will provide more than US$2 million in total to support plans of the Royal Government of Cambodia for the education sector. The funds will be used for the existing programs to improve the quality of education as the basis to increase access to schools for Cambodian children, as well as for children of minority peoples, and for those who do not get access to employment [disabled persons?], and also support the schooling of very poor children. This activity will also focus on the implementation of new study programs at the national level with educational standards which will cut down the rates of dropping out of school and of the repetition of classes through the enhancement of the quality of teaching and through assessments of the results of the students’ studies.

    “In addition to the activities in the health and education sectors, USAID assists also some programs for the benefit of all the Cambodian citizens, including programs to strengthen human rights, the rule of law, of basic good governance, and of decentralization, the fight against corruption, the development of the private sector, and the fight against human trafficking. USAID expects to grant US$57.5 million to Cambodia in 2008.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4676, 24-25.8.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Monday, 26 August 2008


    Deum Tnot, Vol.1, #32, 25-26.8.2008

    • Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh, the Former President of the Third Term National Assembly and Co-President of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, Had [a huge number of] 59 Advisors and 66 Assistants


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1728, 24-25.8.2008

    • National Election Committee Rejects Opposition Party’s Request to Show Evidence [of irregularities for deleting voters’ names – NEC claims that the names were deleted a long time ago]
    • Many Mountains in Pailin Seriously Destroyed [by powerful people’s land grabbing]


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #229, 24-26.8.2008

    • People Talking on Mobile Phones Were Killed by Lightning, because [Posts and Telecommunication Minister] So Khun Is Poor in Communication Technology [???]
    • Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha Will Take Evidence to Complain to UN Together, in Early September [over irregularities in election]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6432, 25.8.2008

    • Government Official [Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith] Accuses an American Newspaper [The Modesto Bee] of Insulting Cambodia [an article by Pulitzer Prize winner former journalist and now professor of journalism at Stanford University Joel Brinkley, quoting the Phnom Penh Post report and the US Ambassador about a fatal traffic accident and impunity: “The world leader in corruption is – Cambodia”]


    Rasmei Angkor, Vol.11, #1351, 25.8.2008

    • Robbers Shot at Gold Seller and Robbed Him of Nearly 300 Chi of Gold [worth approx. US$30,000]; the Gold Seller Is Wounded and a Neighbor, Who Tried to Help Him, Was Shot Dead [by robbers – Angkao, Phnom Penh]


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4676, 24-25.8.2008

    • United States of America Grants More Than US$34 Million for Heath and Education Projects in Cambodia
    • Samdech Krom Preah [Prince Norodom Ranariddh] Decides Not to Enter Politics [according to Prince Thomico]
    • Thai Opposition Group Announces to Hold a Large Demonstration to Expel the Government on 26 August 2008

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    Week 574 – Sunday,2008-08-24: Transparency and Openness

    Posted on 25 August 2008. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 574 |

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    Saturday, 23.8.2008: Opposition Party Asks to Meet the King to Report about Irregularities during the Elections

    Posted on 24 August 2008. Filed under: Week 574 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 574

    “The president of the Human Rights Party said that a request will not be made to the King to delay the meeting for the new National Assembly swearing-in ceremony, thinking that such a request would not be successful. The president of the Human Rights Party, Mr. Kem Sokha, reported to Radio Free Asia, broadcast on Thursday night, that, considering the situation realistically, asking for help from the King hardly could get results.

    “The president of the Human Rights Party, an ally of the Sam Rainsy Party, together rejecting the election results on 27 July 2008, said, ‘We will not make a request disturbing the King, because we know that previously, although we had made requests to him many times, he has no possibility to help us much, since everything depends on decisions by the government.’ In the meantime, the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party still retain the position to boycott the first session of the parliament, where the swearing-in of the parliamentarians should happen in late September 2008, if there is no proper solution for the complaints lodged by both parties. At present, the complaints of the Sam Rainsy Party are in the hands of the Constitutional Council, which is known as a tool of the ruling party, like the National Election Committee [NEC].

    “Mr. Sam Rainsy, a well-known opposition party president in Cambodia, said that so far, both allied parties considered not to attend the meeting of the fourth term parliamentary swearing-in ceremony, and are seeking solutions for the complaints about the irregularities of the elections. He added that the opposition party is waiting for permission from the King to meet him and to report to him the problems that happened during the previous elections.

    “Mr. Sam Rainsy said also, ‘We wrote to the King to ask for permission to meet him, but there is no response from the Royal Palace yet; however, we will directly report to him when we have the opportunity to meet him.’ Regarding to this problem, a source close to the King said that the King will, sooner or later, agree with the request of the opposition party to meet him. As for the word ‘sooner or later,’ it is not known in how many days, while the NEC plans to announce the official results of the fourth term elections on 7 September 2008.

    “According to the temporary results announced by the NEC on 9 August 2008, the Cambodian People’s Party will receive 90 seats, the Sam Rainsy Party will receive 26 seats, the Human Rights Party 3 seats, the Norodom Ranariddh Party 2 seats, and Funcinpec also 2 seats. Early in August, Prime Minister Hun Sen, the vice-president of the Cambodian People’s Party, had warned Mr. Sam Rainsy, the opposition party president, that the opposition party cannot prevent the meeting to form a new National Assembly by boycotting it, and that if it dares to boycott, this will result in invalidating its parliamentary seats gained. This warning caused Mr. Sam Rainsy to react immediately, because they first stole the ballots, and then they want to grab the seats of the Sam Rainsy Party in the National Assembly without any feeling of shame.

    “However, legal experts said that, according to Article 76 of the Constitution, the supreme law of the nation, a new National Assembly cannot hold its inaugural meeting, unless there are at least120 parliamentarians attending, otherwise that new National Assembly cannot function, and a new government cannot be formed. Therefore, if the Cambodian People’s Party of Hun Sen’s group dares to hold a session of he new National Assembly, claiming that it won the majority of votes in the National Assembly, it is against Article 76 of the Constitution – it would mean that the Cambodian People’s Party unreasonably violates the supreme law of the nation.

    “Relating to the plan by the NEC to announce the official results of the elections on 7 September 2008, legal experts commented to the NEC that it should finish solving the many complaints of the opposition parties about irregularities during the election day and days before the elections. To finish solving complaints lodged by the opposition parties before the announcement of the fourth term national election result is to disregard criticism from national and international observers. Obviously, national and international observers had clearly criticized that the elections on 27 July 2008 did not reach international standards and were not fair and just, clearly shaming the NEC, which is using every means to hide its bad face.

    “According to high ranking officials of the NEC, they said that although there are complaints to the NEC or to the Constitutional Council, the announcement of the fourth term parliamentary election results will be made officially as planed on 7 September 2008 at the latest, and all complaints will have been solved before the day when the election results will be announced. However, officials of civil society organizations said that the official results of the elections cannot be announced, unless the Constitutional Council has solved all complaints by political parties; if all complaints have not been solved, the election results cannot be announced on the date set by the NEC.

    “The Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party had announced to boycott attending the first meeting of the National Assembly on 24 September 2008, demanding a new vote, in order to provide justice to more than one million Khmer citizens who had lost their right to vote. Moreover, the presidents of both parties have collected many documents as proof regarding the irregularities of the elections to be sent to the United Nations and the European Community, to help to seek justice for Khmer citizens. Because the fact that one million of Khmer citizens lost the right to vote is a serious irregularity. If the results are to be announced by the NEC on 7 September 2008, it is not in line with the will of the Khmer citizens.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3556, 23.8.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Saturday, 23 August 2008


    Chakraval, Vol.16, #2804, 23.8.2008

    • Building for Neuro Surgery and Building for the Treatment of Heart Diseases of Infants Inaugurated at Calmette Hospital


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1727, 23.8.2008

    • Illegal Vietnamese Fishing Boats Still Invade Khmer Seas [Kep]


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #228, 23.8.2008

    • Cambodian Watchdog Council Opposes Hun Sen Government’s Plan to Withdraw Complaint from the UN Security Council [over Preah Vihear Temple]
    • Hun Sen Doesn’t Dare to Visit Ta Moan Thom Temple Like [Thai Prime Minister] Samak Did, for Fear the Siamese [Thai] Black-Clad Soldiers [the special border protection unit] Might Stamp His Hand with an Admission Stamp [as they did with other Cambodian visitors, before they were allowed to enter the temple]
    • The Old Father of Monk Tim Sakhan [who has been defrocked on the accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he was accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia] Begs King to Intervene [so that he can meet his son in Cambodia]
    • Khmer Rouge Tribunal Won’t Be Able to Reach Its Goal as Former Leaders of the Killing Fields Regime Are Growing Old


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #80, 23.8.2008

    • Thai Troops Continue Invading Khmer Land at Ta Moan Thom Temple; Situation Is Still Tense; Thai Troops Move Border Marker into Khmer Land


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6431, 23-24.8.2008

    • Message of Prime Minister [Hun Sen]: Cambodia Maintains Stance of Stabilizing the Situation and Pushing Siam [Thailand] to Withdraw Troops [area not clearly specified in relation to the Cambodian map presented with the Joint Communique of 18 June 2008]
    • A Man Got Angry with Children Who Cried at Night, Argued with His Wife, Stabbed His Two-Year-Old and Three-Year-Old Daughters, then Hanged Himself; His Wife Escaped [Siem Reap]


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3546, 23-24.8.2008

    • Opposition Party Asks to Meet the King to Report about Irregularities during the Elections
    • What the US Ambassador Said Is Right! [he said only a few Cambodian politicians are committed to help the Cambodian people]
    • Co-Lawyers of Khiev Samphan Still Demand that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Translate Tens of Thousands of Pages of Documents into French


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3391, 23.8.2008

    • [Unnamed source claims about some important SRP officials of the] Sam Rainsy Party Bargain for Positions at Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Economy, and Phnom Municipality

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    Friday, 22.8.2008: US Ambassador: Only Few Politicians of Cambodia Are Dedicated to Help the Cambodian People

    Posted on 23 August 2008. Filed under: Week 574 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 574

    A reader had asked, from far away: “What is a moto-taxi?”

    Well – this is one:

    Moto taxi in Phnom Penh

    Moto taxi in Phnom Penh

    “Phnom Penh: The US Ambassador to Cambodia criticized Cambodian politicians who mostly do not put the interest of the nation and of the people as their highest priority, but they enter politics just because they want positions. Moreover, he said that it is necessary that opposition parties in Cambodia unite to become one force to compete with the ruling party.

    “During an interview with Rasmei Kampuchea, Mr. Joseph Mussomeli said, ‘Few Cambodian politicians whom I met had dedicated themselves to help the Cambodian people; too many politicians are only interested in the positions they can get.’

    “He added that the problem is that they do not think that they have to serve the Cambodian people. Although similar problems exists also in the United States, Mr. Joseph thinks that the problem is more serious in Cambodia than in the United States. He went on to say that it is important for Cambodia to have a sufficiently independent justice system to arrest corrupt people, and especially also politicians, to be convicted according to the law.

    “An observer said that just a few months ahead of the elections, many Cambodian politicians left the Sam Rainsy Party to join the Cambodian People’s Party, causing almost a breakup among opposition party members. Those politicians had left to take up some [already promised] important positions in the government, such as secretary of state, undersecretary of state, or government advisor, making it difficult to protect their claim that they had changed their political party because they think of the interest of the nation as their highest priority.

    “As for Cambodian politics in general, the US Ambassador thinks also that there are too many different opposition parties. He continued to say that as long as Cambodia has five or six opposition parities, they cannot compete with the ruling party. He said they should form an alliance, adding, ‘One opposition party will be stronger [than many opposition parties] and will gain strong attention from the Cambodian people.’

    “Ms. Chea Vannath, a political observer, said that to unite or not is not a problem. Nowadays, opposition parties do not have enough to say to oppose decisions made by the ruling party. She said also that at present, Cambodia does not have a real democracy yet, because of a ruling system that upholds partisanship, is built on personal links of friendship and on familial relations, which needs to be cut down in order to promote new [qualified] people.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4674, 22.8.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Friday, 22 August 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1726, 22.8.2008

    • Cambodia Asks Kuwait to Provide Assistance with Irrigation and Transport
    • Woman Strangled in “Chea Kong” Guesthouse [by unknown person – Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh]
    • Rural Unmarried Woman Beaten until She Was Unconscious and Then Raped by [two] Young Men [two suspects arrested – Phnom Proek, Battambang]
    • North Korea Vows to Strengthen Armed Forces to Make War [while US-South Korean military exercises are conducted]


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #79, 22.8.2008

    • Plane Crash in Spain Kills 153 People


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6430, 22.8.2008

    • At Ta Moan Thom Temple a GPS Receiver of an Official of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts Was Broken [officials of the Ministry of Culture consider the breaking of their GPS machine by a Thai soldier to be an act of looking down on the owner of the temple. – Other reports say that the Thai soldier who did it was immediately punished by his superior, and a formal apology was presented by the Thai military to the Cambodian visitors; the Cambodian visitors admitted that they had acted against the mutual agreement not to bring GPS receivers to the Ta Moan area; the Cambodian Council of Ministers spokesperson Phay Siphan admitted that he also broke the regulation and he also took a GPS to Ta Moan]


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3545, 22.8.2008

    • National Election Committee Gives Green Light to Ministry of Interior to Take Action against Boeng Salang Subdistrict Second Deputy Chief Heung Ponlork and Boeng Tompun Subdistrict Chief [Suos Sarin – for issuing Form 1018 illegally – Tuol Kork and Meanchey districts, Phnom Penh]
    • The King Plans to Participate and to Open the National Assembly Session in Late September; the Sam Rainsy Party Still Maintains Its Position Not to Accept the Election Results
    • Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party official]: Sam Rainsy Party Rejects the Election Results until Election Is Held Again


    Rasmei Angkor, Vol.11, #1350, 22.8.2008

    • Sam Rainsy Party Shares Parliamentary Power to Its Members Introducing Half-Term Positions
    • Death Threat by E-mail [from preahvihear@yahoo.com] against the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia President Chea Mony [the e-mail said if Chea Mony joins the Cambodian People’s Party he will be able to find the murderers of Chea Vichea, it he joins the Sam Rainsy Party his fate will be the same as his brother Chea Vichea – who was murdered. The e-mailer said he doesn’t advise Chea Mony which way to go, but he should have some powerful people to protect him – or he will be followed and murdered]


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4674, 22.8.2008

    • US Ambassador: Only Few Politicians of Cambodia Are Dedicated to Help the Cambodian People

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    Thursday, 21.8.2008: Hun Sen Government Is Weak, It Conducts Diplomatic Politics by Kneeling Down to Beg Siam to Withdraw Invading Troops from Cambodia

    Posted on 22 August 2008. Filed under: Week 574 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 574


    Apologies: The link to the Joint Communique and the attached map – see further down – had been broken. It is now fixed. Thanks to the alert from a reader.

    “To clarify one’s position by kneeling down under the pressure of the diplomatic politics by Siam [Thailand] or to say that the Hun Sen government is defeated by the Siamese [Thai] diplomatic warfare regarding the incursion by Siamese troops to control the Preah Vihear Temple and the Ta Moan Temple regions – these are two prominent positions to describe the representatives of the Hun Sen government. Hor Namhong, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Hun Sen government, promised Siam to revoke Cambodia’s complaint to the UN Security Council about the incursion by Siam into Cambodia, and the Hun Sen government also agreed to beg Siam, by withdrawing its troops unilaterally from the Preah Vihear Temple region, so that Siam also withdraws its troops from Khmer territory.

    The press in Cambodia – the Khmer press and the international press alike – have not published (as far as we know – if we are wrong, please inform us) the extremely important Joint Communique, signed by the Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in Charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers of Royal Government of Cambodia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and the Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO, on 18 June 2008. This was the last joint submission to the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO, which led to the listing of the Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site. The full document and the appended map [‘the map prepared by the Cambodian authorities and herewith attached’ to the Joint Communique] is here; (it is a big file of 1.3 MB). To read the Joint Communique and to see the attached map, you need to have the free Adobe Reader or a comparable software installed – you can download the Adobe Reader here.

    We strongly recommend to have a look, especially also at the map with a tiny stretch of land in red, claimed as the perimeter of the Preah Vihear Temple.

    This document is available internationally, it has been published various time in the Thai media. The Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs signed this document, relating to national sovereignty and territory integrity, without asking the Thai parliament for a decision, led to a verdict by the Thai Constitutional Court, accusing him of overstepping is responsibilities, and thus violating the Thai constitution – so he had to resign.

    This document – co-signed in the name of the Kingdom of Cambodia – is also the basis for much public opinion in Thailand about the Cambodian government. It is surprising – and important to note – that this document of high international value, is not, or not easily, available to the Khmer public.

    It seems that many arguments in the Khmer press are either not aware of this document, or avoid to see it, because of its bewildering implications. To analyze the content of the document might lead to some different conclusions and arguments, different from what is nowadays in the press. We provide today some references to the Joint Communique and invite our readers to appraise the situation, comparing and relating it to the Joint Communique and the new Cambodian map.

    We would, of course, be happy to see some such reactions in the Comments you may write – or in e-mail to myself, the editor of the Mirror, at mirror@gmx.org

    “This information was made known after a two-day-meeting on 18 and 19 August 2008, and especially, after a high ranking delegation of the government of Cambodia, led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hor Namhong, accompanied by senior representatives of the Minister of Interior of Cambodia, also came to visit the Siamese King at his palace in Hua Hin.

    “Explaining that this is to express sympathy and friendship among good neighbors, between Cambodia and Thailand, and to avoid confrontation between Siamese troops invading and Khmer troops protecting its territory, Hor Namhong and the Siamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Tej Bunnang reported the same content about the results of these negotiations. Hor Namhong said that Cambodia agreed to withdraw a complaint against Siam’s incursion into the Preah Vihear Temple region to the UN Security Council; representatives of the Hun Sen government consider this to be a concession towards Siam so that they agree to withdraw also their troops from Cambodia.

    “Moreover, Hor Namhong said also that in response to an order by Hun Sen, Cambodia agreed, on its side, to please Siam by promising to recall the Khmer troops from the Preah Vihear Temple region of Cambodia.

    “Hor Namhong said, ‘We will withdraw all troops from the Contested Regions. We will withdraw also the complaint to the UN Security Council.’

    “Cambodia filed a complaint to the UN Security Council to ask for intervention, asking to convene an urgent meeting, to solve the confrontation between Cambodian and Siamese troops, after Siam had invaded Khmer territory on 15 July 2008. However, the complaint of Cambodia to the UN Security Council was suspended by a phone call from the Siamese Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej on 24 July 2008 to Mr. Hun Sen, requesting him to suspend this complaint (it seems to be a very interesting books), one day before the UN Security Council would have discussed it.

    The Khmer press speaks, in general, in general terms, of the invasion into Khmer territory, without considering the declarations of the Cambodian representatives, especially also the new map presented by Cambodia – not bu Thailand! – with the Joint Communique, which says:

    “1. The Kingdom of Thailand supports the inscription… of the Temple of Preah Vihear on the World Heritage List proposed by the Kingdom of Cambodia, the perimeter of which is identified as N. 1 in the map prepared by the Cambodian authorities and herewith attached…

    2….the Kingdom of Cambodia accepts that the Temple of Preah Vihear be nominated for inscription on the World Heritage List without at this stage a buffer zone on the northern and western areas of the Temple.”

    On 15 July 2008, Thai troops moved into the “northern and western areas of the Temple” which were not claimed by Cambodia “at this stage” as part of the territory of the perimeter of the Preah Vihear Temple, listed as a World Heritage Site.

    “Mr. Hor Namhong said also, ‘We will withdraw the troops unilaterally form the disputed regions to express the good will of Cambodia, to avoid a confrontation that might lead to armed conflict.’

    “What is seen is that Siam has a landslide victory in its diplomatic warfare, hiding its military incursion into Cambodia, when the head diplomat Hor Namhong, on Hun Sen’s order, agreed to do everything by kneeling down to totally beg Siam – like through the promise to revoke the complaint against Siam to the UN Security Council, and to announce to withdraw the Khmer troops from Khmer territory first, so that Siam agrees to withdraw its invading troops also.

    What is called here “Khmer territory” seems to be part of the area contested between both countries – but more specifically in this case – an area outside of the perimeter claimed by Cambodia for the listing by the World Heritage Committee – see the note above.

    “Observers and experts officials said that the Hun Sen government made Cambodia to be a looser, because that territory belongs to Cambodia, as stated in the verdict of the International Court of Justice in The Hague in 1962. If Cambodia dares to order its troops back to the region again, Siam will take the opportunity to use this as a reason to order its troops to control Khmer territory. It is not believed that there will be proper and just solutions in the meetings attended by foreign affairs ministers, interior high ranking officials, and the Cambodia’s Border Committee, to guarantee that Siam will give up its invading ambition ordering its troops to control Cambodian territory.

    “Getting out from the Khmer-Siamese foreign affairs ministerial meeting on 18 August 2008 in Hua Hin, and then visiting the Siamese King, Hor Namhong said that the Khmer and the Siamese sides agreed to leave only ten soldiers at the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda, and twenty soldiers close to the pagoda, in order to lessen the confrontation by both sides.

    The Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda lies in the ‘buffer zone on the… western areas of the Temple’ which was ‘at this stage’ not claimed by the Cambodian negotiators as part of defining the perimeter of the Preah Vihear Temple.

    “Furthermore, the head of the Khmer diplomats Hor Namhong said that, as a concession which is quick like an arrow, aiming to defuse the confrontation between the troops of both sides, that the government of Cambodia agreed to withdraw all its troops from the border, and will turn to negotiate peacefully through meetings between the border commissions of both countries.

    “In the meantime, regarding about the movement of troops by Siam into the Ta Moan Temple on Khmer territory in the western Dang Rek Mountain region, it was kept as a separate issue. The Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Tej Bunnang said that it was not on the agenda to discuss the Ta Moan Temple issue, and both sides agreed to deal with it next time.

    “This shows that it is a strategic trick of Siam in the diplomatic field to create new problems, while Cambodia is weak in this field, as well as in the field to defend the nation.

    “Both sides claim that the solution for the disputes at the Preah Vihear Temple is to plan to look for border markers, to clearly mark the border lines. To say so is another political trick of Siam, since, in general, they know that a verdict in the International Court of Justice in The Hague on 15 June 1962 clearly stated, by basing its verdict on the French and Siam treaties of 1904 to 1907, signed by both sides about the Khmer and Siam borders lines, which was marked in an official map in 1908.

    The court, in a very lengthy document publishing its verdict, stated that the court

    ‘…by nine votes to three, finds that the Temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory
    under the sovereignty of Cambodia.’

    The text of the verdict clarifies things related to the temple; it does not clarify the border questions in the region. That is why both countries agreed that the next step necessary now is to work on the border demarcation.

    As a related question, it would be interesting to know how the different border clarifications – with Laos, with Vietnam, and with Thailand – which have been already accomplished something, or which need still to continue to work, relate to Article 2 of the Cambodian Constitution:

    ‘The territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia, shall absolutely not to be violated within its borders as defined in the 1/100,000 scale map made between the year 1933-1953 and internationally recognized between the years 1963 – 1969.’

    This statement seems to imply that all border questions which all neighbors are already solved – otherwise, how could there be finite, clear, detailed numbers?] – but many sections of the borderline with neighboring countries are not yet solved..

    “Just having seen that the Hun Sen government agreed to kneel down to beg Siam with promises that Cambodia will withdraw its troops, even from the Preah Vihear Temple of Cambodia, to please Siam so that they withdraw their troops from the areas where they invaded Cambodia, allows everyone to knows that the Hun Sen government is very weak diplomacy, as well as militarily to defend its territorial integrity. How can Khmers then hope that Cambodia, ruled by the Hun Sen government of the Cambodian People’s Party, will not lose Cambodian territory, because they serve the interests of themselves or of factions among the leaders of Siam and of the Hun Sen government?” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #226, 21.8.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Thursday, 21 August 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1725, 21.8.2008

    • Kuwait Asks to Establish Its Embassy in Cambodia and Kuwait Will Come to Invest in Cambodia
    • Thai Opposition Group Asks Britain to Extradite Mr. Thaksin for Trial


    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #226, 21.8.2008

      Hun Sen Government Is Weak, It Conducts Diplomatic Politics by Kneeling Down to Beg Siam to Withdraw Invading Troops from Cambodia


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #78, 21.8.2008

    • Price of Gasoline Is Reduced [by Riel 400 to 500, approx. US$0.10] after the Government Had Asked for Reductions
    • US Ambassador to Cambodia [Joseph A. Mussomeli] Will Hold His Final Press Conference on Monday 25 August 2008 [his mandate ends]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6429, 21.8.2008

    • Latest Information from Preah Vihear Temple Area: Number of Delegations, Donors, and Tourists Declines


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3544, 21.8.2008

    • Sam Rainsy: I Do Not Trust the Constitutional Council; They Wants to Finish the Cases Whenever They Want
    • Yim Sovann [Sam Rainsy Party official]: The Price of Fuel on the Cambodian Market Is Still High because There Are Not Many Companies Competing with Each Other


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4673, 21.8.2008

    • [Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Hor Namhong Compares the Negotiations [over the Preah Vihear Temple] to a Steam Roller [that it is slow but still moving]
    • The European Community Puts a High Value on Elections and Vows to Continue to Help Cambodia

    • [South] Korea Asks Cambodia to Support Investments in Mineral Resources and Energy in Cambodia
    • Many Houses of Members of the Women’s Coalition for Peace and Development Were Destroyed by a Group of Soldiers [15 August – over land disputes – Srae Ambel, Koh Kong]


    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3390, 21.8.2008

    • Eng Chhay Eang Resigns as Secretary-General of the Sam Rainsy Party, Causing Political Doubts
    • Ministry of Agriculture Prepares to Allow Import of Pike Fish [from Vietnam – making officials in the provinces at the border unhappy, as they have been well off from pike fish smuggling]

    Click here to have a look at the last editorial – apprehension while waiting for the results of challenging alleged election fraud, the final official election results, and the forming of a new government

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