Friday, 5.9.2008: Freedom of Press Increases, but Freedom of Expression in Public Declines

Posted on 6 September 2008. Filed under: Week 576 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 576

“Phnom Penh: The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC – assessed that over the course of time, the freedom of the press has increased, but the freedom of expression in the public has declined.

“Mr. Thun Saray, the president of ADHOC, reported on 4 September 2008 to journalists in a meeting to sum up the results of the 2005 to 2009 strategic plans, that Cambodia goes through a high rate of economic growth and noticeable poverty reduction. As for the freedom of the press, ADHOC is not the evaluator, but different press organizations assessed that the situation is better than from 2005 to 2006. While the economy and the freedom of the press flourished, the freedom of expression in public went down.

“Mr. Thun Saray added that previously, the freedom of expression included the right to hold demonstrations in public, and so the poor were allowed to protest by marching in public places or in front of different embassies. But at present, their rights are almost completely eroded, while land disputes still exist without proper solutions; high ranking officials, the powerful, and the rich, still violate land rights of communities and of citizens.

“According to reports of ADHOC, observing the human rights situation in Cambodia, Cambodia gained a high rate of economic growth and achieved noticeable poverty alleviation during more than 15 years. However, the distribution of the benefits of the economic growth is not equal, which results in increasing inequality on the receiving side of the gains. One important reason for this inequality is that natural resources are not equally distributed, especially land. Based on reports of the United Nations Development Program – UNDP – in 2007, the rich, in total about 20% of the population, own between 59% to 70% of the land, while the land ownership of the poor, approximately 40% of the total populations, declined from 8.4% to 5,4% during 1999 to 2003 and 2004 (in a period of 4 to 5 years only). Inequality in owning important cultivation property, like land, leads to a major crisis, because it relates to the everyday living of almost 80% of the total populations who live in rural areas, and this will lead to continue to increase the inequality of production, of income seeking, and of land use in the future. Land grabbing and poor administration of natural resources (specifically, in the field of forestry and fisheries) are major factors for the increase of a status of having no land, of inequality of land ownership, and in the distribution of benefits from those resources.

“Land grabbing is mostly committed by the powerful and the rich, by using different tricks, and by private companies that had received economic land concessions from the government, but they do not properly implement what they contracted.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1738, 5.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 5 September 2008


Chakraval, Vol.16, #2808, 5.9.2008

  • Norodom Ranariddh Party Spokesperson [Suth Dina] Rejects Information about Intention to Join the Government


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1738, 5.9.2008

  • Freedom of Press Increases, but Freedom of Expression in Public Declines
  • Best-Selling Cambodian Dry Season Paddy Rice Is Transported to Siam [Thailand] Through Special Crossing Points [despite serious Cambodian-Thai border disputes]
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Samak Vows to Stay in Power Although [Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs] Taj Bunnag Resigned [he is also an advisor to the Thai King]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #91, 5.9.2008

  • Municipality Rejects Demand for Market Prices; Boeng Kak Lake People Struggle [demanding solution for compensation at market prices]
  • Fisheries Official Expects that the Volume of Fish Raising Fish Will Increase This Year [in a workshop on 3 September 2008, Nao Thuok, the director of Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, said that people in Cambodia and worldwide have high need of fish]
  • US to Provide $1 Billion [economic] Aid to Georgia


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6441, 4.9.2008

  • Khmer Vendors Enter to Sell Things as Normal in Rong Kloeu Market [in Thailand, near the Poipet border crossing]
  • Related to the Trial of the [former] Chief of the Tuol Sleng Prison, There Are More Than 1,800 Complaints, Among Them 28 Are Civil Complaints [according to Khmer Rouge Tribunal officials]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3557, 5.9.2008

  • Yuon [Vietnamese] Authorities Issued a Letter to Release Tim Sakhan [who had been defrocked on accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he was accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia] from Prison but It Does Not Allow Him to Travel to Cambodia
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Writes to the King, Asking for Permission to Take the Oath [installing memberss of parliament] Separately [not on 24 September but on 25 September – because the Sam Rainsy Party is not satisfied with the results of the fourth term parliamentary election]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4686, 5.9.2008

  • Japanese Government Grants ¥369 Million [approx. US$3,415,000] to the Royal Government of Cambodia [to increase food production and to improve the National Television Programs]
  • Intel Plans to Invest in Information Technology in Cambodian Education

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – will the Prime Minister’s concern for the environment continue to be violated?

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