Archive for October, 2008

In Cambodia, the Salaries Do Not Correspond to the Size of Property Owned by Civil Servants – Thursday, 30.10.2008

Posted on 30 October 2008. Filed under: Week 584 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 584

    Notes:

  • As 31 October 2008 is a National Holiday, commemorating the Royal Birthday of H.M King Father Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia, our next publication will be only for 1 November 2008.
  • As I am traveling from 31 October to 10 November to Egypt in my responsibilities with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – ICANN – the global Internet coordination – some of our publications may be delayed, depending on my travel schedule and the time zone differences between Cambodia and Egypt.
  • Norbert Klein, Editor

 
“The table of salary scales for members of the Royal Government was adopted on 30 September 2004, and it is supposed to be in force until the present. The salaries for the prime minister and for under-secretaries of state, including other related expenses, are between US$400 and US$900; that means, a prime minister receives more than US$900, followed by deputy prime ministers and ministers, who receive smaller salaries, down to under-secretaries of states who receive approximately US$400. Advisors to the prime minister or to deputy prime ministers have the same salary table, depending on their positions. As for low-ranking officials, they still receive smaller salaries – approximately US$30 as an average. Mr. Cheam Yeap, the chairperson of the Commission of Economy and Finance of the National Assembly, said that every year, the government spends nearly US$1 billion to cover salaries.
 
“Salaries are very important for low-ranking officials, for police or soldiers holding low ranks, and for teachers. Sometimes, they anxiously wait for the end of each month to approach, so that they receive their next salary – although it is small. However, for high-ranking officials, their salaries are just symbols. They do not even talk about their salaries, and it is true that they do not wait for their salaries. Where is the source of their big properties? This question is asked all the time, but everyone knows the answer without thinking. Mr. Thun Saray, the president of Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC, said without surprise, ‘In our country, when an opportunity comes, high-ranking officials seek bribes for their own interests, and then they share part of it with their higher-ranking officials, in order to maintain their positions. This habit has become a culture.’ He thinks that the present Khmer society evaluates people according to the property they own. He added that when people have money, the public considers them to be valuable. He went on to say, ‘On the contrary, the poor are not esteemed to be valuable, although they may be honest, have good morals, and may have a high education.’
 
“In Cambodia, one can clearly see the big gap between the salaries in the salary tables, and the property owned by high-ranking officials of the government. Considering their salaries, they cannot afford to buy [Toyota] Land Cruisers, villas, and land, as their salaries could not cover these their everyday expenses like this. The general public, and particularly the opposition parties, always criticize that the sources for such properties of those leaders must come from corruption. A Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh, Mr. Yim Sovann, said, ‘Every year, Cambodia is included among the most corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International. When there is an opportunity, high-ranking officials and the authorities always seek money for their own interest. This is the reason why they have big properties like this.’ This experienced opposition official did no forget to raise the economic growth of Cambodia, but he said that only one group of Khmers, especially the powerful and the rich, always benefit and become richer – as for poor farmers, they receive nothing.
 
“The salaries are still the major topic of discussion for low-ranking officials. Their salaries are small and are released late. The president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, Mr. Rong Chhun, has criticized his very strongly. He explained, ‘A teachers’ average salary is Riel 180,000 (approx. US$45) per month. If we spend it carefully in an economical way, with this money a teachers’ family can survive only ten days. To go further, they have to seek money from other sources.’ Mr. Rong Chhun expressed also his anger, seeing too big a gap with the properties owned by state personnel holding different positions. He stated, ‘High ranking officials are rich, because they earn income everyday. In fact, just to cover the expenses of the utilities only, they can use their salaries.’ He went on to say that some teachers and other personnel of the Ministry of Education have not yet received their salaries for September.
 
“In Cambodia, everybody knows how much a normal civil servant earns. Therefore, they do not need to discuss this problem. Just by observing the wealth owned by an official, they can know how much they could earn from salary. When it is said that somebody ‘earns much’ in relation to an officials, this does not refer to salaries, but to the ability to seek income using their positions. But this habit has to be brought to an end. The creation of an anti-corruption law and a change of the mindset of Khmer people are necessary as an orientation towards human values, the two fundamental elements to reach those goals.” Cambodge Soir, Vol.2, #56, 30-5-10-11.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 30 October 2008


Cambodge Soir, Vol.2, #56, 30-5-10-11.2008

  • In Cambodia, Salaries Do Not Reflect Property of Civil Servants
  • Thailand Denies that It Caused Damage to the Preah Vihear Temple [providing also unexploded rockets fired from the Cambodian side]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1781, 30.10.2008

  • Housing of People in Nine Districts in Russey Keo Is Being Flooded, because the Municipality Fills Soil into the Lakes for Business Interests
  • While Husband Is Busy at the Front Line, a Wife and her Children at Home Were Violated by Businesspeople, Taking Their Land and Houses [Kompong Thom]

 
Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #273, 30.10.2008

  • Thai Television Station Announced that Yuon [Vietnam] Sends Troops into Cambodia to Fight Thailand, but Yuon Denies It
  • [Famous Cambodian architect] Vann Molyvann Blames that Flooding in Russey Keo Results from Poor Planning and from Letting Businesspeople Too Much Do Whatever They Want


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #130, 30.10.2008

  • Permanent Commission of the National Assembly Rejects Request [by the Sam Rainsy Party] to Recognize the Role of an Opposition Party
  • The Twelve Health Centers in Kompong Cham Have No Medicines for Patients

 
Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6486, 30.10.2008

  • Thai National Assembly Orders Border Negotiators with Cambodia to Adhere to a Memorandum of Understanding Singed in 2000
  • The National Election Committee Needs More Than US$1 Million to Organize the Elections for District, Provincial, and Municipal Councils on 17 May 2009
  • A [59-year-old] American Man Is Arrested on the Accusation of Committing Debauchery with a 14-Year-Old Girl [Phnom Penh]
  • Siam [Thailand] Is the Second Turmoil Country in Asia after India

 
Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3601, 30.10.2008

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Did Not Ask to Implement any Amendment, but Asked to Officially Guarantee the Role of he Opposition Party according to a Statement of the Prime Minister

 
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4729, 30.10.2008

  • [UNESCO] Signs to Protect the Preah Vihear Temple Will Be Put Up on 7 November 2008
  • Cambodia Can Reduce Poverty by 1% per Year [since Cambodia has an average 9.8% economic growth] while Investment Increases to Nearly US$9 Billion [according to the Minister of Commerce, Mr. Cham Prasidh]

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National Holiday: Royal Coronation Memorial Day of King Norodom Sihamoni – Wednesday, 29.10.2008

Posted on 30 October 2008. Filed under: Week 584 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 584

Note: Today we carry only the translated headlines, no article.

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 29 October 2008


Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #92, 29-4.10-11.2008

  • CAMKO City Construction Workers Demonstrate, Destroying an Office and Burning a Car [because the company has not paid their salaries – Tuol Sangkae, Russey Keo, Phnom Penh]

 
Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1780, 29.10.2008

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Encourages Cooperating Companies [the Mitsui Oil Exploration Company – MOECO – of Japan, Chevron, and Total] to Explore Oil Soon [claiming that the oil sector is for long-term investment, and Cambodia has laws to protect investors regarding the oil and gas sectors]
  • Khmer Soldiers Were Annoyed because Their Rifles Did Not Work [since they are old] during the Clash [with Thailand] on 15 October 2008
  • Two Foreigners [a British and a French] and One Khmer Are Arrested for Using and Distributing Drugs [marijuana – Sihanoukville]

 
Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #272, 29.10.2008

  • The Wife of a Khmer Soldier Who Died in the Battlefield Fled with Donated Money [of US$3,000 and some millions of Riel, and with her five children], Leaving Four Step-Children

 
Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #129, 29.10.2008

  • Non Government Organizations Join to Promote Women in Politics

 
Khmer 7 Makara, Vol.1, #2, 29-4.10-11.2008

  • Siamese [Thai] King Is Attacked on Leaflets and on Websites [saying that he is supporting the anti-government demonstrators, because the Thai Queen provided money to injured demonstrators]

 
Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6485, 29.10.2008

  • Five Chinese Hostages Were Killed in Sudan [and two are wounded by rebels]

 
Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3600, 29.10.2008

  • Ms. Keat Kolney [a sister of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Keat Chhon] Uses Power [ordering machines to clear Ratanakiri minority people’s paddy rice’ and other crops’ land], Further Annoying Ethnic Minority Tribespeople
  • Human Rights Officials Start Investigations and Plan to Lodge a Complaint to the Court [against the local authorities] Regarding the Prohibition for Citizens to Hold [a peaceful] Demonstration [although there was a letter from the Ministry of Interior to the Ratanakiri governor, allowing the citizens to march]

 
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4728, 29.10.2008

  • The Municipal Governor [Kep Chuktema]: In One More Week, Flood Water in Northern Phnom Penh Will Disappear
  • Malaysian Ambassador [Dato’ Adnan Haji Othman] Came to Say Goodbye to Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen [after finishing his diplomatic mission in Cambodia]

  • Thailand [the world biggest rubber exporting country] Will Reduce Rubber Production [by 700,000 tonnes during the coming six months so that the price of rubber rises again], and Will Exchange Rice for Oil [with Iran – according the Thai Ministry of Agriculture]
  • Two [US] Men Are Arrested on the Accusation of Threatening to Kill [US democrat presidential candidate] Obama


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3433, 29.10.2008

  • Former Khmer Rouge Guerrillas Are Happy to Be Recruited as Forces to Confront Siam [Thailand]

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The South Korean Embassy Denies that the Shukaku Inc. Company Comes From Korea – Tuesday, 28.10.2008

Posted on 28 October 2008. Filed under: Week 584 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 584

“Around 200 residents from among the 4,000 families that live at the Boeng Kak region in Srah Chak, Daun Penh, came on the morning or 27 October 2008 to protest in front of the South Korean Embassy in Cambodia, to ask the Korean ambassador to intervene with the Shukaku Inc. company to stop dredging sand to fill the Boeng Kak Lake, and to solve the compensation for houses and land of the residents through market prices.

“A letter of the Boeng Kak residents at Srah Chak, Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, on 24 October 2008, to the Korean ambassador in Cambodia, stated their concerns over their eviction from the Boeng Kak region.
 
“In the letter asking for an intervention by the South Korean ambassador in Cambodia, all residents at the Boeng Kak region said that they have lived in this area starting between 1979 and 1982, and they are recognized by the local authorities, having family books, residence cards, birth certificates, identification cards, house numbers, defined residential groups, villages, communes, and districts; furthermore, residents at the Boeng Kak region have access to clean water and electricity, and they have jobs such as working at guesthouses, shops, cosmetics, car maintenance, garments shops, hairdressers, washing and ironing shops, hardware shops etc.
 
“The same letter went on to say that the residents of the Boeng Kak region had formed communities, had created credit unions, and are supported by non-government organizations with general health services, that also help to construct roads and bridges in the communities. On 6 February 2007, the Phnom Penh Municipality announced to lease the Boeng Kak region for a period of 99 years at a cost of US$79,002,000 to the Shukaku Inc. Company of South Korea, to develop the Boeng Kak Lake area which covers 133 hectares, where 90 hectares are lake, and 4,252 families are affected.
 
“On 26 October 2008, the Shukaku Inc. Company started to dredge sand to fill the lake, causing flood for some houses and on the roads; some houses collapsed and electricity and water was cut. Moreover, the company threatens and intimidates the residents, which concerns them, and some lost their regular jobs or cannot operate their businesses, due to the threats at present.
 
“The letter continued to report to the South Korean ambassador that previously, the citizens had sent motions to the Phnom Penh municipality, to the company, to the cabinet of the Prime Minister, and to the president of the National Assembly, asking for intervention from those institutions, but there is no solution. Now the residents of the Boeng Kak region are very worried, that is, they live in a state of being afraid both day and night, and even during their work to earn their living.
 
“At present, the Shukaku Inc. Company and the Phnom Penh authorities are using every trick to persuade and to force them, and to break the unity among the residents, so that they leave their houses, offering inappropriate compensation and money, forcing them to live at far away places from Phnom Penh and from their places of work, trying to move them to where there is no school, no hospital, no clean water, and no electricity; moving there they would loose their jobs.
 
“The letter of all residents of the Boeng Kak region to the South Korean ambassador asks the ambassador to help to intervene with the Shukaku Inc. Company and with the Phnom Penh Municipality, to solve the requests of the residents of the Boeng Kak region as follows:

  • To ask the Shukaku Inc. Company to stop dredging sand using it to fill the Boeng Kak Lake.
  • To ask the Shukaku Inc. Company to come to solve the effects on the land and on the houses of the residents living on the land and on stilt houses above the surface of the water, directly with the citizens, according to market prices.
  •  
    “On the morning of 27 October 2008, officials of the South Korean Embassy in Cambodia came to greet representatives of the residents of the Boeng Kak region for a discussion. A representative of the residents, named Kon, who met with officials of the South Korean Embassy, reported to journalists and to around 200 residents of the Boeng Kak region, who protested in front of the South Korean Embassy, that the Shukaku Inc. is not a company from Korea. Therefore, they asked all residents of the Boeng Kak region to stop believing that this company comes from Korea.
     
    “The rally of the residents then dispersed, but their representatives said that they will continue to search for the owners of the Shukaku Inc. Company, to know where it really comes from. When they know it clearly, they will rally in front of any embassy of the country from which the Shukaku Inc. Company came to invest in the Boeng Kak region, to seek compensation for the residents according to market prices, without forcing residents to leave.
     
    “Different sources said that the Shukaku Inc. Company is an investment partner of Ms. Cheung Sopheap, also known as Yeay Phou – Grandmother Yeay – whose husband is Lao Meng Khin, an economic advisor to Prime Minister Hun Sen, it is likely they originate from China, because Yeay Phou and her husband have close relations with Chinese businesspeople. Some say that the Shukaku Inc. is a Japanese company; however, there is no source to say from which country the Shukaku Inc. Company really comes.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3599, 28.10.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Tuesday, 28 October 2008


    Chakraval, Vol.16, #2822, 28.10.2008

    • Chicken Raising Association Complains That There Is More Import of Meat and Eggs from Foreign Countries


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1779, 28.10.2008

    • [Taiwanese] Man Who Tried to Transport 240 kg of Heroin from Phnom Penh to Taiwan Is Sentenced by a Cambodian Court to Serve Twenty Two Years in Prison


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #128, 28.10.2008

    • World Heritage Officials [of UNESCO] Plan to Come to Cambodia to Check the Destruction on the Preah Vihear Temple [after a clash between Cambodian and Thai troops on 15 October 2008, scratching the neck of a dragon stature, a stone supporting a dragon, and the 73rd step]
    • Cambodia Will Be Granted US$280 Million in Loans by China [for infrastructure development in irrigation, road transport, and electricity transmission]
    • The Cambodian and Siamese [Thai] Border Commissions Will Meet on 10 November 2008
    • Cambodia Gets Opportunities from the International Food Shortage and from the Rising Price of Food [because Cambodia can benefit from it by exporting agricultural products to countries facing food shortages, says Prime Minister Hun Sen]


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6484, 28.10.2008

    • The National Election Committee Demands that the National Assembly Cut the Allowance [of Mr. Sam Rainsy] if Mr. Sam Rainsy Does Not Agree to Pay a Fine of Riel 10 Million [approx. US$2,4700 – for defaming leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party during his election campaign]
    • Truck Runs Into Rocks in Mountain Area, Causing Four Deaths and Seriously Injuring Four Others. It Is Allegedly the Result of Drunk Driving – the Driver Was Speeding [Koh Kong]
    • A Truck Loaded with Goods from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap Was Robbed by Robbers, Driving a Camry, Taking away a Box Containing Riel 300 Million [approx. US$74,000 – Kompong Cham]
    • A Car Hit Mr. Prum Manh [a well-known Ayay singer and joker – injuring his head]; the Accident May Be a Hit-and-Run Murder Attempt [Tuol Kork, Phnom Penh] – Note: Ayay is a traditional Khmer performance of humorous dialogue songs, usually performed by a man and a women


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3599, 28.10.2008

    • South Korean Embassy Rejects that the Shukaku Inc. Is from Korea
    • The European Parliament Encourages Yuon [Vietnam] to Stop Detaining Former Monk Tim Sakhan [who has 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]


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4727, 28.10.2008

    • Cambodia Looses US$450 Million Each Year because of a Lack of Sanitation [approx. US$190 million result from the lack of sanitation on health, US$150 million economic loss results from water pollution, approx. US$75 million is loss in tourism, and approx. US$40 million is due to the lack in sanitary toilets]
    • Three Robbers Robbed Gold from Three Stalls at Phsar Veal Renh Market, Taking Nearly 70 g of Gold and Much Money [and escaped – Sihanoukville]
    • Three [young] Siblings Drowned in a Boat Accident after Returning from Enjoying a Kathen Ceremony [a Buddhist fund raising community festival – Kampot]
    • A [Christian] Nun in India Was Raped by More Than Forty Men [during a surge of violence against Christians]

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    Military Recruitments in Oddar Meanchey Concern the Citizens of This Province – Monday, 27.10.2008

    Posted on 28 October 2008. Filed under: Week 584 |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 584

    “After a bloody clash between Cambodian and Siam [Thai] invading troops at the Veal Intry field, at Phnom Trop, and at the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda on 15 October 2008, the Cambodian government decided to recruit some soldiers in some provinces along the border to fill up the number of soldiers in units that face a shortage of soldiers.

    “Military officials in Oddar Meanchey said that there is recruitment of soldiers in some districts in Oddar Meanchey where names of citizens are ticked off a list to serve in the army, without that they had personally volunteered. This problem will affect the feelings of the citizens.

    “The deputy military commander in Oddar Meanchey, Mr. Him Sieb, said that among the five district of Oddar Meanchey, soldiers are recruited in four, including in Samraong, Trapeang Prasat, Banteay Ampil, and Anlong Veng.

    “The deputy governor of Oddar Meanchey, Mr. Chab Phat, said that the recruitment process is followed by other steps, where first, the recruits from villages are gathered in each district, and then they are sent to be trained. In his district, soldier who are recruited, are between the age of 18 and 30.

    “One citizen reported by telephone about the recruitments that it is good, and the reason why it is good is that when the nation needs us, it is our obligation, and it is not appropriate, and not acceptable if when we would not serve in the army. As long as the salaries are appropriate, it is possible to feed the family.

    “As for Mr. Sim Piseth, a military official of unit #2 in Oddar Meanchey, he said by telephone that he does not know how many soldiers are being recruited, he just gave an example: if a unit used to consist of 500 soldiers – and when the number is reduced to 400, we have to recruit new soldiers to fill up the numbers; there is no precise number, that is, when one unit lacks soldiers, it has to be filled up.

    “Mr. Sim Piseth added that this recruitment is to face Siamese [Thai] activities.

    “Ms. Naren, an investigating official of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC – in Oddar Meanchey, said that she contacted citizens by telephone from the four districts where soldiers are recruited, and in two districts – Trapeang Prasat and Along Veng – citizens volunteer, but in Banteay Ampil, citizens’ names are just listed up to recruit them as soldiers, which concerns the citizens. If military service is to be carried out, it is a national obligation, but as it is implemented only in Oddar Meanchey, it worries the people.

    “Ms. Naren went on to say that if recruitment for military service is generally conducted, it is not a problem, but if it is carried out only in these districts, it is not good, because such an obligation has to be implement in a general way.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #127, 26-27.10.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Monday, 27 October 2008


    Deum Tnot, Vol.1, #42, 27-28.10.2008

    • The Association for Preserving Palm Trees Asks to Create Laws to Prosecute or Punish Those Who Destroy Palm Trees

     
    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1778, 26-27.10.2008

      Cambodia Joins the Initiative to Create Free Trade and Investment Zones [says Prime Minister Hun Sen]

    • The Firth International Music Festival Will Be Held in Phnom Penh [from 30 October 2008 to 3 November 2008, with performances at the Chaktomuk Theater, at the Russian Cultural Center, and at the St. Joseph’s Chapel; this festival is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, by the German Embassy in Cambodia, and by the Goethe Institute – “Information about German culture and politics, on learning and teaching German”]
    • Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries – OPEC – Decides to Reduce Oil Production

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #271, 26-28.10.2008

    • A Siamese [Thai] Army Commander Was Angry with a Khmer Army Commander that Distributed Maps of the Decision of the Court in the Hague [during recent meetings] – [It would be interesting to know if they also distributed the text of the Joint Communique of 18 June 2008 with the new map prepared by the Cambodian side, where the representative of the Cambodian government declared that the 1962 maps are “superseded” by another, recent one. – The Editor]
    • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Siem Reap and Yim Sovann’s wife] Ke Sovannarath: I Will Not Disappoint the Sam Rainsy Party Supporters and the Khmer Citizens [she said after she was nominated as the acting Secretary General replacing Mr. Eng Chhay Ieng]

     
    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #127, 27.10.2008

    • Military Recruitments in Oddar Meanchey Concern the Citizens of This Province
    • This Year’s Independence Day Celebration [on 9 November 2008] Will Be More Impressive Than in Previous Years [because there will be marching, attended by approx. 8,000 people]
    • A Group from the Samaki Rubber Plantation Protests against Plans of the Government [to transfer this state enterprise to a private company]

     
    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6483, 27.10.2008

    • Among the Forty Higher Education Institutions That Had Been Assessed, Three [the City University, the Institute of Cambodia in Banteay Meanchey, and the Khemarak University in Battambang] Were Found to Have Insufficient Criteria [for recognition]
    • Social Order Police Hit a Sugar Cane Juice Vendor Unconscious [when he tried to help his wife and daughter, who were being dragged into a police car during a crackdown – Battambang]
    • Lightning Kills a Couple [who are fishers] Leaving Four Children [Kompong Cham]

     
    Meatophum, Vol.52, #709, 27-31.10.2008

    • Press Freedom in Cambodia Falls Forty One Ranks [from 85 to 126 among the 173 countries], Compared to 2007 [which results from the murder of a journalist and from the increased control and monitoring of publications during the elections]

     
    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3598, 27.10.2008

    • In 2009 the Government Plans to Spend Approximately US$500 Million on National Defense while Encouraging to Eliminate Corruption

     
    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4726, 26-27.10.2008

    • An International Monetary Fund Delegation Comes to Get Briefed on the Economy in Cambodia
      Fuel Price Drops to US$63 per Barrel

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    The Global Financial Crisis – Sunday, 26.10.2008

    Posted on 27 October 2008. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 583 |

    After some efforts to play down the severity of the present financial crisis, by now there are, from around the world, voices that say there has never been such a global economic problem since the 1920ies and 1930ies, at that time affecting Europe and the USA. The words of the President of France Nicolas Sarkozy, that New York is the place to meet to discuss solutions for the global finance problems, because the financial crisis had its root causes there, provides a brief sketch of the situation.

    At a time when the US Congress, after difficult negotiations, voted to provide US$700 billion to try to prevent a collapse of the US banking system – 350 times more money than the cost of the 18 months of the 1992/93 UNTAC operations in Cambodia! – there was still the opinion that Cambodia might not be affected too much, though the impact of the expiring textile agreements in 2009 would be a difficult challenge for the industry in Cambodia. But for the time being, there was confidence: the international buyers’ forum was still buying garments from Cambodia – where the annual value of the textile Industry was estimated at US$2.6 billion.

    It may also be useful to consider how the problems related to textile imports into the USA may affect Cambodia and Thailand, which have a very similar share of the US market: Cambodia has 1.7%, and Thailand has 1.8%; even if their import shares into the US would be affected similarly, their overall economic share at home is quite different – the much larger Thai economy might be able to absorb any changes much more easily than Cambodia, with its heavy dependency on the garment industry.

    But any hope may be too optimistic, when we now read that 9,000 factories in Southern China will be closed due to the global economic crisis – as a large share of the Chinese industry depends on purchases from the market in the USA. The seriousness with which the Chinese government is watching these developments becomes clear from some recent self protective decisions: new taxes between 150 and 185% were imposed to keep critical supplies, such as grains and fertilizer, from leaving the country. To what extent the countries next to China and the countries in the ASEAN fellowship will be able to benefit from investment from and commerce with China, as the Prime Minister hoped, will be seen according to the further development of the global crisis.

    The international discussion has moved to a different dimension. When the USA provided US$ 700 billion to rescue the US banking industry, foreign observers started to point out that the US was doing, what they had before strictly criticized in other countries: by this enormous financial input into private enterprises it had partly “nationalized” the banking industry. While the term “nationalization” was strictly rejected by the US government, the media and also representatives of some “Western” governments used this term – especially as they were forced to provide huge amounts of financial inputs also into their own banking and insurance systems, which were facing collapse because of their involvement with the US dominated international financial system.

    The 23 – 25 October 2008 Asia-Europe Meeting in Beijing provided an international forum to respond to the US President’s invitation for a 15 November 2008 meeting in the USA, to which the so called “G-20” countries are invited: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union; the heads of the World Bank and of the International Monetary Fund were also invited.

    Different expectations are announced by the statement of the US President on the one hand, and of the Asia-Europe meeting on the other. The US President voiced his expectations: “As we make the regulatory and institutional changes necessary to avoid a repeat of this crisis, it is essential that we preserve the foundations of democratic capitalism – a commitment to free markets, free enterprise and free trade.” Others in Europe and in Asia apparently blamed the financial crisis on the failure of free-market system based on “market fundamentalist beliefs” in the United States. With quite a different outlook, leaders from Asia and Europe called for new rules for, and stronger regulation of the global monetary and financial system.

    Cambodia will inevitably be affected from whatever happens in the global economy. But it is also important that related discussions get going in Cambodia. It was reported from the ASEM Summit that the Prime Minister considers private sector activities as the most important tool for economic growth – seemingly being more on the side of the position of the present US leadership. How is it then to be evaluated that the private sector of the country which has provided most development aid to Cambodia – Japan – has mostly kept away from Cambodia?

    The capitalist free market system is driven by different dynamics. The pursuit of personal profit – “greed” as it has been called during the recent discussions – in the absence of social controls, seems to have destroyed the international financial fabric, and there are many warnings that the present crisis is only starting in its initial phase, leading to world wide food scarcity and famine. The European and Asian leadership assembled in Beijing did not call for an abolition of the market system – but to put it under social control and public regulations. Free market systems have been working fairly well in some economically highly developed Asian and European countries. But the major actors on their markets – the economic powers – were to a much higher degree than in Cambodia legally obliged to be transparent in their activities, bound to work according to laws equal for everybody, and to a high degree free from special political pressure.

    The recent meeting of the Royal Government-Private Sector Forum had also to deal with the well known problematic of the sanctity and security of long term contracts in respect to the current controversy about the lease contract for the Renakse Hotel, which is intercepted by powerful interests. The economic interests behind the relocation of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, away from its former location into a distant and flooded area, and the sufferings brought about for hundreds of people evicted from the places where they used to live for years – while some of the grand “urban high rise development projects” now stat to feel financial credit restrictions – show that Cambodia is, unfortunately, a model for the sufferings of a socially not controlled free market capitalist society.

    We are living in most challenging times.

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    The European Union and the United Nations Spend Euro18.7 Million on Four Projects in Cambodia – Saturday, 25.10.2008

    Posted on 26 October 2008. Filed under: Week 583 |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 583

     
    “Phnom Penh: On 24 October 2008, there was a press conference at the headquarters of the United Nations Development Program – UNDP – to announce achieved partnership programs between the European Union and the UNDP in Cambodia to improve the quality of life .
     
    “The European Union provided Euro 18.7 million for the UNDP in Cambodia in the sectors of health, governance, justice, and of rural development.
     
    “During this conference, Mr. Raphael Dochao Moreno, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Delegation of the European Commission to Cambodia, said that the report on that day focused on different achievements of a wide cooperation between the Commission of the European Community and the secretariats, funding agencies, and different programs of the United Nations, particularly in Cambodia, and it focused on the promotion of human rights in development. The cooperation of the European Union and the UNDP with Cambodia intends to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals.
     
    “Mr. Dochao Moreno added that during recent years, the Commission of the European Union had contributed more than Euro 18 million to finance the implementation of different development projects in Cambodia. This development projects relate to the health sector, the improvement of the quality of life, rural development, capacity building for commune councilors, as well as the expenses for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.
     
    “As for the expenses in the health sector, Euro 5.7 million go to the Ministry of Health and the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund – UNICEF. As for the strengthening of democracy and the capacity building for village and commune councilors, the UNDP is responsible for its administration by spending Euro 10 million. The UNDP is responsible also for the administration of Euro 1 million for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and of Euro 2 million for rural development.
     
    “At the same time, responding to questions by journalists, who had asked what Cambodia should do to reach its development goals, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Cambodia, Mr. Douglas Broderick, said that Cambodia must have good governance, build up human resources, eliminate corruption, organize the tourist sector well, and especially develop investments in the agricultural sector – particularly increasing paddy rice yield for exportation. Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4725, 25.10.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Saturday, 25 October 2008


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1777, 25.10.2008

    • Cambodia and Thailand Agree to Avoid Armed Clashes Along the Border

    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #270, 25.10.2008

    • The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC – Sues Those [military officials] Who Cleared More Than 300 Hectares of Forest Land [in Ratanakiri]

     
    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6482, 25-26.10.2008

    • The Trial of Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief [Duch] Might Start on 7 January 2009
    • Cambodia Considers the Private Sector as the Most Important Tool for Economic Growth [says the Prime Minister during the Asia-Europe meeting – the 7th ASEM Summit, in Beijing]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3597, 25-26.10.2008

    • The Beauty of Phnom Penh Ranked Second Worst among 109 Cities in the World [according to an evaluation by 280 experts in travel-related fields from many countries, evaluating 109 historic places – the theme of the 2008 survey]
    • The Government Still Shows Its Position of Having No Will to Create an Anti-Corruption Law Soon
    • Khmers in America and in France Plan to Travel to Rally for a Demonstration in Front of the International Court [in the Hague, early November]
    • The Cutting Down of Forest in Pursat Does Not Decrease

     
    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4725, 25.10.2008

    • The European Union and the United Nations Spend Euro18.7 Million on Four Projects in Cambodia
    • Hun Sen and [Thai Prime Minister Somchai Do Not Reach an Agreement to Withdraw Troops, but Agree to Avoid Armed Conflict [meeting at the Asia-Europe Summit in China]
    • Sexual Exploitation of Women and Child Labor Increase in Sihanoukville [because of livelihood problems]
    • 9,000 Factories in Southern China Will Be Closed due to the Economic Crisis

     
    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3431, 25.10.2008

    • There Is No Solution for Flooding at the Royal University of Fine Arts at a Suburb of Phnom Penh
    • The Head of Accounting of the Memut Rubber Company Takes the Allowance of Workers Who Are Dismissed, More than US$2,000 per Person

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    The Government Prepares to Issue Four or Five Laws to Facilitate Business – Friday, 24.10.2008

    Posted on 25 October 2008. Filed under: Week 583 |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 583

    “According to an announcement of the working group on Law, Taxation & Good Governance (Group 4 [also called Group D]) of the Royal Government-Private Sector Forum (G-PSF), the government is working on four or five draft laws to facilitate private business and investment.

    “Early this week, Deputy Prime Ministry Keat Chhon, the Minister of Economy and Finance and chairperson of the Working Group 4 representing the Royal Government, and Mr. Bretton Sciaroni, the co-chairperson of the Group 4, representing the private sector, met to discuss four drafts that are being produced to facilitate the work of private business and of investors. According to the announcement, those draft laws include an ‘Eminent Domain’ law [related to the expropriation of land for public purposes], regulations for Customs Brokers, draft laws for Public Purchasing procedures, the management and development of real estate, and judicial standards that will allows foreigners to own rooms in multiple story buildings.
     
    “The director of the State Property Department of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Mr. Net Mony, said during the session that the Eminent Domain draft law aims to facilitate the construction, restoration, and expansion of public physical infrastructure to serve public interest, as well as to provide appropriate compensation and justice, if the property of any owner is expropriated. He added that these draft laws will be put through a session of the Council of Ministers at the end of November, before they are sent to the National Assembly to be adopted in 2008.
     
    “Dr. Pen Siman, the Royal Government’s delegate in charge of the Customs and Excise Department, reported to the session about the regulations for Customs Brokers, where at present, the Ministry recognizes 76 companies as temporary Customs Brokers (represented by 144 natural persons). In the meantime, the conditions for natural persons to be recognized as temporary Customs Brokers are that they must have a bachelor degree, and place US$5,000 as a bond. In future, bachelor’s degrees will not be demanded, but they must pass a tests, and the money that is now required as a bond, can in future be replaced with a guarantee letter issued by a bank.
     
    “Mr. Ou Bun Long, a Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, reported during the session about the preparation of a Public Purchasing Law, that it aims to guarantee that public purchasing proceeds with transparency and with justice, and with full open competition, and is in line with other public finance legislation.
     
    “Also, Mr. Ngy Tayi, an Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, reported to the session about the management, the monitoring, and the provision of licenses to individuals developing real estate, that on 30 July 2008, the Ministry of Economy and Finance issued an announcement about such management and monitoring, by establishing policies where Cambodia wants that qualified investors develop real estate where Long Term Agreements are protected.
     
    “Regarding the creation of judicial standards that allows foreigners to own rooms in multi-story buildings, an Under- Secretary of State of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning & Construction, said during the session, that the Ministry has created this a working group to draft these regulations. This special working group has conduced careful studies to guarantee that the permission for foreigners to own rooms in multi-story buildings is not against the constitution or against any laws. The private sector is welcoming this effort and even asks the working group of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning & Construction to study the detailed procedures for the splitting up of major land holdings – that is real estate – when it is mortgaged, for the registration of Long Term Lease Agreements, as well as for the Security of Long-Term Lease Agreements.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, 4724.10.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Friday, 24 October 2008


    Chakraval, Vol.16, #, 2826.10.2008

    • Siamese Citizens [Thai teenagers] in Chon Buri Attacked Khmer Workers [with knives and samurai swords on 21 October 2008, according to Mr. Sok Hoy, an official at the Poipet border crossing]

     
    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1776, 24.10.2008

    • Cambodia Is Not a Drug Manufacturing Country, but a Country Affected by Drug Dealing from Different Countries
    • [Ousted former Thai Prime Minister] Thaksin Rejects “Political Decision” of Siamese [Thai] Court [saying that that Thai courts are political courts – he has been sentenced to two years in prison on corruption charges]
    • Russia Deploys New Missile System against US Missile Shield in Europe

     
    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #125, 24.10.2008

    • Reporters without Borders 2008 Report about Press Freedom Released [blaming public officials for having no power and being afraid to protect press freedom]
    • Price of Rubber Drops Dramatically [from US$3,000 in late August and early September to US$1,200 per tonne in early October]

     
    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6481, 24.10.2008

    • The European Union Plans to Provide Funding [of Euro 1.8 Million] to Support Women and the Poor in Rural Areas in Cambodia
    • Euro 3.4 Billion International Aid Is Granted to Georgia [to restore its war torn country]

     
    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3596, 24.10.2008

    • The Indirect Elections for District, Provincial, and Municipal Councils [in May 2009] Are Planned Spending US$1.5 Million
    • Noun Chea, Khiev Samphan, and Duch [all are former Khmer Rouge leaders] Were Happy [on Wednesday, 22 October 2008] because the Extraordinary Chamber in the Court of Cambodia Allows Them to Chat with Each Other Face to Face

     
    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4724, 24.10.2008

    • The Government Prepares to Issue Four or Five Laws to Facilitate Business
    • The UN Flag and the World Heritage Flag Will Be Erected at the Preah Vihear Temple to Protect it from Shooting by Siam [Thailand]
    • Cambodia and Vietnam Agree to Continue to Have 100 Border Markers Put Up by the End of 2008
    • Korea Will Grant US$60 Million for Two Projects of the Ministry Public Work and Transport [the first project is to restore National Road 21, Road 33, and Road 117 in Kampot, and the second to construct culvert systems to clean dirty water and to decorate the Siem Reap river in the Siem Reap town]
    • Vice President of International Finance Cooperation/World Bank Group Visited Cambodia [to discuss with officials of the government and to welcome Cambodia that has just been ranked up by the World Bank for doing business in 2009

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror. – And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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    Rain Floods the Roads in Phnom Penh because the Lakes Are Filled with Soil – Thursday, 23.10.2008

    Posted on 24 October 2008. Filed under: Week 583 |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 583

    “Former urban planning and construction organizer of Phnom Penh, the well known architect Mr. Vann Molyvann, said regarding the present flooding of roads in the city, that the city governors should organize a city plan. He commented, comparing the present situation to the Sangkum Reastr Niyum regime [‘Popular Socialist Community’ – 1954 to 1970 – the political movement created by then Prince Sihanouk] when city planning was carefully and properly considered, rain could not flood the city like it is happening now.
     
    “Mr. Vann Molyvann talked especially about the fact that Cambodia is now being assisted by Japan, to plan a new sewage system for the city to deal with floods in the city when rain comes. A few days ago, after a heavy rainfall, water stayed on the roads of the city, around the New Market, in front of the Royal Palace, around Wat Phnom and the US Embassy, at Tuol Kork, with water up to the knees, especially also at the northern suburban regions of Phnom Penh.
     
    “Those who are in charge of the sewage systems in Phnom Penh blamed that the problems are due to housing construction schemes, resulting in the filling of earth into places which used to hold millions of cubic meters of water; therefore, when there is rain, roads are flooded, but it is not because of the obstruction of the sewage system. However, the deep flooding on the roads in Phnom Penh is not blamed only on the filling of soil into the lakes in and around Phnom Penh, which has led to the loss of rainwater overflow areas.
     
    “According to the urban planning expert Mr. Vann Molyvann, who obtained wide experiences in Cambodia, since he had been the head of a working group to plan Phnom Penh city during the Sangkum Reastr Niyum regime, and also in other countries observing solutions. He recommended that the Phnom Penh governor should plan the city sewage system properly, following systematically infrastructure standards.
     
    “A Phnom Penh road traffic police officer complained again that their office is flooded stronger than before after the recent rain, and there is no drainage to let the water out, and the Phnom Penh municipality does not take any immediate action to pump out the water. The flood makes it impossible for the road traffic police officials to do their work and solve traffic problems easily, because the water goes up to the knee and stinks.
     
    “A road traffic police official, who asked not to be named, living in Chrang Chamreh II, in Russey Keo at the northern end of Phnom Penh, complained to Radio Free Asia that the motorbikes and cars of employees and of the citizens in general cannot reach their place of work. He said, ‘First, our citizens who come to solve problem face dangers, or when they come to contact us for administration work, they have to cross water and now, that road has even been cut. Maybe tomorrow or one day later, the traffic on Road #598 will be impossible, while today it is bad, because if the water would rise just the breadth of a finger, it will reach electricity boxes, and we will have no access to electricity any longer.’
     
    “Regarding the recent flood at different areas in Phnom Penh, Mr. Pa Socheatevong, the deputy governor of the Phnom Penh municipality, said that this problem occurred because citizens filled soil into the sewage systems, adding, ‘This problem does not just happen at the road traffic police office; and now we are opening a canal, so soon there will be relief from the flooding..’
     
    “During this year 2008, the most heavily flooded places are the communes in the suburbs of Phnom Penh, such as Phnom Penh Thmey, Khmuonh, Tuek Thla, and Tuol Sangkae, because the sewage systems are blocked; the residents of those areas protest a lot.
     
    “Cambodia used to be considered to be a pearl of an Asian city, and it was called the Second Paris of the world, or Paris of Asia during the Sangkum Reastr Niyum period before 1970, and Cambodia was named also an Island of Peace. A few years ago, Cambodia woke up from the destructions of a war of many decades, and it used to be ranked as a well developing city in the world.
     
    “Assessments were made from different countries, seeing that the Phnom Penh residents cooperate well with the authorities to repair and to construct the city through a 50 plus 50 formula, 50% of the costs for repair and construction of infrastructure being provided by the municipality and 50% from the residents. There are still corrections required to solve the present problems: both the blocking of the sewage pipes, resulting in flooding in the city – and the traffic jam.
     
    “It is a big problem Phnom Penh is facing: to be changed to a similar situation like 40 years ago, as a capital city of a kingdom, leading developments in the region. It is therefore fortunate for Phnom Penh that at present, Japan has focused and supports to construct a sewage systems, including for the low lying areas around the city, in order to protect the capital city from accidental flood and from rain floods.
     
    “Rain flood on cities are, if one looks at big countries in Europe and the United States, irregular natural disasters, from which many televisions stations in the world share images of rain floods in big cities which destroy part of the infrastructure of those countries as a result of rapid flash flow of water across the cities, making houses to collapse. As for Phnom Penh which has never encountered such events – although there is small rain flooding, which can only flood some roads in the city – it cannot be considered to be devastating. However, they have to take action to prevent it by eliminating the landfill of lakes that can store dirty stagnant water, dirty water that should not flood the city again.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3430, 23.10.2008

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Thursday, 23 October 2008


    Cambodge Soir, Vol.2, #55, 23-29.10.2008

    • Fishermen Warn about the Destruction of Fish [they said that the number of fish declines from year to year; moreover the size of fish become smaller, and they complain that it is because the use of illegal fishing tools; however the government said that the fish yield does not decline]
    • Khmer Shrimps Are Exported to US, European, and Asian Markets

     
    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1775, 23.10.2008

    • The Sam Rainsy Party Conducted an Election to Choose a New Treasurer and a New Secretary General [on 22 October 2008, to replace Mr. Yim Sovann and Mr. Eng Chhay Ieng who had resigned]
    • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Encourages Investors and Businesspeople to Join to Strengthen Business
    • Poverty Will Not Be Eliminated without Respect for Human Rights
    • Bomb Explosion in India Kills Seventeen People

     
    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #269, 23.10.2008

    • The Boeng Tumpun Lake [in Meanchey, Phnom Penh] Nearly Becomes a Lake of Tears under the Development of the Phnom Penh Municipality [the Phnom Penh deputy governor Mr. Pa Socheatevong said the Phnom Penh municipality has sent a request to the government to ask for permission to develop the Boeng Tumpun area, but the government has not yet made any decision]

     
    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #124, 23.10.2008

    • English Parliament Member [Chris Mullin, Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vietnam, and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cambodia] Asks Siam [Thailand] to Stop Intruding into Khmer Territory [he said that Siamese Troops enter Cambodian territory and began the shooting]
    • Siamese [Thai] Troops Opened Fires Destroying the Preah Vihear Temples [during a clash on 15 October 2008]; Cambodia Complained to the Untied Nations to Take Action

     
    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6480, 23.10.2008

    • Today Military and Other Officials from the Provinces along the Cambodian-Thai Border Meet in Siem Reap to Improve the Situation


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3595, 23.10.2008

    • The Khmer Citizens at the Poipet Border Crossing Complain to the Ministry of Interior to Remove the Immigration Police Chief Pich Saran [for extorting their money when crossing the border]
    • Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMFREL – Releases a 108 Pages Report Showing that the Elections [on 27 July 2008] Were Not Fair and Free [because of many irregularities and complex problems]

     
    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4723, 23.10.2008

    • UNICEF Wants an Independent Assessment on the Problem of Child Rights in Cambodia [so that Cambodia can avoid being unreasonably accused by different circles]
    • India Fired [its fist] Unmanned Space Rocket to the Moon Successfully [22 October 2008]

     
    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3430, 23.10.2008

    • Rain Floods the Roads in Phnom Penh because the Lakes Are Filled with Soil

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    The Director of ADHOC, Mr. Thun Saray, Criticizes the Slow Creation of Mechanisms to Respect Human Rights – Wednesday, 22.10.2008

    Posted on 23 October 2008. Filed under: Week 583 |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 583

    “Mr. Thun Saray, the director of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC – spoke on 21 and 22 October 2008 during the discussion in a national workshop about the ASEAN Charter, the three institutions of ASEAN [ASEAN Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community, and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community], and an ASEAN Human Rights Institution. He said that in our world, the Asian region is the slowest to create a Human Rights Mechanism to promote the implementation of human rights in the region. However, during the period of the latest years, we see that much efforts have been made by officials of the governments as well as by many civil society organizations to encourage the creation of an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism.

    “But before coming to the creation of a regional Human Rights Mechanism, it is important to first have an ASEAN Charter [1 MB, PDF]. On 20 October 2007, which was the 40th anniversary of the creation of ASEAN,  the ASEAN summit had adopted an ASEAN Charter in Singapore [to establish a legal and institutional framework for ASEAN].  The ASEAN Charter speaks clearly about the creation of an ASEAN Human Rights Institution, but the Charter does not state the mandate or power or composition etc. of the Human Rights Institution.
     
    “Cambodia has the ASEAN Charter already ratified on 18 April 2008. By 18 April 2008, six countries had it already ratified. These countries were Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam [but the text mentions only five countries!]. Since then, the governments of ASEAN formed a senior group to draft documents about the Human Rights Institution.
     
    “In the meantime, while the efforts by government officials of ASEAN continued, also civil society organizations tried to create their own alliance to collect ideas from different organizations in the region to be made into one document as a joint recommendation for the work in the struggle of ideas to persuade officials from different governments in ASEAN to include our comments into the documents, to create a regional Human Rights Institution which is efficient to promote human rights in the region.
     
    “The Solidarity for Asian People’s Advocacy – SAPA – and Forum Asia have already organized such workshops in some countries in the region, like in Malaysia, in order to collect opinions and recommendations from civil society organizations. On 21 and 22 October, these organizations come to cooperate with the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC – and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – to organize workshops in Cambodia in order to collect opinions and recommendations from civil society organizations in Cambodia.

    “Recently, ADHOC had presented a report about human rights abuses in Cambodia in 2008, showing that by July 2008, 64 cases showed that the number of human right abuses still strongly increased, compared to human rights abuses in previous years. Regarding these human rights abuses, ADHOC shows in most cases the connection to authorities of the government, like police, military police, village and commune chiefs, and court officials in some provinces and cities, acting against weak citizens.
     
    “The report of ADHOC continues that among these cases, 34 cases related to threats against political activists and 2 cases related to the destruction of state property, 8 cases were related to physical assault, 12 cases were murders, 2 cases were kidnappings, and 6 cases were illegal detentions of humans. In July 2008, the number of threats against political activists increased dramatically to 34 cases, happening mostly during the previous fourth term parliamentary election campaign.

    “Among those cases of human rights abuses, 20 cases happened in Kompong Cham, 10 in Siem Reap, 11 in Kampot, and 5 in Stung Treng. ADHOC considers that those provinces suffer from a higher rate of human rights abuses than other provinces in the country. Each human rights abuse, particularly physical assault related to politics, consists of the physical assault and the arrests of activists of parties that do not have power, it relates to the illegal actions by commune offices which were committed by the authorities, by police, soldiers, as well as by the military police who always used their power to arrest and detain citizens – which is against legal procedures – or to arrest citizens without arrest warrants from a court.
     
    “The report went on to say that some authorities use their roles and their power to injure the weak, making them become victims very unjustly – while perpetrators and their helpers are still free from prosecution by the authorities. This shows the use of roles and of power to abuse the law by the authorities, and it shows the abuse of law and a bigger culture of impunity in Khmer society, at the present, due to the use of power beyond what the laws set.
     
    “These cases represent most serious human rights abuses committed by the authorities, by military police, police, court officials etc. who mostly seek benefits for their partisans and for individuals; the government should take action to persecute them according to the law, and to punish any official who breaks the law; and the government should conduct reforms, so that the citizens can trust the institution of the court again.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #123, 22.10.2008
     

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Wednesday, 22 October 2008


    Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #91, 22-28.10.2008

    • Siamese Prime Minister Requests to Meet Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen in Beijing to Negotiate about the Border Dispute [according to an advisor to Prime Minister Hun Sen, Mr. Sri Thamrung]

     
    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1774, 22.10.2008

    • Siamese [Thai] Army Commander Asks Khmer Army Commander to Meet Once a Day in order to Understand Each Other
    • [Thirteen] Disabled Veterans [former RCAF soldiers] Who Lost Their Allowance Already for Six Months Rally to Protest in Front of the Siem Reap Social Department
    • Thaksin Shinawatra [ousted former Thai Prime Minister] Was Sentenced to Serve Two Years in Prison

     
    Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #268, 22.10.2008

    • The Khmer and Siamese [Thai] Sides Increase Troops Individually Ahead of the Negotiation in Siem Reap Tomorrow
    • The Aviation Company PRM Air Is Being Sued for Compensation from Relatives of [thirteen] South Korean Victims [who died in a plane crash in June 2007 in Kampot]

     
    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #123, 22.10.2008

      The Director of ADHOC, Mr. Thun Saray, Criticizes the Slow Creation of Mechanisms to Respect Human Rights
      Each of the Families of the Soldiers Who Sacrificed Their Lives, Receives More Than US$9,000 [from the government]
      A French Court Will Open a Hearing on [Minister of Foreign Affairs] Hor Namhong’s Lawsuit [against the Sam Rainsy Party president] on 9 December 2008 [regarding an accusation by Mr. Sam Rainsy that Mr. Hor Namhong, when he was the Boeng Trabaek Prison chief, was involved with the Khmer Rouge]

     
    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6479, 22.10.2008

    • Feeling of ASEAN: Malaysia: The Clash [on 15 October 2008] between Cambodia and Siam [Thailand] Embarrasses the Southeast Asian Countries [because it is against ASEAN strategies]
    • In 2010, an US Film Production Company [Creative Entertainment Ltd.] Plans to Make a Large Size Film [at the Angkor Wat region] Spending More Than US$100 Million for the Production
    • China Issues New Law for Foreign Press Freedom [similar to the regulations during the Olympics – foreign journalists are now allowed to travel to the provinces without needing prior permission]


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3594, 22.10.2008

      Khmer Civil Society Official [Ms. Pong Chiv Kek, also known as Dr. Kek Galabru, the director of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO] Reacts against a Speech by Alexander Chandra, a Representative of OXFAM International [senior policy advisor on ASEAN for Oxfam International, who had said that the dispute at the Cambodian and Thai border is just a minor problem, and that Thailand does not intrude into Khmer territory]
      Khmer Citizens Are Annoyed with the Problems Created by the National Election Committee [according the secretary general of the National Election Committee, only slightly over 50% of the citizens went to check and register their names in the voter lists during the period of twenty days – recently, after the elections]


    Rasmei Angkor, Vol.15, #1372, 22.10.2008

    • World Leaders Call to Seek Peace along the Khmer-Siamese [Thai] Border

     
    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4722, 22.10.2008

    • Investment by Korea Has Increased Forty Five Times during This Decade [in 1997, the investment by Korea was only US$18 million, but it increased to US$830 million in 2007]

     
    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3429, 22.10.2008

    • Residents at a Northern Phnom Penh Suburb Are Living in Dirty Water Many Months
    • Goods Prices Do Not Drop to Be in Line with the Fuel Price

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    Seventy of the More Than 900 Health Centers Do Not Have Midwives – Tuesday, 21.10.2008

    Posted on 22 October 2008. Filed under: Week 583 |

    The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 583

    “Phnom Penh: While the number of midwives is still a priority concern to reduce maternal and child mortality, Dr. Mam Bunheng, the Minister of Health, has set it as a priority to increase the number of midwives, and to install electricity at all referral hospitals and health centers countrywide.

    “During a meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel with the heads of the [provincial] Departments of Health from all over the country, and with partners in development late last week, the Minister of Health said that during this fourth term of government, the priority for health care is to deploy midwives to all health centers around the country. He added that to have midwives assigned at all health centers is fundamental, because if women, who come to give birth to their babies, are assisted by midwives who have been trained properly, this will contribute to reduce maternal and child mortality. Dr. Mam Bunheng went on to say that to deploy midwives cannot be done by just following some easy ideas, adding, ‘To deploy midwives requires to consider the strengthening of the health care infrastructure, especially the budgetary requirements, therefore I would like to request all development partners to help support this work.’

    “Together with the general work for maternal and child health as a major problem, the Minister also encouraged to regularly conduct three pre-natal examinations for pregnant women, to build up sufficient human resources, to reviews procedures for the time before and after giving birth, to prepare the foundation to send pregnant women to health centers when it is time to give birth, to award a midwife Riel 60,000 [approx. US$15] after assisting a birth to a baby safely at a health center, and Riel 40,000 [approx. US$10] for midwives at referral hospitals.

    “Mr. My Sambo, the director of the Department of Personnel of the Ministry of Health, said that at present, we have 3,113 midwives, but this number cannot meet the needs of the 900 health centers countrywide. Now, 70 health centers do not have a midwife. He continued to say that normally, one health center needs two midwives, where one is the primary midwife and the other is an assistant midwife. According to the director of the Department of Personnel, each year, Cambodia needs around 400 new midwives, that means that from 2009 to 2015 we need 2,489 [??] midwives.

    “With the present maternal and child mortality rate, it is not possible for the Ministry to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. Professor Kum Kanal, the director of the National Mother and Child Health Center, pointed out that the rate of maternal and child mortality has not declined, that is, 472 out of 100,000 infants being born die. However, the mortality rate of children under the age of one year declined from 95 to 66 among 1,000 children, while the mortality rate of children under the age of five declined from 124 to 83 among 1,000 children.

    “Regarding the reasons for maternal mortality when giving birth, Mr. Kanal explained that the major reasons are loss of blood, other cause of diseases, postpartum fever, and giving birth assisted by traditional midwives without proper training, which still is the case in 50% of births given in the country – mostly in rural areas.

    “Together with the goal to improve the health infrastructure, Dr. Mam Bunheng encouraged all health centers and referral hospitals to create access to electricity, and he encouraged the citizens to practice birth spacing, which also contributes to reduce maternal and child mortality.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4721, 21.10.2008

    Note:

    The UN Millennium Development Goals are eight goals to be achieved by 2015 that respond to the world’s main development challenges – three are concerned especially with the situation of women:

    Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
    Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
    Goal 5: Improve maternal health

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Tuesday, 21 October 2008


    Chakraval, Vol.16, #2820, 21.10.2008

    • Law Enforcement Is Not Very Efficient, because of the Influence of Money and Power


    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1773, 21.10.2008

    • Siamese [Thai] Army Commander Ordered Khmer Army Commander to Remove Border Marker at Phnom Da [but the Cambodian side did not agree – Veal Veng, Pursat]
    • General Sin Pinsen and a Parliamentarian from Pailin Died on the Same Day [20 October 2008 – General Sin Pinsen died from a stomach ailment in Phnom Penh, while Mr. Sam San died of high blood pressure]
    • Dangkao Governor [55] Drove a Car and Hit a Motorbike, Causing One Death and Seriously Injuring Another Person [Daun Penh, Phnom Penh]
    • Poipet Residents Return Home [after a clash between Cambodia and Thailand, which frightened them]


    Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #122, 21.10.2008

    • People in the Khmer General Public Do Not Believe that a Meeting Between Somchai Wongsawat and Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Will Achieve Good Results
    • The National Election Committee Destroys [more than ten million] Ballots Used during the Elections in 2003


    Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6478, 21.10.2008

    • European Tourists Leave from Bangkok to Cambodia, Being Annoyed with Internal Disputes in Siam [Thailand]; a Meeting Between Cambodia and Thailand Is Planned to Be Held in Siem Reap This Week


    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3593, 21.10.2008

    • The Shukaku Inc. Cut off Electricity and Water from the Boeng Kak Residents as a Threat towards Eviction
    • The Cambodia Human Rights Action Committee Asks the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia [the Khmer Rouge Tribunal] to Pay More Attention to the Victims’ Rights


    Pracheachun Khmer, Vol.2, #47, 20-25.10.2008

    • Nobody Thinks that the Cambodian Police Is Not Competent to Arrest [Ms.] Chea Ratha [a former police officer who was involved in an acid attack on the aunt of Ms. In Soklida, an actress]


    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4721, 21.10.2008

    • Seventy of the More Than 900 Health Centers Do Not Have Midwives
    • [US] FBI Will Continue to Help, while Korea Will Keep on Assisting Cambodia to Control Drugs
    • English Investors Will Come to Cambodia, but Their Arrivals Seems to be Late [compared to other countries like South Korea, China, and France – according to Mr. Senaka Fernando, chairperson of the British Business Association of Cambodia]
    • Lightning Killed Two People and Injured One, and also One Cow [Kompong Speu]
    • Cambodia Stock Exchange Will Be Created as Planed, not later than 2009 [according to Minister of Economic and Finance Mr. Keat Chhon]

    Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror. – And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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