Archive for December 31st, 2008

Thirty Percent of Construction Workers Are Unemployed – Wednesday, 31.12.2008 – end of the year 2008

Posted on 31 December 2008. Filed under: Week 593 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 593

“The Cambodian economy, which should continue to grow now, seems to be like a jammed brake, because investment capital this year declined up to [the figures available for] November, where foreign investment capital for construction, which is an important sector, decreased by more than 12%. Tens of thousands of workers are laid off, and this affects one important part of industry and then also others.

“The financial crisis strongly affects the construction sector in Cambodia, because big investment capital is mainly coming from foreign countries; as for investors from South Korea, they are directly affected by the meltdown of the economy in the United States of America.

“The latest figure of the Royal Government published, said that during 11 months of 2008, investment in the construction sector and in related furniture development declined by 12.5%; compared to the same period of last year, it declined from US$3.2 billion to US$2,8 billion. This figure is from the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.

“The above problems result from the decline of construction, from the prices of furniture materials, and from the meltdown of the world economy as a whole, while the construction sector around the world encountered also the same problems during 11 months of this year.

“As for Cambodia, the labor unions say that 30% of the construction workers are laid off, and various projects are suspended. The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction said that Cambodia had between 45,000 and 50,000 workers employed, with salaries between US$60 and US$1,200.

“Senior Minister and Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction H.E. Im Chhun Lim said that such meltdown happened at the same time of foreign investment projects being under development, and it is forecast that in 2009 the decline will continue.

“The problems in the construction sector strongly affect the prices of construction materials… prices declined around 30% to 40%; but even so, such materials cannot be sold, and businesspeople who had invested in this sector mostly did it depending on bank loans.

“He went on to say that big construction projects, such as the construction projects of the CamKo City [Cambodian-Korean City], or the double Gold Tower 42 [42 stories], and of the International Finance Center Tower, are still in progress, but they are not stable.

“Between June and November, there were around 1,869 construction sites countrywide, while in 2007, there had been 1,942.

“It is the first time that figures are released, after press reports had said that big construction projects in our country – in Phnom Penh – have all closed down.

“The president of the Cambodian Economic Association, Mr. Chan Sophal, shared his opinion that the construction sector was seriously affected during the last six months of this year, and in early 2009 it will get worse…

“The Cambodian Economy grew 10% on average during previous years, with the garment industry, tourism, and the construction sector as energetic forces.” Mate Nak, Vol.1, #16, 31.12.2008-6.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Areyathor, Vol.15, #1374, 31.12.2008

  • Nine Pawn Houses’ Illegalities [accepting stolen motorcycles etc.] Were Stopped [in Phnom Penh]

Deum Ampil, Vol.2, #102, 31.12.2008-1.1.2009

  • The Supreme Court Will Decide the Fates of Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun This Morning [appealing their conviction for killing the president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, Mr. Chea Vichea, in 2004 – Note: They have been released on bail!]
  • The National Assembly Decided to Allow Two Chinese Companies to Invest in the Electricity Supply System in Cambodia, Spending Around US$1 Billion [by constructing hydro-electricity dams on the Ta Tai River in Koh Kong, and the Russey Krom hydro-electricity dam near the Kravanh Mountains]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1834, 31.12.2008

  • The King Inaugurates a New Building of the Jayavarman VII Children’s Hospital in Siem Reap
  • The Ministry of Heath Prepares Six Health Hazard Warning Pictures to Be Put in Turn on Cigarette Packages
  • Israel Strongly Attacks the Hamas Group in Garza; 345 Palestinians and 4 Israelis Died [Note: After years of international criticism against the political system in the Palestinian territories, in early 2006 there were the first democratic elections – and Hamas won the majority in Gaza]
  • Sheikh Hasina Leads Election Results in Bangladesh [Note: Unofficial results say she won 255 seats, her rival only 32, out of 300]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #172, 31.12.2008

  • An Official of the Department of Education Voices Concern about the Future of Children and of Human Resources in Some Regions, where Children Drop Out of School to Become Merchandise Cart Draggers [at the Phnom Dey Cambodian-Thai border crossing point in Battambang]
  • Khmer Women Getting Married with Korean Men Wait Anxiously for Leaving [to Korea, after the ban of international marriages has been lifted]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6539, 31.12.2008

  • The Thai Parliament Met in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while Red-Shirt Demonstrators [supporters of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Continue to Block the Parliament House and Refuse to Withdraw

Mate Nak, Vol.1, #16, 31.12.2008-6.1.2009

  • 30% of Construction Workers Are Unemployed

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3653, 31.12.2008

  • [Minister of Interior] Sar Kheng Acknowledges that There Is Corruption among High Ranking Police Officers

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4782, 31.12.2008

  • The First Elevated Road in Cambodia, from Phnom Penh to Ta Khmao [in Kandal], Received Construction Permission [by the Phnom Penh Municipality]
  • Vietnam Said that Merchants Are Rushing to Smuggle Goods from the Khmer Border into Vietnam [in An Giang Province]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3467, 31.12.2008

  • Siamese [Thai] Minister of Foreign Affairs [Kasit Piromya] Greeted [Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs] Mr. Hor Namhong by Phone and Plans to Visit Cambodia Officially [but the date of his visit is not yet fixed]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

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Dey Krahom Residents Raise Their Last Suggestions, while the Authorities Order Them to Remove Their Houses and to Leave – Tuesday 30.12.2008

Posted on 31 December 2008. Filed under: Week 593 | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 593

“Phnom Penh: Dey Krahom residents, who did not leave at the last eviction efforts, demand housing development in place, or monetary compensation according to market prices, in exchange for leaving from the Dey Krahom area in Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh.

“Suggestions were raised a day ahead of the final deadline set by the Chamkar Mon authorities for Dey Krahom community residents, to remove their houses and to resettle in new housing at Damnak Trayueng village, Chaom Chau commune, Dangkao district of Phnom Penh.

“Representatives of Dey Krahom residents as well as other citizens raised two suggestions during a press conference in the evening of 29 December 2008, in exchange for leaving from their dilapidated huts in the Dey Krahom community. Residents want either to be provided with land to develop their residencies close to the present place, or, according to the other suggestion, the residents want a monetary compensation according to the market price of the land, finding an independent land assessing company to define the price of the land.

“Such suggestions from the Dey Krahom residents were made, while the Chamkar Mon authorities issued a final notice to the citizens living at the Dey Krahom community in the Pir and Dab Pram sections of the Tonle Basak commune, to remove their and houses to relocate to a new location, prepared for them by the 7NG Company, at Damnak Trayueng village, Chaom Chau, Dangkao, Phnom Penh. The final notice was signed by the Chamkar Mon governor, Mr. Lo Yuy, on 25 December 2008, stating that new 4-by-10-meter ground-floor houses were built by bricks , and a second floor can be built on top. The authorities said that at present, 1,374 families have changed to the new suburban location in Phnom Penh. There are only 91 families left that have not moved to the new location. The authorities ordered this rest of the residents to remove their houses by 30 December 2008 as a final deadline.

“However, the remaining residents refuse to leave the Dey Krahom community and said that they will struggle with their lives if violence is used to evict them.

“A representative of the Dey Krahom community, Mr. Chan Vichet, said that if the authorities use force to evict the residents from their houses at the Dey Krahom community, the residents will also response by force, in order to protect themselves and their property.

“However, the deputy Phnom Penh governor, Mr. Mann Choeun, who met with representatives of the Dey Krahom community in the morning of 29 December 2008, disagreed with the residents’ suggestions. But he presented other alternatives from the 7NG company representatives: the company and the authorities offer two choices to the Dey Krahom residents. First, to accept a flat in the suburban Dangkao district, plus Riel 770,000 [approx. US$190], 30 kg rice, a carton of noodle, and fish sauce. The second choice offered is that a family would be offered US$10,000 plus Riel 770,000, 30 kg rice, a carton of noodle, and fish sauce [but no housing]. The two choices provided by the company and by the authorities were rejected by the residents, saying that the new location is too far away, and it is difficult for their children’s schooling and for them to earn a living day by day.

“It should be noted that the Phnom Penh municipality signed an agreement, providing the Dey Krahom community land to the 7NG company in 2006. The 7NG company plans to develop this former area of poor people to become an area of housing and modern business buildings.

“However, according to a notice from the Council of Ministers on 8 July 2003, it agreed with the request of the Phnom Penh Municipality for social concession land at the Dey Krahom community, which covered at that time 4.70 hectares with 1,465 families in total, in order to develop housing for poor people. The Council of Ministers had agreed to provide 3.70 hectares as social concession land to develop housing at the Dey Krahom community.

“On the other hand, after receiving the rights from the Phnom Penh municipality, the 7NG company started its development work which has frequently led to disputes with the residents. Some were arrested, and one representative of the Dey Krahom community is still in detention at the Prey Sar Prison, while some of the other people agreed to accept housing constructed for them by the 7NG company.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4781, 30.12.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1833, 30.12.2008

  • A Foundation in the Republic of Korea Provides a Loan of US$120 Million for Four Development Projects in Cambodia [1. Construction of a water cleaning station to develop the Siem Reap river, 2. Improvements for National Roads 31 and 33, the Provincial Road 11, and a detour in Kampot, 3. Development of Daun Tri river water resources and Krang Ponley water resources in Kompong Speu, and 4. Restoration of important bridges along national roads]
  • Siamese [Thai] Troops Invite Khmer Troops to Have a Party on International New Year’s Day at the Border [Preah Vihear]
  • Victim’s Mother Said hat because She Could Not Find Money to Pay Medical Services on Time, Her Son Died in a Government Hospital [her son was hit with an axe on his head by an unidentified person, and when he was sent to the Pursat hospital, doctors did not care for him besides putting him on a intra-venous serum drip, because the victim’s family did not have enough money for any medical payment]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #171, 30.12.2008

  • Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs [Kasit Piromya] Wants to Cooperate to Develop the Preah Vihear Temple of Cambodia [according to a Thai newspaper, The Nation. Note: Such cooperation between Cambodia and Thailand is also a condition set by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee]
  • International Human Rights Organizations [Human Rights Watch, the International Trade Union Confederation, and the Observatory for Protection of Human Right Defenders] Demand that Cambodia Release Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun [who are imprisoned for 20 years for killing the president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, Mr. Chea Vichea in 2004, while the former King and many people and human rights organizations question the flawed police and court procedures]
  • [Meanchey district governor] Mr. Kuoch Chamroen Asks Motorbike Owners [whose motorbikes were stolen or robbed] to Look for Their Motorbikes after Suppressing Second-Hand Motorbike Shops and Motorbike Pawn Shops [Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, # #6538, 30.12.2008

  • The National Assembly Adopts Draft Law to Settle Budget Accounts of 2006 Which Were Late because of a Political Stalemate in 2003 Lasting 11 Months
  • Political Crisis in Thailand: [around 10,000] Red-Shirt Demonstrators [supporting ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Block Parliament Meeting and Demand New Elections

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3652, 30.12.2008

    Former Siamese [Thai] Minister of Foreign Affairs [Nappadon Pattama] Encourages the New Government to Demand Khmer Territory around the Preah Vihear Temple

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4781, 30.12.2008

  • Dey Krahom Residents Raise Their Last Suggestions, while the Authorities Order Them to Remove Their Houses and to Leave
  • Vina Hong Kong Group Is Involved in Cutting Trees on Hundreds of Hectares in Ratanakiri [minority tribespeople, residents of Pa Ar village, Ke Chong commune, Bar Kaev district, sue this company at the provincial court for cutting trees]
  • [Three members of a] Group which Robbed a Bank and Gold Shops in Svay Pak [in Phnom Penh] and in Kompong Cham Arrested
  • The Four Kantha Bopha Hospitals Can Not Operate without US$25 Million Aid per Year [said Dr. Beat Richner, the founder of these children’s hospitals which provide free treatment]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3466, 30.12.2008

  • Workers and Vendors in Poipet Accused [new Poipet immigration police chief] Sao Bunrith to Be the Same as [former immigration police chief] Pich Saran [regarding corruption at the Poipet border crossing point]

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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