Archive for February, 2009

United States Department of State Released Report on Human Rights Violation Committed by Armed Forces against Citizens – Friday, 27.2.2009

Posted on 28 February 2009. Filed under: Week 601 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 601

“Businesspeople and powerful officials used courts and armed forces such as police, soldiers, and military police to evict citizens from their land and their houses without proper compensation.

“The US Department of State released the 2008 report about many cases of human rights abuses in Cambodia, caused by armed forces to evict citizens from their houses to grab their land illegally. The report described also tortures against suspects and prisoners at prisons, and the arrests of citizens and extrajudicial killings, as well as the restriction of the freedom of expression.

“The report of the US Department of State continued that most armed forces that used violence are from the military and the police, and they are not prosecuted for what they did.

“The report added that there were 40 cases of extrajudicial killings, where 16 cases were committed by police and 15 cases by military. Frequently, tortures at prisons become normal to force to obtain answers.

“The report of the US Department of State concluded that while corruption is still widespread, land disputes and evictions of citizens from their houses are still a major problems.

“The Minister of Information and government spokesperson, H.E. Khieu Kanharith, could not be reached for comment on 26 February 2009 after the annual report was released by the US Department of State, stating that armed forces were leading the violation of human rights and are involved in extrajudicial killings in Cambodia, where 40 such cases happened.

“Recently, civil society organizations in Cambodia were involved in drafting legislation relating to the establishment of an ASEAN Human Rights Committee and an independent human rights committee in Cambodia, with fund allocated by the National Assembly every year for this task.

“Civil society officials said that the report of the US Department of State about the situation of human rights violations, evictions of citizens, and corruption occurring in Cambodia is true, especially about the extrajudicial killings, and about some perpetrators who are not brought to be prosecuted according to the law.

“Such human rights violations show a lack of efforts by the government that lets a culture of impunity exist in Cambodia. If such human rights violations still continue to happen, that means that citizens cannot protect their rights if human rights violations happen, especially the right to freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate against violations of any law.” Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol. 7, #351, 27.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 27 February 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #27, 27-1.2.2009

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: “If the King Grants an Amnesty in a Fine Case [with a fine of Riel 10 million, approx. US$2,500, charged by the National Election Committee], I Will Donate this Amount to the Kuntheak Bopha Hospital”

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #126, 27.2.2009

  • The Permanent Committee of the National Assembly Decided to Suspend Mr. Sam Rainsy’s Immunity
  • Khmer Citizens Support the Government’s Action to Close the Football Betting and Slot Machines [of Cambosix, a big betting and gambling company with many branches in Cambodia, is now closed]
  • Two Students Who Hit a Teacher Are Jailed for Six Months and Ordered to Pay US$2,000 Compensation [Phnom Penh]
  • [The president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia] Chea Mony: [the former Phnom Penh police chief, who is involved in many murder cases] Heng Pov Might Disclose the Mystery behind the Murder of His Older Brother Chea Vichea

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1884, 27.2.2009

  • [The Minister of Foreign Affairs] Goes to Attend the ASEAN Summit in Hua Hin in Thailand [scheduled to be held from 27 February to 1 March 2009]
  • Three Japanese Naval Ships Visit Cambodia
  • The Club of Cambodian Journalists Ask Journalists to Adhere to the Code of Conduct Firmly

Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol. 7, #351, 27.2.2009

  • United States Department of State Released Report on Human Rights Violation Committed by Armed Forces against Citizens

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6589, 27.2.2009

  • The Tribunal Suspends the Hearing of the Complaint, Asking to Be Out of Bail for the Suspect Ieng Sary due to Health Problem
  • 18 Companies Receive Economic Concession Land of Nearly 80,000 Hectares, while 1,267 Farmers’ Families Lack Land for Cultivation in Kompong Thom
  • Billionaire Bill Gates Grants US$100 Million to Assist Research on AIDS
  • Police Against Human Trafficking and Protecting Minors Arrest an American Man in Siem Reap [for debauchery involving children]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3698, 27.2.2009

  • Sam Rainsy Asks Swiss Banks to Check Dirty Money of High-Ranking Khmer Officials Deposited There

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4832, 27.2.2009

  • America Says that the Human Rights Situation in Cambodia Is Not Yet Good
  • Cambodia Encourages the European Community to Sign an Aid Project Worth Euro 77 Million [approx. US$98 million – about the provision of finance for basic studies, commercial governance, and human rights to be implemented from 2007 to 2010]
  • 2010-2012 Public Investment Program Needs Capital of US$2.8 Billion
  • 70,000 Cambodian People Die of Smoking Cigarettes per Year [according to a research by the World Health Organization and by the Ministry of Health of Cambodia]

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TVK and KBI Sign Memorandum of Understanding on International Production Operation – Thursday, 26.2.2009

Posted on 28 February 2009. Filed under: Week 601 | Tags: , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 601

Note:

Apologies for the delay – I had announced that this might happen during my travel for Internet related work.

Greetings from Mexico.

Norbert Klein

“Representatives of National Television of Kampuchea (TVK) and of the Korean Broadcasting Institute (KBI) signed a memorandum of understanding on 24 February 2009 at the Ministry of Information about international co-production, with the Minister of Information, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, chairing,.

“The initiative of Korea for this co-production provides many benefits for Cambodia and for the broadcasting stations of Cambodia to show the national pride and culture of Cambodia, like the national heritage, the development of the economy, natural resources, the exchange of experiences where Cambodia can broadcast all qualified programs to both sides through other relevant broadcasting stations, based on co-production.

“The head of the delegation of the Royal Government of Cambodia, the TVK director Mr. Kem Kunavath, said, ‘This is the first signing between TVK and the Korean Broadcasting Institute [KBI], and this international involvement means that our producers, our cameramen, as well as our technicians get experiences under the leadership from the Republic of Korea, where all of these benefit. Another benefit is that we are from the same Asian continent, and we will have cultural exchanges between Southeast Asia with cultures of East Asia – by having cultural exchanges between the Republic of Korea and the Kingdom of Cambodia. This shows sympathy in relations and cooperation between these countries – we know already that the Republic of Korea is a country which provides support for the economy, support in implementations, and support to develop Cambodia’s infrastructure, economy, and many other sectors.

“He added, ‘We need to clarify the condition for such productions, which is the major initiative of KBI and of the National Television of Kampuchea, representing the nation. Both sides will discuss this production, because Korea is the leading country that wants to let Koreans know about Cambodia, and as for us, we also have the same intention. I think that after the signing, in April is our traditional New Year and everyone wants to know how it is celebrated, what Khmer citizens do during Khmer New Year, and what the meaning of the Khmer New Year is. Therefore their first team will come to observe things in March, to start producing in April, and according to the plan that we know, their production title is ‘New Blue Ocean.’ After finishing the production and the agreement, these programs have to be broadcast both in the Kingdom of Cambodia and in the Republic of Korea, but KBI keeps all rights of the co-production.’

“The KBI deputy director, Mr. Choi Young Ho [Kampuchea Thmey says it is Mr. Harrison Yu], said, ‘Since the beginning, Korea and Cambodia have exchanged many human resources and their cultures, and now we are strengthening the exchange of our cultures more deeply. Such co-production is an indication of our intention to foster cultural exchanges in the fields if ancient and current cultures between both countries.

“He went on to say, ‘I believe that we have gained enough trust through this cooperation, because KBI organized a committee for the cooperation with TVK of Cambodia, and I saw that also TVK has a committee to cooperate with KBI. Thus, both committees will cooperate to achieve development and success together. Through the initiative of KBI and TVK, we want the first production to be finished before June, and in June, we want to broadcast to both countries what we have produced in May, we have to discuss this also further with TVK, to broadcast soon in June.’

“It should be noted that Cambodia had started to cooperate with five countries doing co-productions, once in 2007, with countries like China, Indonesia, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Vietnam and this is the second time that Cambodia signed the memorandum of understanding of international co-production, now with KBI.” Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #125, 26.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 26 February 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #125, 26.2.2009

  • TVK and KBI Sign Memorandum of Understanding on International Production Operation
  • The King Returns to the Country [from Beijing]
  • The Cambodian Government Decided to Create Preah Vihear City in Preah Vihear Province
  • An Explosion of a Grenade Carried in a Bag Killed Three People while Walking to Catch Animals in the Forest near Their Village [during the night – Banteay Meanchey]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1883, 26.2.2009

  • [South Korean] Hyundai Company Seeks Investment to Create a Factory to Produce Cars in Cambodia [by cooperating with Oknha Ly Yong Phat’s company]
  • [Minister of Foreign Affairs] Hor Namhong Met with the Director for Cooperation with Asia and Central Asia [in the EuropAid Cooperation Office of the European Commission, Dirk Meganck] to Discuss about the Provision of Aid

Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol. 7, #350, 26.2.2009

  • Economists Ask the Government to Request Factory Owners to Hold Three-Months Worth of Operational Costs to Be Available for Workers [in a crisis]
  • [The Phnom Penh] Court Orders the Authorities to Seek and Arrest Three Representatives of the Rotes Pleung Community [living along the railway tracks – after they were sentenced to serve three years in prison for using fake thumbprints in their claim against by the Osman Hassan Company in a contest of land rights]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #352, 26.2.2009

  • [The president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia] Chea Mony Asks [the Minister of Interior] Sar Kheng to Allow Him to Visit the Convicted Heng Pov [the former Phnom Penh police chief jailed at the Prey Sar prison, for humanitarian reasons]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6588, 26.2.2009

  • There Are More Than 70,000 Cambodian Workers in Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand
  • World Federation of Trade Unions Representative Visits Cambodia

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3697, 26.2.2009

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Asks the President of the National Assembly to Consider the Revoking of His Immunity

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4831, 26.2.2009

  • Two Cambosix Branches [sports betting offices] in Russey Keo Were Completely Closed because Their Permissions Are Out of Date
  • Officials Said that the Website of the Ministry of Commerce Works Well Again and Is Updated [www.moc.gov.kh]
  • Commander-In-Chief [Pol Saroeun] Asks Russia to Help Repair Air Planes from the Soviet Union Era
  • Japan Grants US$184,717 for Mother-and-Child Health

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The United Nations and the Government Will Break the Stalemate about Corruption at the Tribunal – Wednesday, 25.2.2009

Posted on 26 February 2009. Filed under: Week 601 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 601

“Announcing to overcome a stalemate, after there had been discussions about how to prevent corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, officials of the United Nations and of Cambodia announced, on Monday [23 February 2009], a complicated program to solve complaints about irregularities which will provide equal responsibility for the international and for the Cambodian sides at this tribunal.

“Speaking to journalists at the Council of Ministers on Monday evening, the Minister of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Sok An, and the Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs of the United Nations, Mr. Peter Taksøe-Jensen, believe that this new system will motivate donors to continue to provide funds to the Cambodian side of this tribunal, which will face a new financial crisis in a few months. Mr. Sok An told reporters, ‘I think that mutual understanding is the best basis for the administration of this tribunal to move ahead, and also the court will move ahead.’ He added that mutual understanding is important for a successful work of this joint process… Working together in this joint process will clear up all problems. Mr. Peter Taksøe-Jensen told reporters that he believed that this agreement will, finally, bring the discussion about corruption allegations over kickbacks to an end, which had emerged from the tribunal since it was about to begin, and which has caused some donors to halt funds. Mr. Peter Taksøe-Jensen continued to say that it is an important step in our joint efforts to deal with corruption problems, adding, ‘I think that the agreement that we have will be accepted positively by donor countries.’

“However, the new anti-corruption program suggested seems to be less than what UN officials sought during an unsuccessful discussion with the government in January. Early this month, Cambodian administrators said that during a private discussion in January, the UN officials suggested the creation of a large anti-corruption program for both sides at this tribunal, and for international independent code-of-conduct observers, to be placed into the existing Code-of-Conduct Committee and into the Extraordinary Chambers at this tribunal. Anyway, the program announced in the joint statement on Monday will include anti-corruption measures that cannot affect procedures that have already become valid at the Cambodian side in this tribunal, and it relates to the UN side, which had created its related mechanism, where there is only one person to receive complaints. After that, complaints from the Cambodian side or from the international side at this tribunal will be sent to a committee with an equal number of members of Cambodian and UN officials, which require to be composed of several members, or at least some agreement between both sides is necessary to take any action.

“The joint statement released on Monday did not clearly show how this new system can prevent similar events like during the previous years, when a number of Cambodian officials disagreed with the arrangements in the administration of this tribunal and informed UN officials about kickback corruption, which was then rechecked in New York by the Office of Internal Oversight Services. The findings of this inspection conducted by the United Nations were not made public, but it had been reported that there was a request to investigate corruption related to the payment of kickbacks to get employment at the tribunal.

“An observer of the Open Justice Initiative, Ms. Heather Ryan, said on Monday that her organization was disappointed with the results of Monday, adding that the Open Justice Initiative believes that the agreement mentioned does not talk about corruption allegations, and it is a step back in that whole effort. She went on to say, ‘We are concerned that the United Nations might make a very low level definition because of obstacles raised by Cambodia for the future joint efforts of an independent court.’

“The legal assistant of the defense lawyers of former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea, Mr. Andrew Ianuzzi, who has asked Cambodian court authorities to investigation allegations about kickbacks received at this tribunal, said that he met with Mr. Peter Taksøe-Jensen, but they rejected to comment about what they discussed.

“According to the statement of Monday, the United Nations and the government both have to release letters in the coming weeks to legalize the agreement, even though details are still being negotiated.” Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1415, 25.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #25, 25.2.2009

  • Mr. Hun Sen Warns He Might Dismiss [eight] District Governors and Revoke the License of Cambosix [a betting company, if they are found colluding to allow Khmer people to gamble]
  • Hun Sen: Global Witness Has No Authority to Ask Him Anything – He Is Not a Prisoner

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1882, 25.2.2009

  • To Revoke Sam Rainsy’s Immunity [regarding a violation of election campaigning rules, and charged by the National Election Committee] Is Not Difficult [said Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • Demonstrations Happens Again in Siam [Thailand – between 8,000 and 10,000 anti-government demonstrators support ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra]
  • Tamil Tiger Rebels Announces They Are Prepared to Accept a Ceasefire if It Can Be Coordinated by the International Community [Sri Lanka]

Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol.7, #349, 25.2.2009

  • Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen Reacts Saying that the Global Witness Is a Global Cheating [without responding to any details or refuting the published specific allegations]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6587, 25.2.2009

  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Announces a Hearing of “Duch” to Be Held on 20 March 2009
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Held a Hearing of [the former minister of Social Affairs] Ieng Thirith while [former deputy prime minister of the Khmer Rouge regime] Ieng Sary Was Referred to Hospital
  • [Around 10,000] Red-Shirt Demonstrators Surround the Government House [in Thailand]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3696, 25.2.2009

  • Development Projects in Cambodia Affect the Interests of Thousands of Khmer Families During the Last Three Years

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1415, 25.2.2009

  • The United Nations and the Government Will Break the Stalemate about Corruption at the Tribunal
  • The Number of Advisors of the President of the National Assembly [Mr. Heng Samrin] Is More Than 100 in Total [after 28 new advisors were appointed]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4830, 25.2.2009

  • The Permanent Committee of the National Assembly Will Summon a Meeting Regarding the Request to Revoke the Immunity of Mr. Sam Rainsy [on 26 February 2009]
  • Samdech Dekchor Calls on Workers Not to Strike Disorderly [not to strike for not important reasons] Which May Lead to Unemployment
  • The Cambodian National Council for Women Shows that There Were Many Cases of Human Trafficking [in 2008], but There Was Little Punishment
  • The Ministry of Defense Creates a Department of Politics and Foreign Affairs

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3489, 25.2.2009

  • 10,000 Soldiers [deployed doing non-military duties] Are Summoned Back to Barracks [by order from the Prime Minister to the commander-in-chief, Mr. Pol Saroeun, removing them from areas of land disputes where they were involved to protect certain economic interests]

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Cambodia Plans to Collect 12.5% Tax from All Kinds of Gambling to Exceed the 2008 Tax – Tuesday 24.2.2009

Posted on 24 February 2009. Filed under: Week 601 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 601

“In 2009, Cambodia plans to collect a 12.5% tax to produce more tax income than that reported in 2008.

“According to a secretary of state of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and journalists, who interviewed him, regarding the collection of tax from gabling sites on 19 February 2009, Mr. Chea Meng Chhieng, tax income from all kinds of gambling increased to US$20 million in 2008, but the income will not increase further as the Cambodian government wants, because, according to this secretary of state, the number of tourists entering casinos declined due to the global financial crisis.

“Responding to the demand of tourists, Cambodia decided to legalize the creation of many different kinds of casinos, like some with slot machines, which are growing like mushrooms in Phnom Penh and in different provinces.

“This draws criticism from the opposition parties and from some non-government organizations against the presence of gambling which causes social instability.

“There are more than 20 casinos in Cambodia, but most of them are located at border crossing points.

“Mr. Chea Meng Chhieng stated the importance of legalizing the gambling industry, as doing so will facilitate the monitoring of gambling sites.

“During the Council of Ministers’ meeting on 19 December 2008, the Prime Minister of the forth-term Royal Government of Cambodia, Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, ordered the Ministry of Economy and Finance to observe all hotels that have entertainment clubs and all types of electronic entertainment centers, which are required to prohibit Khmer citizens to enter to gamble.

“If there is any violation of the rules, like permitting Khmer citizens to enter, the Ministry of Economy and Finance must revoke their licenses and immediately stop their operation within 24 hours.

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen ordered the Director General of the National Police [Mr. Net Savoeun] and the Commander of National Military Police [Mr. Sao Sokha] to check the licenses of such places, and to stop their operation for not obeying the circular of the Royal Government issued on 4 December 2008.

“The Phnom Penh police chief, Mr. Touch Naruth, said that the Cambosix sites are legal gambling sites, and Naga World Casino is the only legal casino in Phnom Penh, but Naga World Casino does not allow Khmer citizens to enter, otherwise it would be closed and its license would be revoked immediately within 24 hours for disobeying the circular of the Cambodian government released on 4 December 2008.” Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol. 7, #348, 24.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #123, 24.2.2009

  • Israeli Delegation Plans to Visit Cambodia in March 2009 to Invest in Agriculture and in Telecommunication
  • 10,000 Police and Soldiers Are Prepared to Protect the Government House from the [anti-government] Red-Shirt Group [in Thailand]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1881, 24.2.2009

  • [Two] Hydro-Electric Dams [370 kilovolt and 300 kilovolt] Funded by the Japanese Government Were Inaugurated [Mondolkiri]
  • Vietnam Inaugurates Its First Oil Refinery [in Quảng Ngãi Province, worth US$2.5 million]

Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol. 7, #348, 24.2.2009

  • Cambodia Plans to Collect 12.5% Tax from All Kinds of Gambling to Exceed the 2008 Tax
  • [Around 200] Kos Kralor Residents in Battambang Gather to Protest in Front of Samdech Hun Sen’s Resident to Find Justice [over a land dispute]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6586, 24.2.2009

  • During the ASEAN Summit in Hua Hin, Samdech Dekchor [Hun Sun] Plans to Meet the Thai King and Other Partners
  • Police Raided a Drug Producing Place and Arrested Three [Taiwanese] Men and a [Vietnamese] Woman [Phnom Penh]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #34, 24.2.2009

  • The US Embassy Spends US$20 Million to Strengthen Justice and Human Rights in Cambodia [by assisting to develop and strengthen two human rights bodies: the National Human Rights Committee and the ASEAN Human Rights Committee]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4829, 24.2.2009

  • Asia Development Bang Holds Meeting to Find Solutions to Assess Impact of Development Projects Implementation
  • Four Suspects Are Arrested for Throwing a Grenade and Injuring Nine People [Battambang]
  • Truck Rolled over a Man’s Head after a Motorbike Accident while Distributing His Wedding Invitations; His Bride Cried Vehemently [Phnom Penh]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3488, 24.2.2009

  • The Club of Cambodian Journalists Calls to Search for the Perpetrators Who Murdered Other Journalists after the Arrest of Another Suspect Who Shot Dead the Editor-In-Chief of Koh Santepheap

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Land Transportation across the Borders to Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand – Monday, 23.2.2009

Posted on 24 February 2009. Filed under: Week 601 | Tags: , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 601

“Land or road transportation is an important part of the transportation system of Cambodia, and it plays a crucial role in the national economy to facilitate the travel of people in general, and of tourists, and the distribution of goods to be exported, and of imported goods, and of local goods from many sectors.

“Previously, there was only local in-country land transportation by means that cannot be considered to be modern. But at present, especially since the integration of Cambodia into the region, land transportation extends beyond the borders of the country, and it facilitates the exchange of goods, of travelers, including of tourists, between country and country, and between a country and the whole region.

“Cambodia is a member of the Greater Mekong Sub-Region which includes Burma, Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, where transportation of goods and of people happens, across these countries. Cross border transportation as a regional characteristic is not yet fully developed.

The Cambodian-Vietnamese Land Transportation Agreement

“Cambodia and Vietnam signed an agreement about land transportation in 1998 and it started to be implemented in late 2006.

“So far, there were 40 commercial cars licensed from each side allowed to carry goods and travelers across the border between both countries through international border crossing points, such as the Bavet border crossing point in Svay Rieng on National Road 1, the Phnom Din border crossing point in Takeo on National Road 2, and the Trapeang Phlong border crossing point in Kompong Cham on National Road 7 and 72. There are some other authorized international border crossing points such as the Prek Chab border crossing point in Kampot on National Road 3 and 33, the Trapeang Srae border crossing point in Kratie on National Road 7 and 78, the Ou Raing Euv border crossing point in Mondolkiri on National Road 76, and the O’Yadao border crossing point on National Road 78, but these have limited road conditions.

“In the near future, Cambodia and Vietnam will decide to increase the number of car quotas on each side up to 150, to ease the transportation of goods and travelers, including tourists, to improve the development of the national economies.

Cambodian-Laotian Land Transportation Agreement

“Cambodia and Laos signed a land transportation agreement in 1999. The implementation of this agreement depended on a protocol, defining regulations for the implementation of the agreement. Such a protocol was already signed in late 2007. In addition, a memorandum of understanding stating details about the implementation of this agreement was signed also by both sides in late 2008.

“According to a first bilateral meeting from 14 to 16 January 2009 in Stung Treng, with follow-up actions of each side, the transportation of goods and travelers between both countries will begin in early April of 2009 at the Trapeang Kriel international border crossing point in Stung Treng.

“The transport of travelers through this crossing point, while the transport operation is still in a testing stage, allows each side to have five cars to travel on each section of the roads; that means Cambodia can have five cars with travelers on a road section of the Pakse (in the Champasak province of Laos) to Stung Treng, five cars on the Pakse to Siem Reap road, five cars on the Pakse to Phnom Penh road, and five cars on the Phnom Penh to Vientiane road. That means Cambodia can have up to 20 cars in total to transport travelers from Cambodia during the test phase. “Companies of transport with sufficient qualifications or that were already before permitted to transport travelers crossing the border, will have the opportunity to join this operation. It should be noted that from now on, it is time to start transportation operations crossing the international Trapeang Kriel point, and there is less time for companies or operators that want to invest in carrying travelers through this crossing point, to study more about the situation of the market in Champasak and in Vientiane, to fulfill criteria defined in different laws and regulations, to make this process to go ahead smoothly, with success in this market.

“The technical secretariat of the National Committee for Facilitating Cross Border Transportation at the Department of Transportation of the Ministry of Public Work and Transport will help to ease all important tasks of operation in line with legal procedures.

Cambodian-Thai Land Transportation Agreement

“Cambodia and Thailand signed an agreement and a memorandum of understanding for the exchange of traffic in early 2008. According to the memorandum of understanding, both sides will allow 40 commercial cars, with certificates of permission, to transport goods and carry travelers through the Poipet international border-crossing point. This bilateral border-crossing transportation agreement [signed in early 2008] has not yet been applied because of some [not stated] reasons.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4828, 22-23.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 23 February 2009

Bakong, Vol. 10, #254, 23-24.2.2009

  • [Around 200 hectare] Flooded Forest for Fish Spawning Area Is Cleared by the [Cambodian] Khov Chily Company in Siem Reap [to claim land]

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #23, 23.2.2009

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: The National Assembly Is Not Without Honor to Summon a Meeting to Revoke the Immunity of a Member Regarding a Riel-10-Million [approx. US$2,500] Case [charged by the National Election Committee for defaming leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party]
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Notorious for Corruption, Announce They Have to Find US$5 Million

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #122, 22-23.2.2009

  • Vietnam Has Trained More Than 4,000 Cambodian Soldiers So Far
  • India Suspends Plan to Sign Free Market Trade Agreement with Association of South-East Asian Nations – ASEAN [because of strong impacts of the global financial crisis on India]

Deum Tnot, Vol.2, #58, 23-24.2.2009

  • Judges and Prosecutors Reaching Retirement Age but Are Not Sent into Retirement Become Targets of Criticism

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1880, 22-23.2.2009

  • [The president of the National Assembly] Samdech Heng Samrin Asks Vietnam to Continue Expanding Investment, Economy, Tourism, and Military
  • Siamese [Thai] People Kidnapped [three] Siamese People in Khmer Territory [chief perpetrator, a Thai woman, is not yet arrested – Battambang]
  • Thai King Pardons Australian Author [who had been jailed for lèse-majesté charges]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #350, 22-24.2.2009

  • There Is Nobody from [the president of the Cambodian People’s Party and president of the Senate] Chea Sim and [the Minister of Interior from the Cambodian People’s Party] Sar Kheng’s Line Included in the Lists of Those Who Steal from the Nation in the Country for Sale Report [of Global Witness]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6585, 23.2.2009

  • A Criminal of [former Phnom Penh municipal police’s followers, who is now detained at the Prey Sar Prison] Heng Pov’s Group Is Arrested; Eleven-Years-Old Murder Case [of the editor-in-chief of Koh Santepheap] Starts New Page for Justice
  • In Three Days, Wind Destroyed More Than 500 Houses and 4 Schools [and injured 6 people serious l- Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey, and Pailin]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4828, 22-23.2.2009

  • Land Transportation across Borders of Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand
  • Two Khmer Citizens Arrested by Siamese [Thai] Soldiers in the Forest Are Released [Thailand accused them of cutting trees illegally in Thai territory, but Khmer citizens said that it is 2 km from the Cambodian-Thai border – Oddar Meanchey]
  • In 2009 Siem Reap Receives Mine Clearance Aid of US$1,350,527 from Germany
  • Education Official: There Is No Longer an Age Limit for Students taking an Examinations [of lower secondary school and high school examinations]

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Unavoidable Delays and a Missing Editorial Regretted – Sunday, 22.2.2009

Posted on 23 February 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 600 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 600

This message is written from the Philippines. As I am – probably for one, maybe or two years, since late 2008 – a member of the Nominating Committee of ICANN, the worldwide Internet coordination, I am at present attending some meetings in Manila, where many Internet operators from the Asia Pacific region are assembled; from here I am scheduled to proceed to Mexico, for another series of meetings of persons from all over the world, having a variety of task, functions, and responsibilities for the operation of the Internet. All this will result in some delays in the publication of the Mirror. The Internet is not only causing these delays – the Internet makes it also possible that I can maintain the editorial work for the Mirror also from afar.

The Nominating Committee of ICANN – the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – has the task to identify and to appoint members of the Board of Directors of ICANN, and some other persons in ICANN leadership functions.

I hope that we will not have too many delays, in spite of the fact that I am on long distance flights, in different time zones – and have a schedule of meetings. I hope that by around mid March I will be back again in Phnom Penh, and that delays will normally not affect the time of publication for more that 24 hours – apart from the times of long flights. The time spent traveling waiting at airports and during flights affects the work most – apologies that there will be no editorial for the week 600.

Approaching Manila

Approaching Manila

Thanks that you brought the number of visits to the Mirror in January for the first time over the 7,000 mark during the course of one month. To know the continuing and increasing interest in the product of our work is an encouragement: to share information and opinion about what is happening in Cambodia, in spite of the various difficulties we face in this work. – One of these problems relate to the lack of adequate funds for this ongoing task. If some more of our readers would see that it is appropriate and haave the possibility to make a donation to the Mirror – see the words Support the Mirror and the colored icon Make A Donation in the right upper corner of this page – this would assist us in the implementation of our service.

Norbert Klein
Editor of the Mirror

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LICADHO Criticized Judgment of the Appeals Court Prosecuting Thach Saveth, Falsely Accused to Be a Murderer – Saturday, 21.2.2009

Posted on 22 February 2009. Filed under: Week 600 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 600

“Human rights officials in Cambodia and many citizens are distrusting the judicial system, which is not independent and does not fulfill its role properly following principles of law, where investigating judges and prosecutors at different provincial and municipal courts as well at higher courts (Appeals Court and Supreme Court) made judgments, based only on reports or on notes of answers received from the authorities.

“On 19 February 2009, the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – strongly condemned the Appeals Court, saying that it did not have a proper legal basis to prosecute a parachute soldier and condemn him to serve 15 years in prison for allegedly killing a president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers of a factory in Phnom Penh, Mr. Ruos Sovannareth.

“LICADHO claimed that the accused, Thach Saveth, 26, a former parachute soldier, was arrested for shooting dead Mr. Ruos Sovannareth, the free trade union president of the Try Togea Komara Garment Factory, on 7 May 2004, and the accused was arrested on 24 July 2004.

“The accused, Thach Saveth, was condemned by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to serve 15 years in prison on 15 February 2005, and the Appeals Court held a hearing on the appeal of the suspected murderer (Thach Saveth), upholding the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s 15-year-prison-term on 19 February 2009.

“According to LICADHO’s statement of 19 February 2009, there was no concrete reason to believe that the accused Thach Saveth is the murderer, and most of the evidence was fabricated.

“That there was no known investigation by the judges of the Municipal Court who just depended on police reports; this motivated LICADHO to strongly regret the decision; at the same time, this judgment of the Appeals Court did not contribute to find real justice for the real murderer. LICADHO emphasized in its statement that the judgment of the Appeals Court on 19 February 2009 is a bad model of injustice, because the court lacked evidence to put against the accused to be the murderer in the shooting to kill Mr. Ruos Sovannareth; the court did not have investigative evidence, but just relied on reports of the authorities.

“LICADHO went on to say that those who witnessed the murder of Mr. Ruos Sovannareth were not allowed to become witnesses in the hearing, and they were not questioned by the investigating judges in this murder case.

“LICADHO added that one among the many witnesses appeared at the hearing of the Appeals Court last week, as suggested by the defense lawyer of the accused, but the court did not question any of such witnesses. The director of LICADHO, Dr. Pong Chhiv Kek [Dr. Kek Galabru], said, ‘We condemn the judgment of the Appeals Court in order to show that LICADHO does not support such injustice, and we very much regret and are sad, seeing that the court did not provide real justice to the victim, because after national and international human rights groups attentively observed this hearing, they found that there wasn’t any evidence presented to put the burden on the accused.’

“Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek continued to say that at the time when the murderer shot dead Mr. Chea Sovannareth, the person accused to be the murderer was in the Anlong Veng district in Oddar Meanchey. She hopes that the Supreme Court will offer real justice to the victim Ruos Sovannareth who was murdered, release Thach Saveth falsely acused to be a murderer, and order the authorities to arrest the real murderer to be prosecuted, like in the case where the Supreme Court provided justice to the falsely accused Born Samnang and Sok Sam Ouen to be murderers, by releasing them and by ordering the case to be reinvestigated.” Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol. 7, #347, 21-23.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 21 February 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #121, 21.2.2009

  • Civil Society [the Cambodian Center for Human Rights and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights] Voice Concern over the Weak Implementation of Law in the Judicial System in Cambodia
  • Vietnamese Minister of Defense [Phung Quang Thanh] Visits Cambodia Three Days
  • Private Tourist Sector Asks the Government to Find Ways to Facilitate the Traveling of Tourists to Cambodia

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1879, 21.2.2009

  • The [Phnom Penh] Municipal Court Requests to Remove Sam Rainsy’s Immunity [it asked the National Assembly to remove parliamentarian immunity from the president of the opposition party, Mr. Sam Rainsy, regarding an accusation of a violation during the election campaign]

Kampuchea Thngai Nis, Vol.5, #400, 21-27.2.2009

  • Rural Development Bank Official [Dr. Sun Kunthor] Calls for the Improvements of Product Qualities

Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol. 7, #347, 21-23.2.2009

  • LICADHO Criticized Judgment of the Appeals Court Prosecuting Thach Saveth, Falsely Accused to Be a Murderer

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #349, 21.2.2009

  • [Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Commander-in-chief] Pol Saroeun Supports Hun Sen’s Plan to Remove Heng Samrin as the Honorary President of the Cambodian People’s Party [according to an article published by the Phnom Penh Post]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6584, 21-22.2.2009

  • Siamese [Thai] Military Commander Apologizes for Artillery Shells Which Landed in Khmer Territory, and Siam [Thailand] Promises that Such a Case Will Not Happen Again
  • [Minister of Tourism Thong Khon asks] France to Help Create Professional Schools for Tourism

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3693, 21-22.2.2009

  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Announced to Run Out of Money [at the end of February 2009] while Hearings of Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief Are Not Yet Finished

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4827, 21.2.2009

  • The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia Reject to Translate Full Court Documentation of [former Khmer Rouge leader] Mr. Khiev Samphan [into French, the language of his defense lawyer, though the court rules say that it is a trilingual court: Khmer, English, and French]
  • Labor Market of Construction Sector Drops by 50% [between 40,000 and 45,000 workers in total]; The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction [Minister Im Chhun Lim] Said that It Is Not a Problem [he said that if they have no employment in the construction sector, there are fields and plantations and other work in agriculture]
  • Husband and Wife Were Rolled Over [by a truck] Leaving Their 8 or 9 Month Old Twin Sons [the driver of the truck escaped – Phnom Penh]
  • A German Man Died in the Ekareach Hotel in Sihanoukville [also known as the 7-Floors-Hotel, but national and international journalists are not allowed to enter the site, and the cause of the death is not yet known]

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

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Chevron Suspends Undersea Oil Exploration in the Khmer Sea – Friday, 20.2.2009

Posted on 20 February 2009. Filed under: Week 600 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 600

“Too much corruption and bureaucracy at the National Petroleum Authority and at the Council of Ministers of the Hun Sen government motivates the big US petroleum company Chevron to suspend exploring natural oil and gas in Block A, offshore at the sea, 150 km from the Sihanoukville Port.

Note:

In the Yellow Pages directory for Phnom Penh, the Business Listings section has only the name, address, phone numbers, and an e-mail address of the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority – but no Web address, as it is usual for the entries of enterprises and institutions, and the section “Profile” of the company does not provide any information: it is empty.

See also the Mirror of 4.12.2008:

US Oil Company Pays US$120 Million to Buy Oil Exploration License for Explorations at the Bottom of the Khmer Sea

“An official of Chevron said that the company has finished exploring oil and gas at the concession region in Block A, but cannot continue to start producing oil at this time, because there is much demand for under-the-table kickbacks, and another point is that the price of oil now dropped down dramatically. Therefore oil business activities in Cambodia will probably start again only in 2012.

“Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economy and Finance [and Permanent Vice Chairperson of the Supreme National Economic Council] Hang Chuon Narong said during a forum on Cambodia’s Future Economic Development, on Wednesday 18 February 2009, that at present, Chevron is playing a game of waiting in Cambodia after they saw that the price of oil was drooping during the last six months. Hang Chuon Narong added, ‘The accusation that there is too much corruption and bureaucracy in Cambodia is not true, and this accusation is just a pretext of Chevron to delay the production of oil from the bottom of the Cambodian sea.’

“Hang Chuon Narong continued to say, ‘At this step, Chevron already finished exploring for oil in Block A. If Chevron would continue their development now, the first oil productions would start in 2012.’ He said also that the scenario that he predicted is expected to produce income of US$200 million in the same year 2012. Hang Chuon Narong predicted that Chevron will wait longer before beginning to produce oil from the gulf in Block A, because oil prices are declining in a serious crisis both in Cambodia and in the world.

“However, an official of Chevron, who asked not to be named, said that the falling oil prices in Cambodia and in the world are not the cause for suspending the process of oil exploitation in the Cambodian offshore sea. The obstacle is that the Cambodian National Petroleum Authority and the Council of Ministers require Chevron to negotiate new documents for oil production, for oil discovered in Block A, since the previous documents were only for exploration, not production. Now, exploration is finished. Therefore, there have to be new documents for oil exploitation for production, which require to spend a lot of under-the-table kickbacks. Moreover, also because of the declining oil prices, it makes the Chevron Company reluctant to continue oil exploitation, and it might suspend its operations until 2012, to reconsider. If the Chevron Company suspends the process until 2012, Cambodia will lose the US$200 million income from oil exploitation between 2009 and 2012.’

“As for Hang Chuon Narong, he said that Chevron will continue to produce oil in 2014 or 2015, depending on oil prices – everything depends on prices of oil only [by implication denying that there is corruption and bureaucracy as additiional factors].

“The assessment by Hang Chuon Narong over activities of the Chevron Company in Block A indicates another breakdown of hope of the Chevron Company to develop Block A in the future. On 5 February 2009, the spokesperson of the Pacific Regional Office, Mr. Gareth Johnston, announced that Chevron is trying to find a solution to develop the complicated issues in Block A.

“He emphasized, ‘We are in a process to evaluate many development decisions for resources in Block A to get profits from this difficult task. Mr. Gareth Johnston did not comment on oil prices in the world, and how it impacts on the suffering of the company for the development of Block A. One barrel of oil was only US$34.92 on 18 February 2009, which shows how much the price dropped from the highest at US$145 in July 2008.

“Mr. Gareth Johnston added that at present, Chevron is not in any discussions about the setting of a date to exploit oil in Cambodia, unless a real assessment is finished.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #36920.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 20 February 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #22, 20-22.2.2009

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Told the US Ambassador [Ms. Carol A. Rodley] about Politics Violating Human Rights, the Economic Crisis, and Corruption

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #120, 20.2.2009

  • Siam [Thailand] Sends a Delegation to Apologize for Artillery Shells Landing on Khmer Territory

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1878, 20.2.2009

  • [12-year-old] Brother Was Killed and [11-year-old] Sister Was Raped and Murdered Cruelly [a 19 year-old boy was arrested – Kompong Cham]
  • Khmer Workers at Houses in Foreign Countries Are Valued as “House Helpers” [not as “house servants” – according to the Department of Labor of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training]
  • The US Embassy Donates 36 [M35A2] Trucks to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces for the Second Time

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #348, 20.2.2009

  • [The Deputy President of the Human Rights Party and former prime minister] Pen Sovann Said that the Persons Who Have the Most Land in Cambodia Are [the Minister of the Council of Ministers] Sok An and [the commander-in-chief] Pol Saroeun

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6583, 20.2.2009

  • The Head of the Government Encourages All Officials to Become Public Servants Who Serve the Citizens
  • Construction Site Is Started on the Bokor Mountain Summit, and Two National Parks [the Monivong Bokor and the Preah Suramarit-Kossamak National Parks] Are Delivered to the Sokha Hotel and the Sokimex Company [of Oknha Sok Kong – Kampot]
  • Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Welcomes the First Hearing of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #36920.2009

  • Chevron Suspends Undersea Oil Exploration in the Khmer Sea
  • [Duch’s Defense Lawyer] Ka Savuth Claimed that There Are Murderers [who were chiefs of different prisons during the Khmer Rouge regime] Who Killed More People Than Duch Did, but They Are Not Called to Court

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4826, 20.2.2009

  • Duch’s Lawyers Are Criticized to Have Looked Down on Victims [they are criticized by the director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, Mr. Chhang Youk, regarding their opposition to include videos provided by Vietnam as new evidence, and regarding the use of the word “Vea” [something like “it” instead of “he” in a derogatory way, used by Duch’s defense lawyers Ka Savuth, to refer to Mr. Noung Chanpal – one of the children identified in the videos provided – in Khmer, it is not used to refer to adults, and it is not used except when older people call younger people like children, then it is consider to be rude]
  • Siamese [Thai] Police Arrested 40 [illegally immigrated] Khmer Construction Workers in Chon Buri
  • The Sasakawa Peace Foundation [笹川平和財団] of Japan Presents a New Goal, Focusing on Developing Human Resources in Cambodia – [The Foundation carries also an Interview with Mr. Chhith Sam Ath, executive director of the NGO Forum for Cambodia]
  • [A Khmer historian] Michael Trane: “Dinosaurs” at Angkor Were Sculptured through Imagination

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The Number of Children with Severe Malnutrition Increases – Thursday, 19.2.2009

Posted on 19 February 2009. Filed under: Week 600 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 600

“Phnom Penh: A new report from the National Institute of Statistics found that the number of children with severe malnutrition increased, and the number of different diseases that affect children under the age of five increased also.

“The findings of a survey on the national level, analyzing the influence of high food prices, indicate that the health of children did not improve, because the number of children with serious malnutrition rose from 8.4% in 2005 to 8.9% in 2008, which is an important indication based on their weight and height proportions. This survey found also that the spread of fever among children under the age of four rose to 58.9% in 2008, compared to 39.6% in 2005.

“However, this survey discovered also some positive results regarding the situation of alimentation of women and of children under the age of two.

“The director of the National Mother and Child Health Center, Professor Dr. Kum Kanal, referred questions regarding this problem to the person who released this report.

“The deputy director of the Department of Planning and Health Information, Ms. Sok Kanha, said Tuesday evening by telephone that our country is poor, and the economic standard of living dropped, making many workers unemployed, and some farmers do not own enough rice fields, causing shortages. Therefore, they cannot provide enough food to their children.

“When asked whether the equity program of a foundation of the government is failing or not, while the health situation of the people declines, Ms. Sok Kanha claimed, ‘The equity program of the foundation of the government does not fail, because this program offers charged services to patients, but it is not to buy food for the poor.’

“She added that any solution for this problem requires participation from development partners, and especially the UN World Food Program, to provide food to people, and she requested to provide aid to ‘the hungry, otherwise its project will not be successful and will not reach he right directions.’

“[Secretary of state at the Ministry of Health and director of Calmette Hospital] Dr. Heng Taikry could not be reached for comment, but he told The Cambodia Daily on Monday that he did not know anything about the findings of this research, yet he suspected that the rising food prices probably do not affect children’s health.

“He went on to say, ‘At present, Cambodian people have a better living standard and they can eat sufficient food.’

“The above survey is funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund – UNICEF – and by the United Nations Development Program – UNDP – asking 7,500 women and children to reflect on the influence of high food prices. The Institute of Statistics found that in 2008, food prices increased by 10%, more than the price of other consumer goods.

“A consultant of the Institute of Statistics, Mr. Joel Konkle, told The Cambodia Daily that the spread of diseases such as diarrhea, fever, serious respiratory diseases among small children increased, and further research is needed to define the extent of these diseases.

“He added that more serious malnutrition and child health conditions might be caused by high food prices, because research shows a declining consumption of expensive food, such as meat and fish. Malnutrition of children makes them easily susceptible to diseases.

“Mr. Joel Konkle added a warning that poor children in cities need emergency assistance, because of the increase in the number of malnourished children under the age of five, from 9.6% in 2005 to 15.9% in 2008.

“The Chief of the Children Survival Section of UNICEF, Ms. Viorica Berdaga, said that she was surprised that serious malnutrition of children under the age of two increased. She added that those involved in food security should summon a meeting soon and take action as quickly as possible.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4825, 19.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 19 February 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #119, 19.2.2009

  • France Welcomes the Beginning of the First Hearing of the Tuol Sleng Prison Chief [Kaing Gek Eav, called Duch]
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Criticizes that Persons in the Fields of Education and Health Care Were Reduced [he agrees that in some fields it is necessary to reduce personnel by sending people into retirement without replacing them – but this should not relate to the fields of teachers and doctors]
  • Two Englishmen Died in a Royal Highness Hotel Room [the cause of deaths is not yet found – Phnom Penh]
  • The United States of America Adds 17,000 Troops for Afghanistan

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1877, 19.2.2009

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Waits for a Final Investigation Report from Troops before Asking for an Explanation from the Siamese [Thai] Embassy
  • Brothels in Siem Reap Town Run Their Exploitation Grandly [their number is increasing, they have a bad influence on public morals and culture – local residents say that they are mostly operated by people from Vietnam]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #347, 19.2.2009

  • Commander-In-Chief Pol Saroeun Said that Siam [Thailand] Unintentionally Fired into Khmer Territory, while [the chairperson of the Committee for Solving Border Disputes] Va Kimhong Said that It Violates Cambodian Territorial Integrity

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6582, 19.2.2009

  • A Car of a Korean Delegation Crashed into the Ou Leang Kruos Bridge and Injured Three People Seriously [Strung Treng]
  • A Study for the Construction of a Hydro-Electric Dam at the Cheay Araeng River in Thma Bak District with 108 Megawatt and an Investment Capital of More Than US$325 Million Is Finished [by the China Southern Power Grid Company – Koh Kong]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3691, 19.2.2009

  • [The president of the opposition party] Sam Rainsy Asked the Government to Take Immediate Action in View of [the declining] Prices of Agricultural Products, and to Cease Grabbing of Citizens’ Land
  • Duch’s Lawyers Demand the Release of Their Defendant during the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s Hearing [they want to sue for the illegal detention of Duch in military prison since 1999 before he was transferred to the tribunal’s detention in 2007]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4825, 19.2.2009

  • The Number of Children with Severe Malnutrition Increases
  • Vietnamese Documentary Videos Created Strong Arguments during Duch’s Hearing [his defense lawyers opposed the inclusion of these video as new evidence, saying that they are invented videos]
  • US Ambassador [Ms. Carol A. Rodley] Praises Telecommunication Sector in Cambodia
  • International Red Cross Encourages Improvement for Prisons in Cambodia
  • Vietnam Reacts against Human Rights Watch regarding Khmer Kampuchea Krom Case [by condemning Vietnam for cracking down on Khmer Krom people living at the Mekong delta and for restricting religious respect and freedom of expression; Vietnam said that the Khmer Kampuchea Krom community is a part that cannot be cut out from the 52 communities living in Vietnam, and Vietnam does not allow any form of discrimination and of racial divisions to happen]

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JICA Helps Cambodia to Define Standards for Cambodian Hydro-Electricity Dams – Wednesday, 18.2.2009

Posted on 19 February 2009. Filed under: Week 600 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 600

“Phnom Penh: The Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA – cooperates with officials in charge of hydro-electricity of the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy of Cambodia, to construct hydro-electricity dams for Cambodia. JICA will support the funding for this development, and standards are expected to be respected by investors or companies which construct hydro-electricity dams in Cambodia.

“The deputy director of JICA, Mr. Kobayashi Yukiharu, said in the first plenary session about the studies to elaborate detailed conditions for the construction of hydro-electricity dams according to technical standard, in the morning of 17 February 2009 at the Phnom Penh Hotel, that development of hydro-electricity dams in Cambodia is being focused, facing the general situation of rapid growth of around 20% per year for the local demand of energy during the last five years. At present, many companies from foreign countries, such as China, Korea, and Vietnam, have already established hydro-electricity development projects and are constructing their projects gradually. Mr. Yukiharu added, however, there must be care taken when constructing hydro-electricity dams about possible impacts, because such constructions directly relate to safety and environmental conservation, since all hydro-electricity dam construction projects, big or small, are constructions of dams and water flow channels that can lead to severe devastations and impacts on the environment, if those projects do not focus on the observation of clear technical standards from the beginning.

“The Minister of Industry, Mines, and Energy, Mr. Suy Sem, considers electricity to be an important and necessary resource for the life of everyone. But what we want is not just to do whatever, so that there is access to electricity, but also to do whatever, so that the production, delivering, distribution, and the use of electricity are efficient and safe. To be efficient is not just to make the supply of electricity to happen with quality, stability, and low prices, but also to make the consumers, who are the clients, to accept the use happily, and to settle their accounts for the service received regularly and with transparency. The Minister added that to be safe is to avoid work accidents, electrical shocks, or electricity-related fires. The production, the delivering, the distribution, the use, as well as the use of all electrical tools, must be done according to proper standards – that means that we first must have the necessary standards.

“The Minister went on to say that the studies to elaborate detailed conditions for the definition of technical standards for hydro-electricity have the intention to mainly check, consider, and analyze different technical standards for hydro-electricity being used by different countries, such as Japan, Russia, Canada etc… and to screen and select them, and to create them to be in line with the conditions of Cambodia, so that Cambodia has technical standards for hydro-electricity, both for the civil engineering sector and for electrical technologies and mechanics, so that all different companies have to abide by these standards.

“The director of the Department of Hydro-Electricity of the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy, Mr. Bun Narith, said that JICA is helping Cambodia in this sector for a 12 months period, since October 2008, to September 2009, studying in detail, point by point, the small elements of the whole cluster of hydro-electricity. Mr. Bun Narith added that all those having received licenses to construct any hydro-electricity dam must follow these technical standards. The potential of Cambodian hydro-electricity is high, at around 10,000 megawatt. But Cambodia has so far developed only 13 megawatt.

“Mr. Suy Sem reminded the plenary session that even though Japan has studied the codes and formulas from its own and from different other countries, but we, in developing countries, cannot copy those technical standard models like a mold for the use in Cambodia. Cambodia must have standards in order to avoid impacts on is environment; however, hydro-electricity dam constructions cannot avoid affecting the environment. When one starts blocking the flow of water, some forests start already to be flooded.

“Therefore, we have to balance between losses and energy received – which one is more valuable? We should not create standards which are too strict or too weak. The Minister continued to say that so far, neither any hydro-electricity dams nor construction companies in Cambodia have standards. At presents there is a hydro-electricity dam in Ratanakiri’s Ou Chum with the power of 1 megawatt. In Mondolkiri, Japan constructed two small hydro-electricity dams, which are already operational. The Kirirom I hydro-electricity dam has 12 megawatt power. We are constructing hydro-electricity dams in Kamchay with 193 megawatt and in Ta Tai with 120 megawatt and there is a plan to build a hydro-electricity dam in Sre Pok with 400 megawatt, which is being studied by a Vietnamese company.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4824, 19.2.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1876, 18.2.2009

  • Samdech Hun Sen: Anti-Corruption Law Is Not a Divine Medicine against Corruption
  • In 2009 and 2010, Germany Plans to Grant Cambodia More Than US$57 Million
  • North Korea Said that It Has the Right to Fire Missiles for Testing

Khmer Aphivaot Sethakech, Vol.7, #344, 18.2.2009

  • H.E. Keat Chhon Provides Documents to Explain Problems Faced because of the Economic Crisis to Opposition Party Parliamentarian [Mr. Son Chhay]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #346, 18.2.2009

  • [Senior official of the Human Rights Party and former prime minister] Pen Sovann Said that Hun Sen Revoked Ke Kim Yan [as commander-in-chief] to Consolidate Power and Follow the Track of Pol Pot [former top Khmer Rouge leader who revoked many officials when he did no longer trust them]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6581, 18.2.2009

  • Citizens Are Disappointed with the Short Live Broadcast of Duch’s Hearing [only around half an hour]
  • Thai Navy Military Commander of the First Region Said that Cambodia Changed Its Mind Regarding the Division of Resources in the Contested Sea Area [before the exploration of natural resources started, Cambodia seemed to agree, but when it actually started, Cambodia changed its mind]
  • Siamese [Thai] Doctors Stopped Khmers to Test Their Blood at the Cham Yeam Border Crossing [and when Khmer authorities asked why, they said they make blood tests to find if they have malaria – and if malaria is found, they will be offered free medicine]

Mate Nak, Vol.2, #21, 18-24.2.2009

  • The Government Announces the Bidding for the Construction of the Stung Sen Hydro-Electric Dam
  • Cambodia Hopes that There Will Be 50,000 Tourists from Kuwait
  • Salaries of National Athletes Are Increased [by approx. 40%; their former salary of Riel 120,000, corresponding to approx. US$30 per month, is increased to 200,000 – approx. US$50 – and money for food is creased from Riel 15,000 – approx. US$4 – to Riel 23,000 – approx. US$6 [no timeline – daily – weekly – monhly etc. given]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1413, 18.2.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor: Not Only Those Who Wear Three or Four Stars, Even if They Wear a Sign of the Moon, They Will Be Demoted [if they are found to be involved in misusing their power in any land dispute]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4824, 19.2.2009

  • JICA Helps Cambodia to Define Standards for Cambodian Hydro-Electricity Dams
  • Duch Intends to Apologize Publicly when the Court Starts the First Hearing [according to his lawyer]; China Defends Its Relations with Khmer Rouge [saying that they were part of normal diplomatic relations]
  • [At least eight] Siamese [Thai] Mortar Shells Landed about 3 km in Khmer Territory [in Banteay Ampil in Oddar Meanchey during a Thai military exercise]
  • Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany [Mr. Peter Ammon] Welcomes Hearings of the Khmer Rouge Leaders [and encourages Cambodia to adopt an anti-corruption law]

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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